Sunday, November 05, 2006
Riot at the Mouse House!
We just got back from taking Ethan to a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese. Oh dear God. What have I done?! Ethan's birthday party (he'll be 5!!!) is next weekend at the very same hellish child's playground. I'm now dreading it.

First - the cost of having a birthday party at this Mouse Hole has skyrocketed astronomically. When Ashton was 4, she had a birthday party there, and the thing was about $5.99 per child. About 7 kiddo's showed, and the hubby and I congratulated ourselves on celebrating her birthday frugally. But now - Ethan has decided that he must, he MUST have his party there. Coincidently - a little boy in Ethan's class had HIS party there tonight, and my husband and I now have an inkling of what next weekend will be like. We are frightened. You see - I made the reservations, and was SHOCKED to find out that the price per child has risen to $9.99/head. Ouch. Hopefully - not all the kids (11 of them) will show. But according to the mother tonight...sweet dreams, but it ain't gonna happen. Every single kid in Ethan's class was there ALONG with their siblings.

But that's not all. Out of 11 children invited, they ended up with 23. ANNNDD -- there's no polite way for the hosting parent to tell the invited 5 year old guest that their baby brother/sister/cousin's uncle's girlfriend's child cannot attend. At least, that was the gist of the conversation I had with the mother tonight. The table next to their party was set up and it seemed as if this other family was experiencing the very same dilemma that this party was having.

To put it lightly - it was complete and utter chaos in that room.


The Mouse himself showed up. Now - apparently, the employee who was ensconced in the costume was a new employee and VERY ENTHUSIASTIC about being Chuck E. Cheese. So - he came CHARGING out of the room that the mouse makes his grand entrance in with the song "WHO LET THE MOUSE OUT" blaring thru the speakers. (Obviously - Who let the mouse out is a rip off of the Baha Men song.. Just thought I'd throw that in there) And he BOUNCED. Out the door, down the aisles and bounced right on up to the first table (the one we were sitting at) while 23 (and 23 more at the table next to us) children sat in silence.

The silence should have clued us in. We had no clue that the children were slowly coiling those hidden springs that children have in their bodies....

Complete Pandemonium ensued. Roughly 50 children went completely still for about 3 seconds, before either shitting themselves, or trying to rocket out of the room where the mouse had them caged. Children were climbing UP on to tables and launching themselves on the first adult available. I caught Avery as she dove underneath a table - and my husband collared Ethan as he screamed past us on his third lap around the room searching for an exit. For some reason - all these children who were just wild about Chuck E. decided that he was now an EVIL SATANIC MOUSE and sought cover (and I don't think they are wrong.) Chuck E. Cheese though, was bouncing off the wall, trying to find the door from which he had just come out. However - a small child had run into Chuck E. full tilt, and knocked Chuck E's head sideways. The mouse was now blind and couldn't turn the head back to where the person inside could see. Apparently - Chuck E. Cheese has strict rules about the employee impersonating the mouse to never NEVER remove the head while in view of the children. The sight of the mouse frantically bashing itself into walls and falling over, frightened the children even further. One of the older children in the room shrieked out the Chuck E. had RABIES, which didn't help the panic level at all.

Finally, the Chuck E. Cheese manager made it into the showroom, (he had a time trying to get in cause of the steady outflow of terrified children), and managed to escort Chuck E. Cheese back thru the door from which he came.

And it began to calm down. Kinda. All we heard was crys of "Moommmy!!! Mommmyyy!!!" and sniffles and hiccups. The parents were trying to get the birthday boy to open his gifts, but he was too frightened to sit down at the table. We finally coaxed the children back into the showroom, but that was no easy task. Most of them had made it into the playroom area and taken refuge in the gerbil tubes, refusing to exit. My hubs climed up the tubes and started pushing the kids out. He said they were all sitting in one of the tubes in a line... kinda like a miniature sit down strike. But - he just pushed one into the other until they cascaded down the curling slide and another parent caught them as they came out. Each parent grabbed a crying child and brought them back into the Lair of the Mouse. We got them to sit at the table, but they all kept sneaking looks at the door to make sure that DEVIL MOUSE wouldn't make another bouncing appearance.

When the last gift was opened, we said our goodbyes, and left. As we drove away - I asked Ethan "WHY?? WHY do you want your party there if you are soooo scared of Chuck E. Cheese?".

"I don't know."

grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr... I'll let you know how it goes.
posted by Norman at 5:54 PM | Permalink |


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