Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Play at your own risk

Earlier this week I was walking through the mall and came across one of those child play areas where tired shoppers bring their kids to release pent up energy by climbing on things and running around (while the parents watch closely from benches encircling the play equipment). Before I ever saw it, I heard it. I heard the squealy voices of tiny children…times 50. My reaction? I did not walk by pleasantly day dreaming of the day when I would bring my little guy to this very spot; instead, I promptly shifted course to get to my store destination another way since I already had the start of a headache.

I can’t help but wonder if these crowded, germy play areas are a needed respite for parents with small children, or if they really are hell on earth. Phil and I already discussed this crazy play area and how, once our son is born, we must be careful to never bring him down that hallway of the mall. We’re thinking it might be better if he doesn’t know such a place exists. Perhaps that’s just a bad sign of my future parenting prowess.

I get it. The mall is not much fun for small children. One of my early childhood memories was of my parents asking me if I wanted to go to the mall. I excitedly said yes. However, after we arrived I realized that I had my definition of a mall all wrong. I seriously thought we were going to an amusement park. I suppose I would have been less disappointed if they at least had a play area. My parents probably would have been good enough to take me there. Here’s hoping that someday I’ll have the mental and physical strength to do the same.


  1. Ughh. Those places annoy me. You always see them crammed full, many of the kids WAY over the size restrictions. It also seems parents may drop kids there to shop, even though that is strictly forbidden and unwise. Also, germy is right, but what playground isn't?

    I thank God those things came along after our kids were too big. We did however, have the Mall of America, which actually does have an amusement park. We found it a great place to walk with the kids, especially in the long Minnesota winters. Then, it was the Legoland play area my kids liked. We had to deal with the germy legos, and the aggressive kids with parents that do not care if their little angel takes legos right out of the hands of your toddler. Oh boy, if I wasn't a good Christian boy......

    Just you wait Jen.

  2. Ha! What a funny post! I've had similar thoughts about those play areas, but have actually succumbed to letting my kids play in them from time to time. Mostly to burn energy in the winter or to get them used to playing along side lots of other kids. I will, however, try my best to avoid the McDonald's Play Place for all eternity.