Raising a Blended Family

First Trip to a Childhood Mecca

on November 7, 2013

A few days ago, we took Pax on his first trip to that Mecca of childhood, that symbol of childhood magic and freedom, that one place that every child asks their parents to go see…

…the McDonald’s play place.

I know, I know, you were probably thinking Disneyland or something. Sorry about that.

Anyways, we were on a long car trip and in our second or third hour on the road, and Pax decided he was done. D-o-n-e done. I knew we needed to get off the road and I knew that he needed somewhere to get out of his carseat and get moving for a little while. It was too rainy and cold to stop at a park but then those magical Golden Arches flashed by like a sign from the fast food Gods themselves, and best of all, underneath the arches were the words “playplace.” Hot damn!


We peeled off the road and skidded into a parking spot, and when I grabbed the screaming baby from his car seat he magically just stopped crying. It was like he knew.

In we went, and after a quick food purchase, were on our way to the inner Mecca itself. Blatantly disregarding both the posted age limits (4-12 years) and the posted “no shoes” signs (no way was I exposing my feet to that floor and I figured his Skidderz didn’t count), Pax was on his way to fast-food-playplace-bliss. And y’all, this was like the Holy Grail of all playplaces… It had the standard tubes and slides, but it also had a fuzball table, a basketball court (I kid you not), play station games, and some extra tubes and slides. It was HUGE!


Pax wasn’t sure what to approach first but he got into it pretty quickly. He expediently went for his favorite activity
In The World (stair climbing!) and started at it.



He got a bit distressed once we got up into the tunnels themselves, perhaps because the cacophony of older children screaming was a little overwhelming at that point in time, but a quick exit and a trip to the ball court led to a happy Pax toddling around with a “basketball” for the rest of our time there.




He also made a little friend who was only two days older than him and they were taking turns “sharing” (read: stealing) the ball from each other. I don’t have pictures of this because frankly, I wasn’t sure if the mom-taking-pictures-of-other-people’s-children-at-mcd’s-playplace was something that would fly or that I wanted to chance seeing again on news headlines the next day, with the tag line “Have you seen this woman?”. So I stuck to taking pics of my own kid instead.

At the end of the hour the toddler was successfully toddled out, as evidenced by the fact that he passed. the frick. out. as soon as we got on the road again. And hey, if he came out of there with a few million more germs than he walked in there with (complimentary hand sanitizing wipes notwithstanding), well, that’s what childhood is all about, right? Building immunity through the transfer of snot and other nasties onto shared play equipment, which other children then touch with their hands which then go into their mouths at some point. Shudder.


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