Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Family Fun Meets the Birthday Party From Hades

One of the coolest times to step off the merry-go-round and have some family fun....is Bowling in December.  Most of the people are so busy going to kids concerts, shopping for gifts, going to holiday parties and all the craziness that is Christmas....that the bowling alleys are pretty much empty during the week.

Perfect time to take your kids. Especially if you go around 3-4pm.

So we choose our day, picked the girls up from school, and headed for the alley.

It was empty when we arrived.

Which is awesome.

And they have the programmable bumpers that pop up only for the bowler that needs them. And they have the dinosaur to roll the ball off of.
So all 4 of us we set to have some fun.

At Mighty Mouse's age, its more about teaching her how to be a bowler.  How to hold the ball. How to stay off the deck when its not your turn.  How to make sure you don't go up on deck when the people on either side of you are on deck, etc.
Songbird is an old pro.
She just needed to get warmed up.

I think bowling is probably more common for kids in the military population.  I grew up in bowling alleys.  My parents were in leagues...which is a pretty big thing in the military...especially when you are overseas and there are very limited entertainment options.  And here in the states we still take advantage of our on base bowling alleys as they have great family deals.

But there are certainly draw-backs to this.

As a large percentage of the other bowlers end up being unmarried GI's- in their 20's.  And the language.  And the adult humor.  So earlier in the day is better for families in my personal opinion.

But even at that -- there are just things that don't ever belong in a bowling alley.

Like a birthday party for 2-4 year olds.

Does. Not. Belong.

Especially if the adults involved have NO INTENTION of watch those little babies.

The ones that were running across 6 lanes of bowlers.  Most of these full grown men throwing 20 pound balls at amazing speeds and aren't looking for a 3 year old to run right in front of them.  ( And why should they???)

So, here's Autumns top reasons why a Birthday Party for 2-4 year olds should never be in a bowling alley:

1.  It's dangerous.  If the adults involved have no intention of doing anything other than feeding their faces and gossiping, a large building where someone can easily walk out with any one of about 6 children that were totally unsupervised is not a good ideal.  And don't tell me that a military base is safe.  I was on search parties for a week looking for a 4 year old boy taken off of a base we lived on. He was raped and killed.  And this was not a kids environment on any level. No matching armbands to leave with a child.  Unmanned doors at both ends of the building.

2. Children that are not bowling need to be kept off the deck so other paying customers are not disturbed. Its distracting to the people next to you or down right blocking them from bowling. And ignoring their pleas to get off their lane by turning your back and leaving the kid in the way also makes you a special kind of trash.  And they will complain and get moved to another lane...and end up not paying when the alley wants to make them happy -- which makes the employees very unhappy and unfriendly to you.  Hostile hosts - fun party?

3.  Bowling balls are pretty.  They are also heavy.  And that beautiful little 3 year old girl that is totally unsupervised and wandering the pits will want to pick one up.  And when she begins to sweat and shake you know she's going to drop it.  The only question is will it be on her foot....and will there be an ER visit involved?  And you know what...those adults that would normally rush to her aide....wont step in when its the 10th time and we are all tired of chasing kids out of our way on our lanes and none of the party adults can be bothered to care. Ever seen about 20 adults NOT help a child - turn their backs so as not to see? Try this and see what happens.

4.  When the people in the lane next to you are pissed about all the kids running in front of them and ask you to keep kids off the deck and your answer is "it will be hard" you look like a complete idiot that needs their children removed from your home.  You can go to war.  You can pass a military top secret clearance. You can be called to kill for your country.  But you can't keep a 4 year old off the wooden floor???  Then you DON'T BELONG THERE.

5. Young men in the middle of bowling are not looking for pedestrians to run in front of them while they are racing up to throw a ball.  Ghee...I wonder what's going to happen next.

6. And young men that are not happy about unsupervised children messing with the games they are paying for? Well, their language gets inappropriate for little bitties.  And they get loud about it.  And they use humor and subjects in front of said children on purpose as pay back.  They are just kids themselves....what do you expect?

7.  And lastly, if you do this, you will be pointed out as the kind of parents that should not have children. And used as an example for what bad parenting looks like.  And get kids parties removed from the location.

Now - absolutely 100% of this mess was the adults faults.  Several of them. From several families.  And when the employees of the alley are yelling at you to watch your children and telling you they are not the babysitters for the kids....you should take note.

And although I would have liked to kick the father of the bday child up high...I was not rude. But I did ask to be moved...and was.  And when we left I did tell the manager I'd be happy to witness WHEN they filled out the accident report that was sure to come.  Because that was actually the first time I've wondered where Child Protective Services is when you need them.

So my party throwing friends.....wait until your kids are of an age where you can teach them to be safe before trying the bowling alley.  For your own peace of mind and the others around you.

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