Over the weekend my sister hosted an incredible birthday party for my nephew at a place called Xtreme Trampoline. What a way to spend your 6th birthday! I mean, what parent doesn't want to send their kid to a party where they can jump off their energy for 2 hours?
I researched this place before the party. I knew going in that children under the age of three weren't allowed to jump. We went anyway. They let him in. Cool, right?
It was an effing nightmare. Two hours of tantrums. Two hours of mommy on the verge of a meltdown. Wait, I did have a meltdown. Two hours of chaos. Toddlers and trampolines don't mix.
The room is separated into several areas of trampoline, each by age group. Each trampoline is separated into multiple squares. The child must stay in their own square. They cannot jump with another child. They cannot walk onto another child's square. They must jump. They cannot sit. They cannot be on their knees. They cannot have a parent jump with them. Now, even a child of 6 years old wants to jump with their friends and is defiant to the rules.
Try explaining this to a toddler.
Kudos to the establishment for being anal retentive dicks. I get it. You don't want kids hurt. But come on!
The real issue is, I set my son up to fail. I put him in a situation he would implode in. I gave him a room full of freedom and then took it away and expected him to accept it.
I'm an asshole.
I knew better. I should have went with my gut and stayed home. I knew it wasn't the place for him. Why as parents do we do that?
We put our kids in shitty situations and expect perfection. No nap? Let's go grocery shopping. Close to bedtime? Let's drag him to a restaurant. Take him to an adult party and expect him to stay up late. Stupid parenting moves.
It's our fault. We need to stop setting our children up for failure. We know their limits. We know what they can and cannot handle. Furthermore, we need to stop setting ourselves up for failure. When my child has a meltdown, I am immediately aggravated and embarrassed. Most times my child has recovered long before I have.
For me, I need to learn how to carry a screaming toddler and a smile on my face that says "I got this!" or at the very least, "I got wine at home!".
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