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10 reasons taking your kids to the soft play centre is never worth the effort!!

After three days of rain, stories, colouring books, toddler tantrums and CBeebies, I could take no more.

My house was covered in stickers and the kids were playing a new game called ‘Who Can Make Mummy Swear First’.

I had run out of biscuits and patience. I had to get out. The children needed to burn off energy and I needed them to leave me the hell alone for five minutes.

So I decided to visit the soft play centre. Three hours later I began to wish I hadn’t.

This is why it was just not worth the effort:

1. My children love the soft play centre

But once I have actually paid the admission fee it seems they hate the place. At least, until I announce it is time to go home – then they don’t want to leave.

2. As soon I enter the building I am hit by the stench of daddy sweat and child vomit

Coupled with the deafening sounds of crying babies, screaming kids and shouting parents. I reluctantly approach the seating area greeted by the knowing smiles of other parents, who are all thinking ‘welcome to hell sucker.’

3. There are no clean tables so I settle for the least sticky

4. The floor is dirty, so I do not remove my shoesI keep my shoes on and take the frowns of the other parents on the chin. I am a soft play rebel. Not only does it just feel plain wrong going shoeless in a public place, but have you seen the crap on the floor of a soft play centre? There is no way I am going to risk treading on a used baby wipe, a sucked lollipop or in a puddle of fruit shoot/wee/vomit.

5. There are Idiot Big Kids in the baby area

The sign clearly states ages 3 AND UNDER. I am not sure whether the parents of these Idiot Big Kids simply can’t read signs or are just idiots themselves. In no other situation would it be OK to let your six-year-old jump on a younger child, but it seems that at the soft play centre, it’s acceptable to let them dive bomb into a pool full of plastic balls and babies.

6. The Mystery Wet Patch

When it comes to a wet patch at the soft play centre always assume the worst. Whether you have sat in it, trodden on it, or your baby has fallen head first into it – do not hesitate to head straight for the toilet armed with anti-bacterial gel and baby wipes.

7. The Empty Threats

‘Can you stop throwing your shoes at the baby or we are going home right now.’

I know this is a lie. I have just paid £3.95 per child for this so there is no way I am leaving until everyone has had a bloody good time.

8. Tantrum Triggers

Sweets, ‘I want to go on the big slide’, ‘I hate the big slide’, Fruit Shoots, ice creams, other children, the machine with crappy toys for £1. Soft play centres are awash with tantrum triggers.

9. I spent around 90 per cent of the time yelling ‘do not lick that ball’ or ‘do you need a wee?’

10.The dramatic finale when I thought my child had been kidnappedThe toddler is happily playing in the ball pool and the baby is in the highchair eating a biscuit so I let my guard down. I finally managed to take a sip of my (horrible, now cold) coffee, but when I looked up my daughter had disappeared. I immediately went into panic mode.Someone must have stolen my child. What kind of mother sips coffee while her pre-schooler plays two feet away in a secure play area? I call her name. I shout to the people next to me that I have lost a child. They do not even seem worried. I run to the front desk and tell the soft play staff to call the police. They tell me not to worry and ask what my child is wearing.I have no idea. What kind of mother can’t remember what her own child is wearing?

Just then I hear a familiar scream coming from the big slide, so I run into the toddler area.

‘Excuse me madam,’ shouts a member of the soft play staff. ‘Can you remove your shoes please?’

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