Thursday, 18 April 2013

People Watching - Soft Play Style

We've spent the morning at our local soft play place.  You know the drill, a warehouse at the far end of an industrial estate, filled with other people's screaming children, running round at 100 miles an hour, hyped up on a mix of fruity bottled drinks & cheesy puffs.

Well, never mind the kids.  My favourite game at soft play is watching the parents &
carers.  See if you can spot anyone you know.

The Shadow  Can't be more than 3 foot from their precious darling, whether said precious darling wants their parent to hover over them or not.  Often to be found tutting about other parents.

I'm saying nothing.
The Overgrown Kid  Similarly to The Shadow, never far from their child.  At least in theory.  However, they aren't watching their child, they're too busy playing on the slides themselves.  Often to be found buried in the bottom of the ball pit, sat on by someone else's children, having balls and foam shapes thrown at their heads from close range.

The iPhone Owner  (Other smart phones are available)  They're present.  Physically.  Just about.  But they're sat as far as humanly possible away from the play area, giving 100% attention to their phone.  Their little darling is either tugging at their trouser leg, shouting "mummeeeeeee, look at me", or busy throwing things at The Overgrown Kid.

The Smoker  Not even present, they popped outside for a ciggie half an hour ago, asking someone else if they can mind their beloved offspring for a couple of minutes.  Now either chainsmoking, gossiping, or gone to the corner shop for a loaf.  (Please note, I have nothing against smokers per se, especially outside away from me, but that special breed of smokers who take advantage)

Supermum This parent shuns the tuck shop.  Secreted in that designer change bag (for it always is), is an entire wholesome picnic lunch.  Sandwiches on wholegrain bread, fruit, mineral water, carrot sticks, not a refined sugar or processed carbohydrate in sight.  They're probably not local, because they wouldn't be here if they knew where the park was. Either that or it's raining.

The Cool Gang You probably went to school with them.  The poisonous girls who'd spend their breaktime in the corner of the yard passing nasty comments about everyone who wasn't cool enough to be part of their gang.  They're still around.  They're standing in the corner of the soft play, ignoring their kids, and passing the same nasty comments.  They may also have a few 9 year old daughters who will be practising much the same nasty looks & comments.

Play or Party?  There, might be paying attention.  But, woah.  This is a children's soft play area.  Sheer blouses, miniskirts & stiletto heels?  Really?  Oh, right, I see which child is yours.  The three year old with glitter eyeliner, a mini skirt and a top with an inappropriate slogan.  Nice.

LOL.  There's normal folk there as well, somewhere.  You just have to look closely.

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