Entering into a soft play area as a newbie Mum, there are some things I wish I had known or got the “heads up” about before I ventured in.
It kind of reminds me of my first few days in Secondary school, where I also wish I got the heads up on a few things.
Back then, I wore the uniform's sleeveless jumper. This may sound totally normal, but it was SO uncool!
I remember my Mum saying 'oh, that will be perfect now for those slightly warmer days. Oh, you look gorgeous, perfect. But it was far from perfect. This girl who will remain nameless, who in fact turned out to be one of my good friends, in the end, flung a pencil case at my head saying “OOOOOO, YOU SLEEVELESS JUMPER” which I was continued to be called for probably the first week.
So, my first visit to a soft play area was lovely, although I wish I had a heads up on the to do’s and not to do’s.
My little Bobby stayed in the little ball pit the whole time and although I was a nervous wreck due to all the other older kids, he, in fact, was loving it.
I thought, wow, this place is the best thing ever, because each time after our visits he would be shattered and sleep for about an hour. Success, he was happy, and I got a little break.
One afternoon, however, I got talking to these two other mums who were so lovely and friendly until they saw Bobby walking around and asked how old he was?
I told them he was 10 months and the look of horror I got. Both their babies were about 12 or 13 months and were not walking yet which is totally normal, not that there is a “normal” each baby develops at different things, at different times etc… I totally get that, and Bobby is not doing things that other babies his age are, so I totally appreciate and understand that. Each baby grows and develops at their own pace that is right for them and I totally acknowledge that walking at 10 months is very early!
Then both Mums who I was really enjoying talking to and secretly in my head going “oh these girls can be my new mummy friends” I had it all planned out, but they started to move away from me and Bobby and create their own little foursome without us.
I couldn’t believe it, was it because he was walking, and their babies were not yet, had I said something else wrong? I totally didn’t get it, they were so friendly previously but hey, we carried on and had a lovely time. It’s just that afterwards I said to myself, I won’t be saying that again, if anything should I be downplaying things that I am proud of, but that just seems wrong?
Another day, there was a little girl flying around in the little cars they have and suddenly, I heard a cry and she was after getting stuck. Her little legs were under the front of the car and her head squashed inside by the seat. So, I looked over and I saw her Mum was busy with another toddler, so I went over and helped the little girl out and brought her over to her Mum. I just said quietly she’s fine, but she had a little tumble in the car. Well, I got an evil glare and was told that she had been on her way over!
So, should I have not helped the girl and just left her stuck? What were the rules? That really annoyed me that day because I started feeling majorly ticked off with these places, there was no right way to handle these situations, you just follow your gut and as a Mum, if Bobby was stuck and I hadn’t noticed I’d like if someone helped him.
Last week, however, I had a lovely experience. Bobby was playing away and next thing these two big boys came in who were I’m guessing 7 or 8 and they started running around like mad and almost knocking into plenty of babies along the way, Bobby included. I daren’t open my mouth though because to be honest, I was afraid to be put off for life and when these areas are good they are great, so I kept stum.
These boys didn’t seem to have any adult with them and as predicted they crashed into Bobby and knocked him down, he was fine, Thank God but straight away this lovely Mum beside me gave out to the boys and told them that they shouldn’t be in here with the small babies etc. etc. they laughed and ran off. I thanked her and told her she didn’t have to be sticking up for me but that I really appreciated it and like that my faith was restored.
They say for every negative thing you hear about yourself, you need to hear five positive things in order to balance it out. Well, maybe it’s the same with Soft Play Areas, I may have had a few negatives but I am sure there will be plenty positives to come to balance it all out. I’ll stick with them for now anyway, but I’ll always be a little cautious of my actions, just in case I do or say (or wear) the wrong thing!