I took my Small One to a local indoor playground today... one of those places with all the different bouncy houses and slides. There was a torrential downpour going on, and she was running around the house like a madwoman, jumping on furniture and yelling at the pets, so I thought a bouncy house might do her some good.
And anyway, she had a blast in the one she visited on the Fourth of July, with her Daddy:
But today? No dice. She was all excited about it on the way, all dressed in her piggy shirt and shoes with flowers "MY poggies! MY Fwowers! Ride car! Bounce!" And she was quite charming as the woman was checking us in and taking my money. In fact, when we walked in the door she tried to climb into the first bouncy thing she saw, with her shoes still on.
I sat down with her and took off her shoes, and fully expected her to go tearing into a bouncy house, but...no. I picked her up and put her in one. She pushed past me to jump back out. I tried to climb into a bouncy house with her (at the suggestion of the staff)...no way, Jose. She got a little frantic, yelling "No bounce! No bounce!"
I was stymied. I put her down, and she ran over to the toys that were scattered about, and started playing with them, but let's be honest, folks- I'm not paying five bucks so my kid can play with toys! She has toys at home, actually. I got down on her level, and said "What is it? Why don't you want to bounce?" and she looked at me very seriously, pointed, and said "Mouth."
I looked where she was pointing, and sure enough, there was a mouth. A great big caterpillar shaped bouncy house, with a big, red, gaping mouth, and children were climbing through and disappearing. (It was a slide, and it led into a tunnel that emptied out behind the other houses, so it did appear they weren't coming out again.)
It looked something like this:
Of course, you'll realize that indoors and quite large, that thing is a little intimidating. Still, I tried to reason with her. I carried her towards it, she attempted to climb over my back and get away.
I said "It's not a real mouth, though, it's just pretend!"
She looked at me skeptically, and said, rather matter of factly, "Eyes."
Have I mentioned she is, by far, the most analytical of my children? Can't really blame her for not wanting to climb into the caterpillar's gaping maw, now can I?
At least the staff was kind enough to refund my money.