Soft Play, where parent happiness goes to die…

Ok, so I actually really love soft play. I have an almost walking 9 month old (it’s terrifying) and he does not enjoy being in the house for long periods of time so throwing him in a ball pool, or propping him up with a soft surface to fall on to, is a winner for me.

Now, as a rule, I do not go to soft play on the weekends (if you’re a parent then I’m sure you’ll understand) but today it was pouring with rain, JJ was screaming and fussing and we didn’t know what to do. We figured that everyone was either at Reading Festival or away for bank holiday weekend. Or, as it turns out, at Soft Play. No, it wasn’t that bad but it wasn’t my weekday morning free reign of the baby area that I’ve so come to enjoy.

So, we endured soft play. JJ was unbelievably happy, he toddled along, he bounced on the bouncy castle, he played in a ball pool, for a £1 it was totally worth it. Then, a child BIT me. Normally other people’s children bite your children but not today! A child wandered up behind me squeezed my shoulders and bit me right in the back of the neck. I guess better me than my baby?!

We stopped to feed JJ (something that seems to be needed constantly in his current fussy stage!) and my husband, Pete, looked around the room and said, “Look, I’ve never seen more exhausted parents in one room…” And he was right. It was bleak. Parents were either sat with partners or friends just staring blankly ahead or they were on their phones. But they all looked miserable.

Once JJ was fed and less cranky, Pete’s words, “everyone’s happy” couldn’t have been more true (of our table, definitely not the room!) I couldn’t be more grateful for my happy little family. We can get pretty tired, our baby can be pretty cranky, but I like to think that most of the time I still have a smile on my face. (If I don’t and I look as miserable as all those other parents then someone please tell me?!) I hope that even when JJ is 9 years old I will be sat at a table in soft play smiling and waiting for him to come and excitedly tell me that he conquered ‘that slide’ or climbed a wall. I’d like to think the future isn’t as bleak as it was in that warehouse today! Are you a soft play lover or hater?

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