Chuck E. Cheese is such a weird land of distortion - heavenly crack for kids and sticky hell for adults. There's nothing really objectionable about it...it's just...sad.
It wreaks of all that is pathetic in entertainment - garish lights, empty rewards, acquisitive greed...very bad food.
But my kids would never know their parents' disdain. To them it was a mecca of F-U-N!!!!!!! Their eyes lit up like stars, their faces had giant grins, they devoured the soggy pizza and declared it delicious.
And the games. They played those rigged games and collected those worthless tickets as if it were gold pieces coming out of those slots.
Incidentally, this was the only time during Noah's birthday day that he wasn't melting down and crying every 3 minutes. Previous to this, anytime I asked him to do something he didn't want to (for example, brush his teeth, visit the potty, eat something that wasn't a candy bar, put on clothing, etc.) he would wail "But it's my birthday!!!! You're making me do this on my birthday?!?! You're making me SAD on my birthday!!!!!"
It was a LONG. Day.
But as soon as we entered the land of Cheese, Noah was all smiles from beginning to end.
The next day the kids talked of nothing but returning to that magical world of delight.
And that's just fine with me. I'm all about keeping their expectations low so they don't become jaded too early in life. Better to keep them thinking that Chuck E. Cheese is the pinnacle of entertainment for as long as possible so when we finally go to Disneyland one day, their minds will be blown to smithereens.
Chuck, you're a good stand-in for your uppity mouse cousin, Mickey.