The day we shut down Chick-fil-A. It’s a day that is permanently singed into my brain. Okay, it was only the play place, but that might as well be all of Chick-fil-A, amiright?
The Fateful Day
So this fateful day we had traveled to Mom Mecca and I even scored the rare front row seats! (For you newbs, that’s a booth right next to the glass, so those eagle eyes of mine can remind my child that I’m *always watching*!) I’m not a big fan of sending my kids into a play place unattended (personal choice, stand down all you keyboard vigilantes). However, today we were waiting for Dad, Nan, & Pops for a special dinner, and kid 1 & kid 2 wanted to play but it was time for kid 3 to nurse. And while I know I can nurse anywhere, kid 3 suffers from a serious case of FOMO and nursing in a play place would be the equivalent of this Dalmatian nursing. Anyway, I sent the older two in & started nursing. A few moments later, I see older sister go all Xenia Warrior princess, stomped out and informed me some boys were calling Brother names. I made my way into the play place and sat on the Mom Bench to see what was happening. Sure enough, there was a group of boys poking fun at the 2 year old. And as soon as I fully heard what they were saying, the smell hit me like a ton of bricks! I closed my eyes, praying I was wrong and called him to me. As he walked over, I saw smears of poop on his legs. My heart sank! “Umm, everyone needs to get out of the play place! Come on, everyone out!”
As you can imagine, some kids followed instructions while others looked at me like a three headed sea monster. I dashed to the front and let those poor innocent employees know that my kid had not only dropped a bomb somewhere in the play place, but had also slid down the slide and heaven know what else — and it needed a steady cleaning, ASAP. Y’all, he didn’t just poop, he pooped and played! Slid down the slide, crawled through the tunnels, I could just imagine the trail of poo smeared everywhere! I apologized profusely, even though they informed me they were just happy I had come to tell them! (Did you know some parents realize a kid has had a poo explosion and JUST LEAVE?!? So employees only find out when an unhappy parent has to come complain about the mess?? Please don’t be that parent! Is it humiliating? YES. But give the employees credit and help them contain the mess as soon as possible!)
Thirty Minutes of Shame
My husband showed up just in time for me to hand over the kid so he could go detox the boy while I sat in shame with my other 2 kids as the rest of the kids were ushered from the play place. I attempted to help the employees clean, but you know, “my pleasure” and all, they denied me and got to climbing through the stairs and slides, scrubbing away. Now here’s the thing, it is NO ONE’S pleasure to clean poo. I do it merely because, as a mom, I’m required to. And confession, I usually wear a scuba mask when it come to my kid’s poo; I don’t do poo very well. These poor teenage kids put on a determined, cordial face and bravely faced the poo of a stranger’s kid. They deserve a medal.
So, fun fact; once cleaned, it’s THIRTY MINUTES before kids are allowed back in. And I get it, chemicals and kids are never a good mix, but I sat in shame watching parent after parent come in with hopes of playtime freedom only to find the land of children’s joy had been shut down! I can’t. I sat in utter humiliation as each parent was told they would have to wait, there was an accident in the play place. Needless to say, the moment that “closed for cleaning” sign came down, the door was almost torn off the hinges by the stampede of kids and parents excited to get their play on.