It is exactly 4.21pm and I am able to sit down to write this post. The reason I am able to sit down to write this post is because my daughter is asleep! How is this possible I here you cry! What magical powers do you possess that makes your child sleep at 4.21pm? I know, I know, I’m amazing! I haven’t even doubled up on Calpol and Nurofen to knock her out either!
Ok, so I may have a little trick up my sleeve.
Two words Ladies and Gents…. SOFT PLAY!
I LOVE SOFT PLAY. There I said it!
Rewind 15 months and if someone had asked me if I wanted to go to soft play for a couple of hours I would have replied that removing my spleen and flambéing it lightly over my flaming testicles would have been preferable.
However this has now changed and my testicles can rest easy.
We first stumbled across the idea of visiting Playdays in
Basingstoke one soggy Sunday a few
weeks ago. We were bored and the little person was driving us both up the wall.
If we had to listen to another rendition of Old McDonald Has a Farm one more
time I feel we both might have reached for the Valium.
So off we trot to Playdays not quite knowing what to expect. I wasn’t even sure whether it was socially acceptable to bring a 15 month old to a soft play area! Surely she was too small right? Wrong! Turns out there were kids of all ages there.
Also I wasn’t sure if there was any soft play etiquette. You know the kind of thing… do we remove shoes, is it acceptable to lick anything within range, Can grown ups play as well?! Turns out I needn’t have worried as my daughter couldn’t give two fucks about any form of etiquette. Give her a plastic ball pit ball and she will lick it (and then offer it as a gift to the nearest stranger).
The first few minutes were spent cautiously testing the water. Both her and me. She started with playing with a couple of stray plastic balls whilst I made encouraging parenting noises and pretended to be the model father. All the while looking at how other dads behaved in the same setting. This farce lasted barely 10 minutes until she realised that every other kid was going mental and not being told off so why shouldn’t she?! I too realised that it was perfectly acceptable for the dads to play as well. This was confirmed when I saw one of the burlier fathers shouting weeee! As he whizzed down the biggest slide with his daughter!
Furthermore, I discovered that my daughter is in fact fearless and will literally throw herself of anything. She was for the most part pretty good at toddling around the baby area and after a while felt she needed a tougher challenge. By tougher challenge I mean the big kid area. It’s fair to say that I was more enthusiastic abut this than Mrs McDadface. After much convincing/reassuring from me we ventured over to the exciting stuff. No babyish ball pits here! Oh no! We were in big slide territory now!
As we both sat at the top of the biggest slide I have ever seen, I began to rethink whether this was such a good idea. My daughter on the other hand had no such concerns. Before I knew it she had somehow wriggled free of my lap and had pushed her self from the top of the slide! Before I could process what was happening she was off!
Now I’ve learnt a valuable lesson ladies and gents. Do not dress your child in clothes made from Nylon. A fact that became apparent to me as my 15 month old bundle of joy hit mach 1! I’ve never seen anybody move quite so fast as she did on that slide. My heart was in my mouth as I shuffled down the slide after her (I was wearing jeans). Convinced I would find a blubbering mess at the bottom along with a furious mummy, I prepared myself for the worst. Instead what I found was the biggest smile I have ever seen along with much pointing and gesturing to the top of the slide. It seems we would be doing this again! I might just hold on a little tighter next time though!