Doomed Daddy Daughter Date

Yesterday I decided to take my daughter out for some quality time with her dad since I had to work on Sunday. We decided to go to Chuck E Cheese’s to hopefully win enough tickets to get a stuffed animal. I should have known the day was doomed right from the start by the fifteen minute wait in line to get in. Ella was so good in line, I kept saying, “You have to wait” and she would hold up her little finger and say, “Waaaaiit?” It would have been even longer in line until I got somebody’s attention and asked them what the hold up was. They said they didn’t have any more tables, and I was like, “I’ll just hold our coats, I don’t need a table” and so they let us in.
Things weren’t much better inside though, the place was so busy that Ella was a little scared. Plus there were lines for EVERY game. We would wait literally like ten minutes to have a turn, and then would only get to play once, maybe twice, before the pressure got to me and I said, “OK let’s let someone else have a turn.” Ella did so good though waiting patiently in line and then stepping to the side when she had played the game only once or twice. Then we had more problems, games were giving “ticket errors” and not giving us any tickets, or they were temporarily out of order, or the picture booth was out of paper…etc… Everything she wanted to do was broken. So we left.
I decided to go to plan B, the mall. They have a play area that Ella likes and it was just across the street. We arrived and took off her shoes and coat and she went running in to have some fun, when the security guard showed up with the janitor to close the place down for its daily cleaning. So I had to get Ella and put her shoes on and take her somewhere else while they cleaned it. She noticed the candy machines right outside of the play area, and she does this thing when she wants candy (it’s cute, but sometimes annoying) where she opens her mouth really wide and points into her mouth. She’ll just stay that way until you put candy in her mouth. But I only had Chuck E Cheese tokens and no quarters, so I showed her that the candy machine was “broken” because it wouldn’t take my money. Secretly, I was hoping it wouldn’t know the difference between a quarter and a token, but apparently they make tokens just slightly bigger than a quarter. So we walked around the mall and I took her into Claire’s where she picked out a few things she liked and then I had her narrow it down to one thing. It was between a heart scepter, a rainbow colored ‘loofa’ (not sure if I spelled that right) and a two foot long pencil. She chose the pencil. (My wife regrets the pencil purchase, as now there are pencil lines all over our house.) This was the only part of the day that I think she really was able to enjoy. So we left and on the way home I was feeling guilty that she really didn’t get to play anywhere and decided to swing into Burger King. They also have a play place, and we got french fries and a vanilla milkshake. I showed her how to dip her fries in her shake, which I think she really enjoyed because she usually loves ketchup but she didn’t even notice all the ketchup I had poured on her plate. We played in the play place and went down the slide together several times, and then went home.
So we had a lot of roadblocks and barriers, and not a lot of playing, but hopefully she knows just how much I love her, and to what great lengths I am willing to go to make sure she has a good time on a date with her dad!