Tuesday, June 20, 2006

They've Got Balls

Jarrah and I had a blast with Stephanie and Izzie today. First of all, it was great to see them; we hadn't since the big birthday blow-out. But today was also the day we discovered My Kid's Clubhouse in Poway. I know, I know, you're probably thinking "Do those two ever stay home?" and the answer is, "Not unless we're in the mood to listen to each other whine."

But my friends, it grows hot and wearying in inland San Diego in these dog days of summer. I find myself unsure of my name or address when I waver behind a swing at the park, pushing listlessly as I swipe the sweat from my maternal brow. We are in need of more vampire-friendly stomping grounds for the next few months. "My Gym" will help but that doesn't start until next week. So when I found myself dreading Steph's suggestion of the zoo (an idea that would have struck me peachy just two months ago) I decided to be all bold and counter with a destination I know only from the internet. As we sped up the I-15, I felt a bit rash and kooky. What if it was freaky or pathetic or--egad--unhygienic in there? But as soon as I opened the door and felt the first sweet rush of air conditioning, I knew it was all good.

Jarrah is such a pro now that she showed me the cubby where we would stash our shoes. And then she was off. At first there was so much to look at she seemed a bit dazed. There was a section where you could dress up as a princess or Darth Vader, an entire fake kitchen (later I saw Jarrah stoically munching on some plastic pizza) a plastic RV with a place for cooking and sleeping in the back, a dollhouse with a door bell, a plastic ramp with a truck for whizzing down, and--what a stroke of genius--a coffee bar smack in the middle, a perfect little parental panopticon. All around the perimeter, moms in socks were curled up in video rockers with paperbacks while their little darlings cavorted.

But soft, Readers: I haven't described the main attraction yet. On one wall, from floor to ceiling, there rose a kind of two-story padded cage, all crannies of which could be accessed through a system of tubes, chutes, ladders, steps and bridges. The way down was a magnificent triple slide. The way in was a humongous room full of colored balls, several feet deep. Pretty impressive, huh? Here's the kicker: it's built for adults. Well, yes, of course, children are allowed, too, but did you hear the part about it being built for adults? Guess who was shoving six-year-olds out of the way and shimmying through treacherous tunnels like an overgrown hamster? That's right, Readers. Moi. There were moments when my heart was actually pounding, as some of the passageways were constructed of industrial-strength mesh that you dragged your knees and elbows across, gazing down on the distant heads of the moms who were behaving like adults. I got quite an adrenalin rush from imagining myself plummeting through the wobbly bridge and puncturing the roof of the RV below. I also got to fulfill a life-long dream of rolling in plastic balls. I was always too tall for the ones my brother and sisters went in. This time Stephanie, Izzie, Jarrah and I buried ourselves up to our necks and giggled like little girls. Well, technically, two of us are little girls, but being buried in balls is a great leveler.

The only damper on the day was Jarrah not wanting to leave. When I told her we were going (after nearly three hours!), she purposefully wheeled a doll stroller towards the exit, and lost her cool when I blocked it with my foot. I guess she figured she was at least entitled to a souvenir. She cried all the way home.


Amy said...

I'm sorry I missed you guys! It sounds like tons of fun! However, the girls and I were successful in picking up Maya's new glasses. The transition is going as well as can be expected. I have posted pics of her new look.

Anonymous said...

"Parental panopticon" indeed! Fun to see a stealthy Foucault mention in your tales from kiddie land.... :) Lix

Anonymous said...

Hi Sam-

It was nice meeting you at Lynne's birthday dinner and hearing all about your little Jarrah.

It sounds like you had a real adventure at the Kid's Clubhouse.

I'll be sure to visit and again and see how well Jarrah is "raising" her mommy... cause you know it's really the kids that have all the power.


Kim said...

So much fun! I was always too tall for the ball pit too :( I might just have to finagle a trip out to SD just for the adult playground. Oh, and to meet you, J, &D, too :)

Alleen said...

OK, have to admit, one of the more creative Blog titles. Made me look!

I am envious of all the cool places you seem to have to choose from out there on the other coast. We don't seem to have many of these places around here. Maybe I just haven't been looking before??

Trish said...

Adult playground? and when you get tired of climbing around in the rafters, you can have a cup of coffee and read? Sounds like Paradise.

I spent the weekend jumping around with my 21 month old twin grandkids and Henry in a bounce house, visiting Super Grover at Sesame Street Live and going to baby swimming lessons.

Ahhh there is an idea for you - sign up for swimming lessons! Just so happens Cheri's daughter teaches....