Chuck E Cheese: Not for a large pregnant woman

Can you believe I got Not Mommy of the Year to guest post here? I stalk her blog pretty silently – generally having no idea what to comment. I like her blog, a lot. We just don’t interact as much as two working moms with blogs could. So I was pretty shocked that she responded to my call for guest posters. Please, please, be very nice to her. I think she’s way worth it.
Sometimes I like to let others learn from my mistakes. I seethis parenting thing as a big community. Where you screw something up, I takethe opportunity to learn from it, where I can give you advice, I jump in. Evenif the advice was unsolicited.  
So when I read the post for guest bloggers, I immediatelythought when I was pregnant with my second baby. How I wanted to hang ontothose moments where we were a family of three and give Chessa memories as anonly child. (Or at least pictures – since Cole came when she was 17-months old,she’ll never remember life before him.) 
And I remembered the day that I’m writing about here.  If you take anything away from this, takethis as my warning to not cross the Chuck E Cheese threshold late in yourpregnancy. 
Can I get an Amen?
- – - – - – -
Two weeks before Cole’s scheduled delivery, I froze.  In two short weeks, I would never be a motherto one again.  I would never be able totake Chessa anywhere, by herself, where all the attention was on her withoutarranging child care for another baby.
It was time to make some memories. And take some photos ofour family of three.  
I had visions of chasing her around a park, going for longwalks or finding an amusement park. 
The only problem was that it was late February and I live inCentral PA.  It was a warm day, but therewas still two feet of snow on the ground. 
My memory is a little fuzzy on which one of us suggestedChuck E Cheese, but I’m going to blame Craig. (I’m the one writing this so Ican do that.)  So, when Chessa woke upfrom nap, I dressed her, called the grandparents who wanted to come with us andwe drive 25 miles to the nearest Chuck E Cheese, or, Chuck E Place Where KidsGo Insane, as I like to call it now.  
We walked into the dimly lit activity center, got our handsstamped by the 14 year old security guard, and paused for a moment to take itall in.  
The pulsing lights. 
The loud, obnoxious music.
The smell of cheap pizza and feet.
The 6-foot mice dancing on stage.  
At 38 weeks pregnant, I kneeled down to my 17-month oldfirst born and said, with as much excitement as I could muster, “check it out,Baby Girl.  Do you want to pl—“ 
And then I was spun around by a four-year-old determined tobe next in line for Wack A Mole. 
Moments later we found our way into the slightly safertoddler area. 
Chessa sat in the rocking car thing and we pumped it full ofquarters.  Each time when it ended, Craigor I would ask her if she wanted to play with something else.  
“NO!! No! No! No! No.”  
On the rocking car we stayed.  
Eventually, other kids, who looked a wee bit big for thetoddler area, started circling my little girl on her rocking chair and as themom who doesn’t want to annoy other kids, I moved her to a jungle gym.
Craig walked her to the slide, we coaxed her into comingdown, and I caught her.  
“WHHHEEEE!” Isn’t that fun?!  
“No!” she said running back to the rocking car. 
As the giant kid who was riding it looked at her, kicked andsaid “MINE!” Craig picked her up and took her to the basketball hoop.  
I pumped in quarters and Craig tried to show her how fun itwas to score baskets.  I chased the ballsthat bounced off the rim. As athletic as he may be, shooting baskets whileholding a squirmy toddler who is crying because she wants to ride the car iseasier said than done.  
Side note to say: Do you all realize how bloody HOT it isinside Chuck E Cheese?  
Finally, what seemed like hours but was really only 27minutes passed and Craig looked at me to say “I’m ready when you —”
“Let’s go!”  
We took a family trip to Sam’s Club, pushed Chessa in thecart, enjoyed the regulated temperature, ate some free samples and all wasright with the world. 
 Go check out Not Mommy of the Year. Seriously.
22 Responses to Chuck E Cheese: Not for a large pregnant woman
  1. vinobaby
    October 25, 2011 | 5:15 am

    Chuck E Cheese is an absolute nightmare any day, time, or condition. But I have never been in there when pregnant (thank God). That must have been rough.

    We have one AT THE END OF OUR NEIGHBORHOOD. Torture. But I did discover the DO sell wine(won't help you when your preggers though–sorry).

    Great post. Nice to “meet” you. Cheers.

  2. Alison@Mama Wants This
    October 25, 2011 | 6:09 am

    I'm amazed you lasted 27 minutes :)

  3. Robbie K
    October 25, 2011 | 6:39 am

    i can relate. We did the same thing though I wasn't nearly as preggo at the time. i did have a sprained ankle and my now yet 3 yr old climbed up into those ginormous waaaay high tunnels and freaked out. As a girl who is afraid of heights with a sprained ankle and a preggo belly there was no way in hell I was going up there. Luckily my BFF's 4 yr old daughter was able to come to our rescue and lure Einstein out of there.

