That's exactly what we did Wednesday night! After talking about it for weeks, we finally set a date with their parents to take the three R kids (ages 7, 5 & 4) on our own to Chuck E. Cheese. We were pretty excited because we love these kids and wanted to do something fun and special with them. In case you're wondering, we do not have "baby fever;" we just really love these kiddos! I packed a bag with baby wipes, hand sanitizer, camera, a mini first aid kit, and a little treat for each kid - then we arrived at their home to pick them up where they were freshly bathed and so cute.
We loaded up, buckled up and headed on our way. It was during rush hour and there was a wreck on the bridge, so it took almost an hour to get there, but the kids were great travelers.
We arrived at Chuck E. Cheese and held hands while walking in, got checked in with the same hand stamp (security feature at CEC that shows which kids belong to who, that way they can't be taken by strangers....brilliant!). The lady who greeted us said "how nice of you kids to bring your parents out to dinner!" The kids smiled and no one corrected her that we weren't the parents, but I took that as a sign that we must have looked normal and we didn't look like we shouldn't have kids under our care. Does that make sense? Anyway, I appreciated her comment.
If you can channel your childhood self, try to remember what it was like going to CEC. I did that for a couple days prior so that I would be as prepared as possible. I remembered going in, then our parents would place an order for food and tokens. The sounds of the games are loud and other kids are already playing. While the parents order, you want to run off and start playing.....but you have the wait for tokens first. You couldn't care less about the food because all you want to do is play games and win tickets. (On the drive, we asked multiples times "are you hungry?" and each time they all said "no." Ha! That was me about two decades ago!) I believe this is the story of every kid at CEC!
Josh placed our order and we quickly divided tokens so the kids began playing. They were winning tickets and bouncing from one game to another. The food arrived and we had to lure them to the table to eat. Josh made sure hands were cleaned while I fixed drinks. He served pizza and gave a blessing over the meal. They were still thinking of the games, but were very good and sweet. Everyone had to eat one piece of pizza before we would let them up to continue playing. Dinner time didn't last long and then they were playing games again. We ordered one more set of tokens and divided them again for more game playing.
Tokens were running out and bedtime was getting closer, so the kids cashed in their tickets at the ticket muncher machine.
Lots of thought was put into making the decision for which prizes to choose, but all were happy with their selection!
I think a good night was had by all! But my favorite story of the evening was when we were leaving CEC walking together hand-in-hand when all three kids exclaimed "I'm hungry!" I so saw this coming! Good thing we had the leftover pizza in a carry-out box! Since we had already gone outside, but Josh and I weren't sure if they should eat in their mom's car (plus the safety concern of them eating while we were in driving - we didn't want to take any chances on choking), so we just set down on the corner of the sidewalk and they finished off the remaining slices! We had a great time giggling and enjoying these kids for a few more moments.
I should also note that the 7 year old had to buckle the 4 year old in his car seat after I couldn't figure out how it worked. She said "it's a good thing you don't have kids!" Ha! So true!
Loads of silliness filled the car on the drive home! Made up songs about Josh, silly jokes, talking with the vampire teeth......sweet times!
We had a great night with these precious children and are thankful that their parents shared them!