A.k.a. “Chuck E. Cheese’s.”
Today was my darling son’s fourth birthday (seriously? How did this happen?) Ever since he learned to talk he has been on about going to Chuck E. Cheese’s. The nearest one is in the city and Robert and I have never been inclined to waste a meal eating there when we’ve been in the neighborhood so we hadn’t indulged him as yet. When I decided we were going to forgo a party this year I came up with the idea of coming up here and doing a little party, just the five of us, at Chuck E. Cheese’s. He has also been asking me continually since our Tulsa trip last month, “When are we going to go to the hotel again?” so we decided to make it an overnight trip. Now we’re here at the AmeriSuites; Eliza and I safely ensconced in our room and Robert and the older two down at the pool.
Prior to Chuck E.’s we made a visit to the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History at OU. We’d been before but it had been over a year so the kids didn’t have much recollection of the previous visit. They loved it! Johnny, who is slightly obsessed with the movie “Night at the Museum”, was thrilled to see “Rexie” in the dinosaur display area. It was actually an Allosaurus and not a T-Rex but we didn’t tell him that!
The party was at 4:00 and it went well. We got pizza and an appetizer platter and cake. Chuck E. himself came out and put on a show. Then JZ opened his gifts, which were all a hit. Robert and the kids then spent another hour-and-a-half after that spending all the tokens which had come with our birthday package while I spent most of the time hanging out in the van with Eliza (believe me, it was preferable to simmering any longer in that flashing, blinking, pinging, child-infested hell).
Incidentally, everyone to whom I’d mentioned Chuck’s had warned me that the food stunk but, and maybe this is just because I was starving, I didn’t think it was too bad. Keep in mind, though, that I am a fan of crappy pizza – I actually like Domino’s. But Robert didn’t think it was too bad, either. It’s not like we’ll be driving along in the city next time we come up and suddenly say, “Gosh, I’m in the mood for some Chuck E. Cheese’s!” but it wasn’t terrible. I wasn’t sorry I wasted being hungry eating there, let’s put it that way. So perhaps, in the future, we can be talked into going there again. It will have to be a while down the road, though. I need time to recover.
I have to give props to Eliza, too. She saved the full meltdown mode until we were actually in the car, heading for the hotel. She was running on fumes and I fully expected her to fall apart as soon as we got in the restaurant. She held it together admirably, though. I wish I could say the same for the birthday boy, who had a screaming hissy fit in the hotel room about wearing his floaty over his bathing suit. Eliza was going, full-bore, by this time, as well. I’m sure the people in the rooms on either side of us were thrilled to bits that we’d arrived. We got the floaty crisis sorted out, though, and the three of them took off for the pool, and I got Eliza to sleep very easily (though she’s already woken up once, about forty minutes after she went down, which I’m hoping is not a portent of things to come tonight).
All in all I think Johnny had a great birthday. Madalyn had fun, Eliza wasn’t a total terror, and Robert and I found everything fairly tolerable so I think the day was a success all around.