Being it was Boy #2′s birthday yesterday, that meant we had to celebrate. #2 was insistent on going to Chuck E. Cheese. I had vowed the last time he had a party there 2003 that I was retiring from birthday parties at the Cheese. Lord knows, I have done my time between there and Circus World (a similar type of joint in Hendersonville). I’m over it.

I’m not one of those moms that will put on an elaborate theme party and invite every kid in the hemisphere to. I’m all about taking it somehwere where somebody else decorates and cleans up. I guess that makes me bad in the eyes of the Muffia and I’m just wrong. My excuse is “I work.” Earlier on in my parenting career, I’d have been more likely to do that, but, I’m tired. Plus, #2 wanted to go to Chuck E’s place so he could get on the stage. He originally wanted to wear overalls and a cowboy hat (he has an image, afterall) but I talked him out of it since it was 180 degrees yesterday.

Chuck E. Cheese is loud and overstimulating. Instead of the slogan “Where A Kid Can Be A Kid”, they should change it to “Where a Parent Can Regret The Day They Ever Thought Sex Might Be A Good Thing” or “Where A Parent Can Have a Nervous Breakdown.” (Ask my friend Lisa about she about got into a smackdown over there the other day with a Redneck Mom) They have bad pizza and even worse birthday cake. We opted to bring our own cake because the ones Chuck has are just plain gross. They taste like cardboard. Turns out, I shouldn’t have even bothered to get a cake because none of the kids were interested in cake. They wanted to go play games so they could get more tickets so they could get more crappy prizes to take home to make their mothers crazy. They were just about as interested in the pizza as they were the cake.

The overstimulation, noise, the Chuck E. Cheese smell, the whole thing just puts me in a bad mood. I didn’t think we would ever leave. I finally had to play about 15 rounds of Skee Ball to get rid of those damn tokens. I gotta say, I am one hell of a Skee Ball player. If they ever have a competition for that, I’m in.

Mr. Smiff had barely made it home from New York to get to the Cheese. After traveling for 20 hours, he was understandably tired and after a bit he said “Hey, I really need to get this ice cream home so it won’t melt…but, I don’t want to leave you here with all this.” (Sure you don’t.) I finally came up with a great plan, Mr. Smiff could take the ice cream home (since he was so concerned about it melting and all) as long as he hauled all the presents and crap home so all I’d have to do was get in the car and go home. Pretty fair deal, dontchya think?

I guess I’m hard on Chuck E. Cheese. The kids absolutely love the place. Never mind I see it as an insane asylum disguised as a place of fun and frivolity. #2 had a great birthday and went home a (mostly) happy boy. He only told his sister he’d never speak to her again once while we were there.

Oh and just for the record, I did not once mention this entire post how plain and simply unfair it is that our friend CLC and the Belle of RUA are soaking up the sinfulness of Sin City and working towards some serious grape stomping in Napa, while I was working on my Skee Ball skills and trying to keep up with Chuck E. Cheese tokens.