On the way home from a birthday party at BounceU this afternoon, William was talking about all his favorite birthday party venues. It seems that BounceU, Glow Galaxy and West Side Athletic Club are all at the top of the list right now.
Then he said, "And did you know, Mommy, there's this place called Chuck E. Cheese? They have games and stuff and parties there, too."
Inwardly, I groaned. Aw, MAN. I ALMOST made it to his fifth birthday without him finding out about Chuck E. Cheese. I've managed to keep the knowledge of Chuck E. Cheese from him all this time, and someone blew the whistle.
Yeah, yeah, I know they have Skee-ball, and yes, I adore Skee-ball. Yes, I loved it as a kid, too. But I'm oooooold now. And at least if it's anything the way I remember it being, Chuck E. Cheese is so LOUD. And so EXPENSIVE. And so GERMY. And the pizza is so LOUSY. Okay, so the germy party doesn't really bother me; every kiddie place is germy, and besides, that's David's bugaboo. But STILL.
"Oh?" I asked calmly. "Where'd do you hear about this Chuck E. Cheese place?"
I played it cool. As if I'd never heard of Chuck E. Cheese before and was only mildly interested.
Turns out a couple of his friends from school let him in on the secret. (Gee, thanks, y'all.) It's going to be hard to put the rabbit back in the hat now. Or the cow in the barn. Or the cat in the bag. Or whatever animal metaphor people use for this sort of situation.
I think I managed to distract him with talk of candy. (He was eating a blue raspberry ring pop, and he was delighted by the way it was turning his mouth a vivid shade of Smurf blue.) Maybe he'll forget we talked about it. Or maybe he's not really that intrigued by it because it's still an abstract concept to him.
That's what I'm hoping for, anyway.