Taking one for the team

I took my daughter to Chuck E. Cheese's this afternoon. I was feeling a little guilty because I was gone for part of the weekend (sans child) and wanted to make it up to her. I worked (well, volunteered) at a pet expo on Saturday and spent the night at my friend Kathy's house on Friday. As a matter of fact, I had to leave my niece's birthday party early on Friday, so P got his fill of single parenting this weekend. I figured I'd take one for the team and head over to Chuck E. Cheese's on Sunday afternoon after church. We never eat the pizza there - we just play games, exchange our tickets for worthless crap, and then head back home. Chuck E. Cheese's is located almost within spitting distance of our house. I'm sure you realize that this is a very bad thing. I actually had my daughter convinced that the joint was "under construction" and "very definitely closed" until she was around four years old. "But, Mama, there are CARS there!" Kids are just too damned observant sometimes.

When we got to Chuck E's this afternoon, we had to park in Outer Mongolia. That's never a good sign. Then we had to wait in line for a while just to get in. There were two women behind me who were apparently there for a birthday party. They muttered to each other about the crowd. "This is a fucking zoo," one said to the other. Like maybe she didn't notice that there were scores of children within earshot. I mean, she was right, but still.

When we finally got in, we played games for about 45 minutes and then our tokens ran out. We fed our tickets into the ticket muncher and then headed to the redemption counter. We had 442, which the chick behind the counter generously rounded up to 450. Either that, or she just didn't want to do any tricky math. Anyway, I spent $20.00 in tokens and since my child would ultimately leave the join with $.69 worth of sheer crap, I think Chuck E still came out on top. A jabbed a finger at the glass case. "I want nose putty," she stated emphatically. I peered into the case to see what she was talking about. I read the label of the desired prize.

"It's noise putty, Goober."  If something called "nose putty" exists, I don't want to know anything about it. You've probably seen this fine "noise putty" product, though. It's essentially a plastic canister full of goop. She couldn't wait to get it home and show her dad. She ripped off the lid, shoved her tiny fist into the canister, and was rewarded with a loud fart noise. P laughed. I mean, legitimately laughed, not like the ha-ha you give your kids when they make up knock-knock jokes that aren't jokes at all. I attribute this to the fact that he is a boy. Even when boys grow up, bodily functions are still funny.

In case you wondered, the 450 tickets also earned her some Laffy Taffy and Fun Dip (which, in my mind, should still be called Lik-M-Aid). She also conned me into buying her a bomb pop, because apparently the sugar content in the candy was not high enough.

So, that was my weekend. We ended it with a Skype session with my mom. The kid asked her, "How much cats do you have, Meemaw?" My mom mumbled some sort of response. She gets very cagey when you ask her how many felines call her address home. I suspect we are talking double digits here.

I have to say, though, that even though we don't have the hover crafts and other awesome shit foretold to us in Jetsons cartoons, we do have the ability for a little girl to talk to her faraway Meemaw. And that's pretty amazing, too.