Six Parents You Will Meet at Soft Play

11/07/2016 14:56

Like any parent who happens to be hanging on to the loose threads of their sanity, I loathe soft play with every fibre of my being. 

It's sticky, it's sweaty, it's noisy. The tea (or coffee if that's your bag) is crap and when you finally manage to remove your tantrumming child(dren) from the establishment they will almost certainly bring away with them an unpleasant illness

And yet, despite this deep and enduring dislike, somehow it keeps us coming back like moths to a brightly coloured, faintly smelly flame.

Over the past few weeks I have had a brief respite from 'the padded hell hole' as the toddler has been in the early stages of potty training, the idea being that we could spend the majority of the day outside and have fewer floors to clean.

However, as I could have predicted from having lived through 30-odd British summers, this has not proven to be the case. Finding things to do with two toddlers when the weather is inclement is tricky. We've been to every garden centre, we've jumped in enough muddy puddles to bore Peppa. Being outside in the rain is just pants; the big one is not a fan of getting wet and becomes very angry when people do not have hoods up; she's not beyond telling a stranger off. The little one looks forlorn strapped into his buggy, the raindrops pattering on the ill-fitting raincovers; he does not want to sit, he wants to run and climb. And the rain does absolutely nothing for my hair.

And thus, with the June weather remaining dismal and dreary, with a heavy heart it was back to soft play for us.

On reflection, it might have been that little bit too soon.

Upon entering the 'arena' (I couldn't think of the right word, but this conjures up images of children as gladiators, which isn't actually far from the truth, so I kept it) I immediately became 1) Continually Nervous Parent.

I couldn't take my eyes off my child for more than a second in case she decided to relieve herself in an inconvenient place and asked her about every five seconds whether she needed a wee. It was exhausting and nerve-wracking. The little one was more or less left to fend for himself which worked out well as he learned to take himself up and down the slide.

It was my first time at soft play as Continually Nervous Parent. In case you were wondering, I have categorised the other parents you will find at soft play: