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Where a Kid can be a Kid

Birthday party season has begun. 

I have had some interesting experiences with birthday parties with a crazy Martha Stewart wanna-be mom here and a crazy opposite of Martha Stewart wanna-be mom here.

As painful as some of these birthday parties have been – we have managed to avoid one place.

Anytime my children see the commercials for Chuck E.
Cheese they beg and plead for me to bring them to this magical place.  I have been telling them for years – that (even though there are blatantly children their age in the ads) only teenagers can go there.

A couple of weeks ago, we got an invitation for both kids to go to a birthday party.  Sometimes I throw invitations I don’t like into the garbage and hope for the best – but there was no way that I would get away with that for a party that they were both invited to.  I would not be able to beat the system….


“Wait – Michael has soccer practice on Friday nights! Oh well….can’t go.” I said as my husband ( I will just call him Mr. Gaga) and I were standing at our kitchen island going through the mail.

“They are going to the party,” he said without even looking up from something he was reading.

So let me digress and give a little background on this situation.  Mr. Gaga played football his whole life, like it was his job.  Year-round, all weekend, every weekend, all summer. 

He never had a real summer job, he never went to summer camp that wasn’t sports-related, AND (this is apparently the big one) – he never really made it to a lot of birthday parties.

Guess what his prize was for all of his hard work?

Was he getting fat eating Smurf cake or getting bruised knees from all of the falling down at the roller-rink like the rest of us? (it was the 80’s)


He got to go to college for free!!

Not even just a “here are some free classes and a free room scholarship” – The full ride I am talking about is the kind where you don’t even buy a french fry or a pencil.

Stone-cold free college at a Division 1 School.

Oh – that was a totally horrible thing that happened right??

Boo- hoo.

You can see why he would still be harboring weird resentments regarding Chuck E. Cheese – right?

“What the eff are you talking about? He doesn’t have to go to the party.” I said.

“Just let him be a kid and have fun – he’s 5 years old – he can miss a practice.” he replied with exasperation.

“OoooKaaayyy, they can go to the party,” I said slowly,”But don’t you think it would be good to teach him about practicing and what it means to commit to a team, and so forth?”

He looked at me like I was an idiot – “Come on – it’s first grade soccer – It’s not a big deal.”

“Ok – well good thing Tiger Wood’s father didn’t think like that……or Lynne Spears.”  – (Damn it – those were the only people I could think of that started their careers as children -but I knew I just shot myself in the foot.)

He couldn’t wait to reply – “Oh yeah – how did that turn out?”

I shrugged – “Ok – then maybe you’re right.  When I go to the party I am going to ask to speak to someone about what kind of scholarship program they offer at Chuck E. Cheese.  Or maybe they could go to Chuck E. Cheese University.”

He smirked – “Good one.”

“Or maybe by the time they go to school there will be some sort of competitive inflatable bounce house teams or they could get sponsored by like a corporate face painting company…..”

So the new plan is instead of hockey and baseball - I am just going to make the kids bounce in this bad-boy everyday.......fingers crossed!!!

The dreaded day came on Friday.  I kind of secretly was looking forward to checking it out.  I remember going for my brother’s birthday when I was like 8 and thinking it was the best place in the world.  I was looking forward to seeing the joy in my kids’ eyes.  I mean how bad could it be?

Um – bad.

Let’s just say that if they were going to make Chuck E. Cheese University they would have to change the tagline to be “Where a kid could be an asshole while his parents gnaw on chicken bones and watch.”

My four-year-old learned real quick when he put his FULL bucket of tokens down on his seat for 30 seconds and it got stolen. 

Then they were playing “Skee Ball” and their tickets came out and some little girl came and ripped them all off and RAN AWAY!!

When I saw her ripping off all of our tickets, I said:

“Did you just rip off their tickets?” thinking that clearly calling her out would shame her into returning them.

“Nope.” she said while she counted her tickets. 

Shocked I looked to see if her parents were watching – they were.  They didn’t care.

Once I saw her parents - I realized I was fighting an uphill battle and just let the girl keep the tickets...

What? You didn’t know you could get wings at Chuck E. Cheese University?

After all of the fun and games it was dinner time!

And you know how I feel about food? You know how I feel about pizza that is not really pizza? I thought maybe there was hope when I saw this very detailed ad in the paper.

See how it maps out all the areas that have been improved? 

Lady goo goo gaga fell for the old “zesty sauce” trick….

What? They zoomed in on a wooden spoon stirring it!!! 

I also fell for the old “variety of quality toppings” trick with a zoomed in picture of green peppers and cauliflower? to prove it. 

False advertising Chuck.  Not improved – it is still really bad. 

But the kids didn’t care- and I could have actually given them their rainboots with some sauce and cheese on it and they would have probably not noticed.

So off to the ticket-muncher we went to redeem our tickets (what was left after we got car-jacked at the Mario Kart game and had to give all of our tickets away to the carjacker.)   Then the kids got to pick out really fancy toys that have pictures of Chuck all over them.

Then we escaped. 

My kids passed out cold when they went to bed probably dreaming of all of the fun and laughs they had.  I had nightmares about cardboard pizza and these creepy weirdos.

Till the next birthday party!

Please click on the banner below to give me a vote for funniest mom blog!!  I am going to need some cheering up….when my husband finds out I called him Mr. Gaga – he is going to kill me………



And F.U. Friday


26 responses »

  1. Almost choked on my pretzel when I read ..“Where a kid could be an asshole while his parents gnaw on chicken bones and watch.” lofl

  2. You have most eloquently expressed my feelings about Chuckie Cheese. Thank you for sharing your talents with us all.

  3. Chuck E. Cheese was even worse in the 80’s. I can’t believe it’s still around. Isn’t it appalling how parents ignore their children at parties? My sister had to run up the big slide at McDonald’s like Mama Rambo to scream at all the mothers to come get their kid’s who had just trampled her daughter and left her crying. She certainly got their attention. It was hysterical.

  4. It literally is the most hideous place on earth. I only had to go to exactly ONE party while raising three children…that has to be some kind of record.

  5. Oooh, Chuck E. Cheese: where a Dad can get a beer and a pedophile can get a job. Ewww. That place is one big pit of pink eye. Even the air feels sticky in there.

    When we moved to a new city and my son asked to go to Chuck E. Cheese, I told him they didn’t have one here (even though they do). It was 2 full years before he got invited to a party there, so for me that was 2 full years of not having to say “no freaking way” when he asked to go.

    You are not a bad mom for pushing for the soccer game. Can I get an AMEN~

  6. Oh oh oh! Thank you Baby Jesus! I couldn’t comment a minute ago but now I can! Yay!

    Ok, I loathe Chucky Cheese. Seriously hate. Little bastards running around like crazy people while their parents stuff their face with disgusting pizza.

    I respect you 100% for taking one for the team.

  7. We can only go to the Chuck E Cheese near us in the mornings. Seriously – by 1pm it’s a crazed maniacal funhouse of pain. And while I do like their pizza, cashing in the tickets and then watching the kids agonize over the CRAP they want to buy with them is nothing short of torture. 🙂

  8. No such place where I live, but I have seen it before. There are arcades for children here, but they aren’t worth going to, as they get so crowded you can hardly move, literally.

  9. I HATE Chuck E Cheese. Though I have my kids convinced that only Grandma can take them there.

    But my oldest keeps asking to have his bday party there this Decemeber. I keep saying NO. We’ll see how that goes.

  10. Thank God there is not one close by. I hated it when I was a kid…I was like 5 and still embarassed by the place. My children have been there just once and if I can help it…Never again! They are all dirty, cheap (and sadly, I’m not talking about the price to have a party or a the trimmings) and awful…Not that anywhere else is better…They know just how to market that mess..Following via blog hop, follow back please:

  11. You’re silly. While I love birthday parties, I understand your apprehension about Chuck E Cheese. Luckily my kids tend to watch all their shows “on demand” so we are spared these chuck e cheese commercials — for now. Also, Mr. Gaga is one lucky bastard.

  12. College for free? I could only hope. I have lots and lots of student loans. And they suck!

  13. LOL! Chuck E. Cheese is the most dangerous place in the world. True story!

    Great post…and thanks for linking up!

  14. Sorry I missed you last week, I was bust getting things ready for IA’s visit!

    When my 17 year old was a baby out Chuck E Cheeses really wasn’t that bad, I would take her during the day when all of the crazies where at school. WHen my 11 year old was in that age range it was nasty and we avoided it like the plague! There’s nothing worse than having your child come out of the ball pit soaked with another kids pee!

    Hope to see you back for TTUT soon!

  15. Oops, I meant- I hope to see you at TTUT next week, unless that’s your Vegas trip than I understand.

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