  4. The Random Blogette
    October 25, 2011 | 7:00 am

    That place gives me the hives as soon as I walk through the doors. I have to give my CEC credit though, the recently did some remodeling and it isn't as dark and hot but it is still nasty!

  5. Evonne
    October 25, 2011 | 7:08 am

    I absolutely hate CEC! The last time I was there was for a birthday party for my son's friend. This friend's parents trapped us for 4 hours by continuing to give us tokens. Pure hell!

  6. Leighannn
    October 25, 2011 | 7:16 am

    OMG… I hate Chuck E Cheese.
    Bless you for giving it a shot.

  7. wendy @ mama one to three
    October 25, 2011 | 7:17 am

    I have never been! you paint a clear enough picture of it though. thanks anyway!

  8. Elly
    October 25, 2011 | 8:53 am

    I've been once in my adult life, to take my kids to a birthday party. I will never ever ever ever go again. Ace has been relegated to being the Chuck E. Cheese parent. In ours I've never seen so many poorly behaved older children and teenagers (and a lot of the supposed adults were really bad too.) I had hoped it was just our location that seemed psychoville, but nope, it's apparently all of them. I'm glad you got out in one piece! I think pregnant woman around the world should read your tale of caution and take heed before crossing that pizza oil soaked threshold.

  9. Poppy
    October 25, 2011 | 9:46 am

    Loved this. Did you know they only allow you to order one beer an hour? Of course not, you were pregnant.

  10. Christine Siracusa
    October 25, 2011 | 10:41 am

    Hate it with the intensity of a thousand suns. My parents go there with the kids. I can't open the door without gagging because, as you say, feet. If I had ever gone pregnant I'm not sure I would have survived.

    Excellent advice. Avoid at all costs.

  11. Lady Jennie
    October 25, 2011 | 10:47 am

    Sounds like a nightmare under the best of circumstances.

  12. Jessica
    October 25, 2011 | 12:35 pm

    This just confirms my thoughts that no one should go to Chuck E. Cheese, pregnant or not.

  13. Krista @ Not Mommy of the Year
    October 25, 2011 | 1:59 pm

    KLZ – thank you so much for having me here. I love your blog and your readers. It feels so warm and comfy.

  14. Life As Wife
    October 25, 2011 | 2:08 pm

    I went to Chuck e Cheese for a neighbor's daughters birthday. The kids loved it but I didn't see the appeal. You get double brownie points for even wanting to brave the place!!

  15. angela
    October 25, 2011 | 6:44 pm

    I've never taken my kids. My daughter (3 1/2) asks what it is when we drive past, and I act all surprised every time. “Oh! I don't know. There's a mouse on the sign. Maybe they sell cheese? Do you want to listen to the Glee soundtrack for the millionth time?”

  16. Kimberly
    October 25, 2011 | 9:34 pm

    I hate Chuck E. Cheese. I'm surprised you lasted 27 minutes!

    And central PA? We're kind of close!

  17. Jackie
    October 25, 2011 | 11:50 pm

    I hate CEC! I took my son there once by myself. We went in and played games. He was having a blast, and I thought, ok maybe we WILL stay and eat pizza. We didn't. Just when I had decided too, a fight broke out among some adults. It was horrible. I grabbed my son and got out of there. Never again! I've always heard about fights breaking out at CECs, but never believed it until then. I mean, who does that? Ugh!

  18. Kir
    October 26, 2011 | 5:04 am

    We have only been there once and it was enough!!! Isn't Chuck E Cheese the 9th ring of Hell? Yep, thought so ;) and sooooo pregnant. You deserve High Five for that! Nice to meet u!!!

  19. Amanda @ It's Blogworthy
    October 26, 2011 | 8:20 am

    I'm 0 weeks pregnant and wouldn't go to a chucky cheese…this is a brave woman and we should all learn from her mistakes ;)

  20. MamaMash
    October 26, 2011 | 9:24 pm

    Who is the sick freak who invented CEC in the first place? That place is insane. Also, in my hometown it's well known for large fist fights.

    Ridiculous. Sams is much better.

  21. Booyah's Momma
    October 26, 2011 | 10:00 pm

    I love the fact that you got Krista to guest post for you. She was actually one of the first blogs I subscribed to when I first started blogging.

    I can so relate to this, as I too am a Chuck-E-Boycotter. And I second the motion that they need to reinvent their slogan from “Where a kid can be a kid” to “Where a parent can go insane.”

  22. The Empress
    October 29, 2011 | 10:11 am

    CanNOT take that place.

    CanNot.

    It's so much worse than WalMart at 10 PM.

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