For now, I’m not going to talk about the NCAA tournament. I need to find the right tone so that I don’t anger the Woof Gods. I still have a few superstitions left.

I did want to quickly recap M.’s first trip to Chuck E. Cheese’s last week. You may recall that she was invited to a birthday party for a classmate in January, but the flu beat her down that day and we had to stay home.

This was another party for a classmate, and M. was way wound up for it. When we first got there, a couple of her friends scrambled up the stairway, I guess you would call it, to the tunnel system that is suspended from the ceiling. M. started to go after them, but thought better of it when she was halfway up, then started whining because she couldn’t figure out how to get down (If you’ve been to a kids’ play area, you know the kind of enclosed, staggered vertical section I’m talking about). Since there was no way for me to crawl in, I told her to calm down and slide on her belly, like she’s getting out of bed. She figured it out and got down, only to race back up when two more friends climbed up. This time she made it all the way up and into the tunnels. For those of you who haven’t been to a Chuck E. Cheese, this is basically a gerbil tunnel system for kids. It goes all over the place and has little windows here and there so they can look out and we can look in. M. doesn’t do well with heights or new things, so I was expecting more screaming and wondering how the hell I would get her out.

But she did great. She spent at least 15 minutes in there, crawling around. She even managed ok when some bigger kids got in.

She was a little too distracted by the videos and animatronic animals to eat her pizza, but enjoyed the cake. All the kids had blue icing smeared all over their faces. She got really excited when the Chuckster came out, but didn’t want anything to do with taking a picture with him.

After lunch, she played some games, although she’s still a little young for even the kid-friendly video games. She’s a little slow with Whack a Mole, but come on, she’s only three! She took two more runs in the tunnels and got cranky and lippy with me just as it was time to head home.

She had a lot of fun overall and did very well. I didn’t hate it as much as I thought I would (I think as a parent you either love or hate the Chuck E. Cheese concept. I was a hater, I’ll admit).

And it was fun for me to hang out with some of the other parents. Funniest was M.’s little Japanese friend’s mother. The family moved here over the summer, and although the dad speaks very good English, mom is struggling. But, bless her heart, she tries really hard which I don’t know if I could do if I was put in Japan.

She came over and introduced herself as S’s mom and asked, “Are you M.’s mother, err, father?” Very sweet. She also told me that little S. is always telling her that M. is his best friend. Just don’t go telling me they’re playing doctor or anything like that.

Oh, and I have to admit, having grown up in Kansas City in the early 80s, I spent some time at Show Biz Pizza on Noland Road. I had the Show Biz song going through my head all day. I remember this much:
“You’ve never seen a place like Show Biz pizza place, we’ll serve you a pizza that’s second to none. So, come for the pizza, stay for the fun.”

Seriously, every good birthday party between 1980 and 1983 required a stop at Show Biz or Fun House pizza.