DISCLAIMER ALERT: What happened at an indoor play centre in Sydney’s west yesterday is inexcusable in every way.
A brawl broke out between parents at a six-year-old’s birthday party at Lollipop’s Playground and Cafe in Wetherill Park on Saturday afternoon. Apparently, two children bumped into each other, and as a result a grown man pulled a little girl’s hair and all hell broke loose.
Police are now hunting for several men over the incident, another three are in hospital and a whole lot of kids are traumatised by seeing their adults acting like mindless animals.
There is no excuse for that level of thugish brutality, at a play centre, or anywhere else. You are the GROWN-UPS here, people. You are meant to be teaching your children how to be humans, how to handle conflict, how not to be arseholes.
All these guys have done is taught their children that their parents are idiots. Full stop.
SO, with that massive disclaimer out of the way… I have a question for every parent who has ever – as I did yesterday morning – spent any time in an indoor play centre with their child.
Weren’t you tempted to commit violence? Even (most probably) on yourself?
Indoor play places are one of the very worst things about parenting. In fact, about the world. They are the seventh circle of hell, dressed up with primary colours and a monkey-themed cafe.
They can make you question everything about your life and your choices – before lunchtime on a Saturday.
And here’s why:
1. The coffee is ALWAYS terrible.
It costs $5 a cup and tastes like it was made from shoe-scrapings and warm tap-water. And you had to wait 15 minutes for it. Note to play-centre staff: Parents are VERY picky about their coffee. It’s one of the few pleasures they have left.
2. The food is worse.
Yes, hot chips are great any time, any place, but you know that in a parent-rich environment, they come with a hefty side of judgement. So you order the “healthy” option, which is a couple of limp white-bread cucumber sandwiches and an old apple. The fun is over, and the the NO OUTSIDE FOOD IS TO BE BROUGHT IN EVER EVER EVER sign is mocking you as you argue with your kids about the absence of hot chips.