Saturday, April 18, 2009

Foam Fruit

I just spent the better part of the early afternoon at the Westside Pavilion watching a bunch of anklebiters play around on an oversized glazed foam rubber food frenzy. Let me explain...

There's a play area in the middle of the food court that consists of what appears to be a glossy genetically modified banana, hot dog, watermelon slice, and a spilled drink. Kids slip, climb, crawl, push, and hurl themselves off like projectiles aimed at one another. Of course this leads to plenty of whining, crying, stomping, and blaming. The most commonly overheard snippets of conversation there include: "Did you say you're sorry to your sister?" and "Well, don't do it again" and "Those aren't your shoes" and "Put the diaper back on your sister!" Occasionally: "Where's my kid?"

My favorite part is, without doubt, the tired hot dog. Too many kids crammed onto the wiener have obviously taken it's toll on our poor friend. So much that his buns have now been duct-taped into a makeshift band-aid. It's a vicious place to be if you're a frankfurter made of foam.

And, who knew that this fun isn't just for the kids? The single parents milling around seem to have created their own kind of mix and mingle. I don't ever remember seeing my mommy showing off her cleavage while bending down to adjust my diaper, or, wearing her platforms to the mall. It seems many a kiddo toddled off while daddy was watching the aforementioned. Now, I'm not usually one to stereotype, but some say men have trouble multitasking. It's hard to focus when so many fruits are being diplayed.

From 2:00-2:30, the little insects are pried off the toy food for "cleaning time." I'm not sure how one half-hour manages to attack the heaps of germs left on the toppled picnic, but as I've often heard, the bacteria we take is equal to the bacteria we make. So much fun is made and taken by all, but the Garden of Eden it ain't.

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