We registered for a class this semester that gives us unlimited privileges to this indoor playground/toy bonanza. My son has been four times, and loves it. I think it’s pretty awesome too; I grab an iced tea (because it is always the appropriate drink for winter), I meet a friend or two to socialize, sit back and chill as my son wreaks havoc and exhausts himself.
Usually Mr. Man lasts about two hours at this little slice of oasis, and strangely seeks this one specific toy to horde every time we visit. It’s a bathtub toy fishing rod game piece. He doesn’t actually do anything with it, but will spend almost the entire duration holding it and schlepping it around. He remembers it every time even though the last visit was over a month-and-a-half ago. I don’t get the appeal, but it’s his wingman. Even if he walks away from it for ten or fifteen minutes to do something else, he eventually seeks his prized pole, grasping it tightly as he wanders and samples all the other toy attractions.
In addition to toys there are several structures, some containing pretty terrific slides. These structures are high, steep, and fast. There’s no tease of a fluid decent. Once a kid is mere millimeters from the top platform, he or she will launch into the wall with only wisps of smoke remaining as an indication that a homunculus attempted the feat.
Little Man is a thrill seeker and loves this thing. This visit, however, he didn’t want Mommy’s help down. I lift him onto the platform, he gives an excited grin in anticipation, and he’s off… He was so proud of himself, immediately requesting his elevator for a repeat of the experience. This time, however, on his belly head first. I thought certain doom was inevitable, but he was fine. A couple more times and he needed a break. He grabbed his fishing pole and wandered in search of another adventure.
We were there four hours with a trifling ten minute lunch break at Big Man’s request. Throughout the day he periodically beckoned me to hoist him to the top of the slide, but toward the latter end of our time at play mecca Little Man became overconfident and slammed the back of his head toward the bottom.
He needed brief consoling, but as I was holding him he glared at his Everest. It would not defeat him; he insisted on trying again. Cautious, but determined he paused briefly at the top in the same sitting up position that had been catastrophic the last run only seconds prior, but he managed just fine…Then he opted to go on the smaller slide.
A few turns on the foothill prompted him to return to his first love. I hefted him up a few more times until my son determined he tamed his beast. If only we could all be so brave…