Monday, August 6, 2012

Sunday with Chuck

As I mentioned a week or two ago, Jacob had a birthday party to attend this past weekend.  It was at Chuck E. Cheese for one of his daycare friends, and I wasn't sure what to expect.  I've heard random rumblings from Facebook about these parties, and we've been there before for things other than parties, but it's hard to tell how each visit is going to be.  Our first time there was crazy because there was a daycare fundraiser.  There were tons of people, and so many issues with the games--tickets not coming out, games not working, crazy unsupervised kids cutting in on games--and in the end I pretty much swore I'd never want to go there again.

Craig and Jacob went once a while back when I was out of town, but I hadn't been back since.  Sunday morning at 11am we headed out and I was pleased to see that the place wasn't that busy.  That's always a good sign.  Jacob got his tokens and was off playing his favorite games--namely the basketball and baseball games.  He was disappointed to see that the football game wasn't working.  Still, he had a blast running around and picking games.

He took a ride on a truck...
I asked for a smile and this was the best I got.  Seriously.
And here he is in his favorite spot of the day, playing basketball.  He did pretty well, but the game was really stingy on tickets so he didn't get nearly the tickets most of his friends probably did.  Not a bad thing, though, since we just ended up with some candy instead of a bunch of plastic junk.

Eventually the kids sat down to lunch of pizza and fruit punch (score one for Mommy--I got stubborn fruit punch stains out of his shirt, by some miracle), and then got a visit from Chuck E. Cheese.  Here he is giving the birthday boy a crown...
Jacob is standing up closest to the camera, watching it all.
After cake and some playing in front of a "green screen" to be on TV, everyone was back off to play.  Here's Jacob and his good buddy Aaron playing one of those "shoot the stream of water into the hole" games.  They had a blast sharing tokens to play with each other, which was really cute.

Overall the experience was pretty good.  The pizza wasn't bad (I remember hearing they improved the recipe since the last time I was there), and I had a couple pleasant conversations with other parents, which is good.  Particularly since one was a mom I see all the time at pickup (one of her boys is just a bit younger than Jacob, the other just turned two), and now we know each other's name and had a nice little bonding chat about working downtown and how sucky it is to be among the last parents at pickup each day and how great it would be to work part time. 
Jacob was a good boy and seemed to play nicely with his friends.  That's a relief.  He did keep trying to climb up on the pedestal with the animatronic Chuck E., but if that's the worst thing he does at some other kid's party, that's not bad.  The one mom referred to him as outgoing, which is so ironic considering he comes from a couple introvert parents.  Craig always says that he prayed for Jacob to be more outgoing so he didn't suffer the downfalls of being a shy kid.  Sometimes I want to smack him upside the head for doing that, since we got this confident, headstrong child who is a challenge most of the time.  But on the other hand, after watching him run around yesterday, I know that it's good that he didn't need us around every second of the time we were there.  He's very independent, and later on that might not be such a bad thing.  We'll see. 

All of the kids were actually very well-behaved, which made the whole experience pretty great.  He did bring home a goodie bag today (not sure if he just missed out on getting it there or if it was meant to be an after-the-fact sort of thing), so we did end up with some plastic stuff and more candy, but overall it was a good enough experience that I actually looked on the website myself to see how much those things run.  The base package isn't that bad, actually--not cheap, of course, but the minimums are low so you could keep it pretty low key if needed--but when Jacob asked about it I told him maybe we'd do it in a couple years when he had a good group of friends to invite.  I'll know to do it early on a Sunday, if nothing else!

I'm still not sure I'm big on these fancy kid parties, but if we're going to get invited, it's nice of people to give us the opportunity to have a little fun.  Sometimes I need a little push to do stuff like that, so it's not always a bad thing.  It actually turned out to be a pretty good time.  Whew.

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