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'This is family time - FUN WILL BE HAD BY ALL!'
Our toddler-mom, Samantha, visits Play Lane in Solihull, only to spend the day in lock-up!
Counter Cut’s content this month is sponsored by The New Talbot
We wait all week long for the weekend to arrive, after doing school runs, going to work and - if you are a Mummy with more than one child like me - entertaining the toddler while the big kid is at school.
The weekend comes and brings anxiety with it. Kid one (the big kid) is no longer at school, kid 2 (the toddler) no longer has your undivided attention.
You now have to entertain them both and break up the many fights that will be had over the weekend period. But this is your family time. YOU WILL ENJOY IT and FUN WILL BE HAD BY ALL. Your brain is full of where I can take them, what can we do, what will make both kids and parents happy.
Enter Play Lane of Solihull.
Online booking is required but easy enough to navigate and not overly-priced in my opinion. It is located in Solihull Town Centre so unless you are lucky enough to live within walking distance, you will have to pay the ridiculously overpriced car parking, or travel on the dreaded bus with kids who may publicly humiliate you at any given moment. However you get there, it is worth the effort.
You will walk into a tiny village of wonders.
For future chefs, you’ll find a pizzeria waiting for you children to cook you up a thousand pizzas and wait for you to show enjoyment for each and every single one; even an ice-cream cart awaits with every flavour a kid could imagine.
For the explorers, a campsite complete with little log fires and comfy floor seats. There is a building site with high-vis jackets, wheelbarrows and bricks, and a big red fire engine with bells and uniforms just waiting for your children to get lost in their imagination.
Play Lane has a vets, complete with animals galore and little cages and medicines ready for your little ones to administer to their cuddly pets. Don’t miss the princess dress up that holds all of the sparkles a little princess could want.
Kids can do their weekly shop in the supermarket with little carts and play food ready for your toddler to mistakenly chew on. and most importantly, you’ll be heading to the police station to spend the afternoon in lockup,
Play Lane’s parent seating is in the middle of the room so you can see your little explorers at all times and be ready to jump to their aid whenever they get themselves caught up in mischief, and let's face it - that is a given.
Now I am afraid this is not going to be relaxing for you in any way shape or form. You will be sent to jail several times by kid one for a crime you most definitely did not commit, you will also be told off several times by kid one for not playing the game in the way that she imagined it should be played.
You will have to remove the sponge building blocks from kid two who is biting chunks out of them and yes, you will have to apologise many times for kid two ramming the ice cream cart into pretty much anyone’s ankles if they are brave enough to walk past her.
You may also have to remove kid two several times and endure countless humiliating tantrums, as they simply do not feel like sharing today. But just as you are feeling you may have endured enough, here come the play workers.
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We love the play workers. The play worker plays with your kids. They engage them in a world of imaginary shops and princess dress up. I don’t mind admitting they do it far better than I ever could.
If you are anything like me, you shudder at the mere mention of role play. This gives you just enough time to sit with your partner or whoever you have dragged along with you to enjoy your children for the day. You may even get to enjoy the coffee you ordered and the cake that you decided to spoil your diet for, and maybe, just maybe, enjoy a conversation!
It's coming up to the end of your play session. You have dressed kid two up in every outfit there is, You have played shops, vets, gone back to jail and put out many, many fires. It’s now time to enter into a 15-minute argument with kid one who has now decided she will live at play lane forever, while your partner runs around attempting to catch kid two who is fighting to the death to stay on the fire engine.
Yes, you will sweat! Yes, you will become absolutely infuriated, but you will eventually remove them by whatever means necessary.
They are tired, they are hungry, they are happily all played out. If you are as lucky as me, kid one might go to bed a whole 7 minutes early that night, and kid two may only climb from her cot 3 times instead of 10. All jokes aside, the kids are asleep, and I’m sitting happily looking at the photos feeling my weekend was well spent engaging with my kiddos and having a bit of much needed family time.
I'd say that’s another big fat tick for mom goals!
Written by Samantha Franklin
Counter Cut’s content this month is sponsored by The New Talbot. Enjoy traditional curried, mixed grills and speciality starters that you won’t find elsewhere. Enjoy an extensive range of drinks from draught beers to delicious cocktails.