A commercial is airing where they mention a parent climbing into one of those kids’ indoor playground equipment made of hard plastic. You know the ones that cover half a warehouse and are made of plastic tubes and slides, nets, pits with plastic balls, etc. Think of one of those fast-food playgrounds then quadruple its size.
Kids love these creations and there are few places as loud and boisterous as these indoor playgrounds. Parents like them to a point. Before that point, the parent rationalizes their children are at least getting some exercise and having fun. That point occurs when you lose sight of where your child or children are in said structure. Invariably, as the dad, I was obligated to climb in and locate our child.
One of the things they don’t tell you about the playground equipment is the plastic they use is hard. And, when you use achy knees like mine to crawl into those tubes, it bloody hurts. It is one of the reasons I do not do the Yoga poses where the knees take the brunt of the pressure.
What tickled me is most often, one of our children, would just get tired and find a resting place in said structure. Our worries were real, but fortunately the results were explainable. Nonetheless, losing sight of a child is a harrowing experience, whether it the playground or worse, such as a store, ballpark or zoo, which each happened to us. Even for only a few seconds, those seconds seem much longer as you search and retrace steps.
To me the second worst thing about these playground or event places, is playing the mechanical or electronic arcade games (Whack-a-mole, Skeetball, pinball, etc.) to win these tickets to exchange for cheap toys that will be long forgotten in a day or two. These places have this down to a science, spend money for the euphoria of getting a cheap gift. The kids loved it, though.
Yet, I will play those games with the kids any day over climbing into the hard plastic playground. I preferred the fast-food playgrounds as I could visualize the entire set-up and they usually crafted small windows the kids would peek out of to let you know where they were in the structure. Of course, I had to eat those high calorie fast-food meals for the privilege. Pass the ketch-up.