We all remember our first time!
It was soft and gentle, I worked my post natal body into positions a yoga instructor would be proud of. I even discovered that the balls were great fun to snuggle into, and occasionally even fun to grab and throw. The temptation to throw caution to the wind and slide my way to pleasure was immense. The kids were forgotten about and I was in ecstasy sliding, grabbing and playing with he who helped create them in time to the pumping beat.
Fast forward five years and the thought of visiting another soft play centre is enough to break me out in a cold sweat. Seriously I would rather go for a full facial wax with no Ibruprofen before hand rather than dip my big toe in a ball pool. I have joined the ranks of other parents huddled over cooling coffees fighting for the corner table away from the pounding speakers. Never really overtly worried about which activity my child is leaping from so long as they don’t find me and ask me to play.
In the last five years I have been to a multitude of soft play centres. Some big, some small, some with slides so fast they tear a bit of skin off the small of your back as your t shirt rides up high as grown up clothes are not designed to slip down plastic. My arse has been stuck in tubes not meant for size 16 mums and I have shamed my children time and time again by stopping half way down the slide as my booty is just too big. And sweet lord I despise the rollers, there is nothing worse then moving your too big body sweatily around the too small apparatus and then suddenly being confronted by two rollers with only a space for a “A” cup between then. Twin girl slips her elastic body through the gap easily, shouting for me to join her and I check my pockets in the hope I will find a man sized tub of vaseline lurking to help me through. Every time its the same, I become an undignified mess of boobs, belly and legs heaving myself through a piece of gym kit designed for a child (and a small one at that!)
I swear my hearing has been affected by the endless screams of childish pleasure and screeches of tears as twin boy takes out yet another alien (someone else’s child) with a ball from the pit.
But I love to see the newbies, the first time parents who don’t let their little one out of their sight, who whoop with excitement at their first time in a ball pool in twenty years. I smile from my hiding place at the back of the room remembering the parent I once was. For a moment I think about going back into the devils playground but all too quickly the memory of my arse stuck in a tunnel comes rushing back to me and claustaphobia sets in and I take refuge in my tea and flapjack.
I will never forget my first time, but really I don’t need to do it again!