Yesterday, I took Dylan to Chuck E Cheese for the first time. We joined six other moms from the Mom's Club that I belong to, along with all of their kids. I somehow managed to get a shower, throw on some clean clothes, apply makeup, get Dylan dressed and fed, and pack the diaper bag, and get us there on time! ON TIME! I was the second person to arrive, out of the 7 in our group - I was already feeling like Superwoman.
I put Dylan down, expecting him to take off like a rocket, and he just stood there. And, stood there. And, stood there some more. He looked like he was thinking, "Well what the bloody hell is all this?!" He was bewildered, he was overwhelmed, he was overstimulated! He has been to the zoo, the Center for Creative Play, the Mr. Rogers Playspace, etc, but he has never seen so many lights and heard so much noise, noise, noise! The kids running, screaming, whining, and crying all around him didn't seem to bother him at all. He is a pretty friendly kid, usually. But, he just did not know what to do with all those lights and games.
After the stare down, he eventually started exploring the place, but he still had that bewildered glaze to his eyes, and his mouth hung open as if in shock. When I attempted to engage him in a game, he looked at me as if to say, "Back away slowly, and no one will get hurt". When I attempted to put him in a car with a Chuck E Cheese driver, he clung to me like a cat climbing up a tree. When I helped him go up a few stairs, which lead to a landing with a window, that the kids went through to the long, winding slide, he held his hands up to the glass, with his nose up against the window, and his eyes pleaded, "Help Me!" The only thing he seemed to find enjoyable about the place was the large, moving, singing, instrument playing animatronics on the stage. At least I think he enjoyed them. He stood there watching a long time, but he might have been too afraid to move, I don't know. He ended up over in the corner of the place, by the window, looking out at the cars, probably wishing he were in one of them, instead of in this crazy place.
He did enjoy being around some other kids for a change, though, and I really enjoyed the adult conversation. I was able to have a separate conversation with five of the six other moms - amazing! I had a good time, and even though I doubt I'll take Dylan back to see the Cheese for a while, he loved getting out of the house. I'm thinking he inherited my aversion to bright flashing lights and too much noise. Guess we won't be going to Vegas anytime soon.
(When we got there, I realized my camera was out of battery power, so this is the only crappy shot I got.)