You know how much a soft play center can be a pain or a pleasure if you have ever visited one (if you have a child, then yes, you have) because you’ve likely been there yourself. In addition to entertaining your toddler or child, they are also the noisiest places you have ever been to, and their coffee is never that good, either.
Here are 25 things that happen at soft play that will definitely have you nodding along:
1. The world and his wife also thought it was a good idea to take the kids to soft play on a rainy weekend afternoon, so you struggle to find a parking space.
2. Almost tripping over a stray ball whilst transporting your tea over to your table, you reach for your long-awaited cup of tea.
3. As you rescue one of your children from the top of the slide, the bottom of the ball pit, or wedged in between those roller things, your tea goes cold.
4. One of your children dies.
5. There’s a baby about to run down a huge slide in the big kids’ section.
6. Once again, you lose the baby.
7. There is a fight between a five-year-old and a baby over a space hopper near the football area.
8. After about five minutes, you feel smug that your kids follow rules and enjoy playing in their age-appropriate area.
9. It gets boring for the baby and he leaves the baby play area for the four years and up area.
10. Getting stuck in the ball pool is an embarrassment when you are playing Things That Happen at Soft Play.
11. At the same time your five-year-old needs to use the bathroom, your baby is trying to climb the large slide again.
12. Your baby only appears to have one sock on.
13. While trying to get your baby out of the danger zone, a random child jumps on your head.
14. It is clear that soft play is a team sport and should only be attempted with at least two other mom mates.
15. At least three sets of grandparents are enjoying a cup of tea and reading magazines in the cafe area. It makes you wish you were one of them.
16. There is a T-shirt on the baby’s head that she hasn’t worn before. It appears she has lost her other sock.
17. Something feels sticky under your feet.
18. Although the food you ordered for both children has arrived, the five-year-old is refusing to eat it.
19. As you contemplate ordering another cup of tea, it occurs to you that you need to go to the bathroom but won’t be able to do so for at least another hour and a half.
20. When the baby poos, she runs away each time you try to catch her to change her nappy, which causes the building to emit some poisonous smells.
21. It makes you wonder (not for the first time) if all Things That Happen at Soft Play centers were designed by someone who hated windows as much as he hated parents. In addition to the deafening noise and chaos, mums and dads have to breathe in the smell of dirty nappies and cheesy feet, as there is no fresh air flowing through open windows.
22. Your baby has finally changed and is happily playing, so you glance at Facebook for a moment. Bummer. Your baby has left again.
23. Your promise to yourself (again) is that you will never come back to Things That Happen at Soft Play. Not ever.
24. Leaving the five-year-old crying when the time is right. Then you promise her that yes, you can all come back next week as part of your attempt to persuade her to leave the building.
25. After Dry January, you realize that you made a mistake.