Our children have never had a true I-don’t-really-know-you-but-I-am-entrusting-you-with-the-life-of-my-child babysitter. We have been fortunate to have my sister, our parents, and our close friends be able to babysit when we really needed someone. We really enjoy our children. (We chose to have them, I would hope we would want to spend time with them.) Now that they both enjoy talking and hearing themselves talk, it has become increasingly more difficult to have a conversation before 10 PM without being interrupted 15 times. I had an “aha!” moment this past weekend while we were eating lunch at Chick-fil-A. It is very, very rare that we eat inside a fast food restaurant. Eating for me is not an event. I have things to do and places to go. I want to eat and go. If we go inside somewhere, it takes F-O-R-E-V-E-R. Add in a playground and you might as well forget your plans for the rest of the day. Maybe I was giddy about the fact that we were going to get a TV or maybe they just hit me at a good moment, but I agreed to go inside and eat…and there was a playground. I found a booth by the glassed-in playground and told the girls they could go in and play while their dad ordered. You can’t hear anything going on inside the playground from outside the glass walls. Ed got the food and sat down and we could talk in normal voices and hear each other. The food was hot…they won’t eat food when it was hot…might as well let them play a little longer…they are having so much fun…might as well let them keep playing…WHY DID IT TAKE ME FIVE YEARS to figure out that we could take our kids to a fast food restaurant with a playground and have an adult conversation?? The glass walls were definitely a plus. We could see the action without hearing the squeals. I get headaches very easily and the high-pitched squeals really get to me. Also, as wonderful as the sound of children’s laughter is, I work in a preschool…when I hear a crowd of children yelling and squealing and laughing, I feel like I am at work. Our kids left happy because they thought they got a real treat and Ed and I left happy because we actually got to have a normal conversation!
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