Chuck E. Cheese’s, the Place Where a Kid Can Be a Kid? Kind of…

For a while, my daughter had been asking to go to Chuck E. Cheese’s, so we finally went this past Wednesday on the “All You Can Play” in an hour day. I can vividly recall being so excited to go to Chuck E. Cheese as a child hoping to win tons of tickets to get that prize I longed for so much. Though I was happy to see that smile on my six year old’s face as she  won tickets in hopes of claiming her prizes too, as an adult, I had a different perspective.

Actually, I struggled a little with this all being “good fun” for kids. It was like a casino for kids. The atmosphere was full of pings, pongs and musical sounds as several children were glued in front of the gaming machines. Their eyes were entranced by the flashing lights and tickets spewing out of those machines for them to collect. “How many tickets do you think I have, Mommy?” Quinn asked me. “I’m not sure, but you have quite a lot,” I said.

When our hour of playing was up, Quinn eagerly headed to the ticket counting machine with no hesitation, but I observed some children who begged and pleaded with their caregivers or parents for more time or had tantrums if they couldn’t play longer.

I thought to myself, is this teaching young children how to gamble or planting that gambling seed, or is it just all in fun? Maybe I’m just too far removed from my fun days at Chuck E Cheese. I know I always had fun and loved the pizza too. Either way, I was happy to see my daughter having a good time and want to make sure she has fun just being a kid without me projecting my adult perceptions.

All the best,


Mommy’s Monday Moments: Game On, Little Girl!

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Playing Ms. Pac-Man

One of my favorite video games when I was a little girl was Ms. Pac-Man. I could play it for hours on the Atari (That’s right, I said Atari!) with my siblings. Today, I had a nostalgic moment when I took my daughter in for her dental check-up to a new dentist and witnessed a Ms. Pac-Man arcade game in the waiting area. As I tried to resist the lure of Ms. Pac-man as she went around the screen eating the pellets and avoiding ghosts in the game simulation, my little girl said, “Look Mommy, a game! What kind of game is it?” She quickly skipped over and stood on the pedestal to reach the controller. When I began telling her, “Honey, I think the game will cost money,” She pressed start, and the game commenced.

Before I knew it, I was out of my seat showing her how to play. “See the arrows and the controller? Use this to move right and left and up and down.” “Like this, Mommy?!” Quinn looked towards me for approval. And then, “Wah…wah…wah wah…”Pay attention, and watch out for the ghosts. Now, it’s Mommy’s turn!” Then, the inevitable happened when I held onto to controller to show her how it’s done. I was really into the game and even made it to the next level, and then I heard, “Quinn, we’re ready for you now.” from the dental hygienist. I smiled and told Quinn, “They’re ready for you honey,” but my inner voice was saying, “Aw man! Can I just finish this level first?”

Though she’s only three and did not fully understand the full concept of the game, it was great being able to play Ms. Pac-Man with her as it was a big part of my childhood and brought back some good memories.

All the best,