About Me

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Delray Beach, FL, Westport, MA, United States
Undergraduate degree, Colby College; MA in teaching, Columbia Teacher's College; former high school English teacher in three states; former owner of interior design co. with advanced degree from R.I. School of Design. Published first book in 2009 titled, MINOR LEAGUE MOM: A MOTHER'S JOURNEY THROUGH THE RED SOX FARM TEAMS. Her humorous manuscript titled ELDERLY PARENTS WITH ALL THEIR MARBLES: A SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR THE KIDS was published in June, 2014. In 2015 A SURVIVAL GUIDE won a gold medal in the self-help category at the Florida Authors & Publishers Association conference. See website By CLICKING HERE.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Pump It Up

"Pump it up" does not refer to an aerobic routine, body building, implanting anything foreign in the body, or even  balloons.

It is the name of a franchise where children under age ten go berserk.

Last weekend I attended my first "Pump It Up" party for our granddaughter's fifth birthday.  Twenty-six party-goers gathered in the lobby, where they ran from end to end, careening into each other.  A staff member herded them onto a carpeted area to watch a safety video.  No movie, no entrance.  Silence ensued - during the movie.  The attendant crowned our granddaughter "Princess" and asked her to lead the procession into the abyss.  First, though, they had to wait for a previous group to exit.  Parties were scheduled every half-hour.  While waiting, the attendant morphed into a cheerleader.  "Who's the Princess?" she yelled.

In unison:  "Emma!"



The kids were psyched into a frenzy.  Around their necks they wore glow sticks to identify them inside the black chasm. Strip lights outlined bouncy structures.  Parents and grandparents ran through the expanse to find their darlings, but the darlings had been swallowed.  "They'll be asleep by six tonight," I said to no-one.

There were four bouncy houses in this room (each held ten), an inflatable slide two stories high, riding toys for those under three years, and air hockey.  An attendant monitored each structure.

One of our grandsons came down the slide immediately behind a girl twice his size.  He tumbled into her at the bottom, where they both exploded in ludicrous laughter.  Then he rolled over the inflatable barrier and fell onto the mat below.  His neck tilted at an unnatural 90-degree angle.  I rushed to help him, sure he'd never move again.  He started back up the steps before I even reached the mat.

After thirty minutes, a loud speaker announced that party goers should line up to proceed to the next room.  More inflatable structures, but higher.  I was grateful for a bench near the exit, where I withdrew into my coat, tortoise-like.  It muffled the high-pitched squeals.

An interminable thirty minutes passed before the loudspeaker announced that party goers should line up to proceed to the "food court."  Here Emma took her place on an inflatable throne, her crown still intact.  Staff members served pizza, water bottles, pretzels, cheese doodles, and cake.  Did these kids really need more sugar??

"What do they charge for this?" I said to my daughter-in-law. 

"Four dollars a head for the hour and a half, up to twenty-six kids.  But then you have to select a food package."

"A food package?"

"Yes, and I had to bring our cake."

"What are the food packages?"

"You could select hot dogs and that would cost a lot more.  And you could add more hours for an additional cost per kid."

Why hadn't I thought of this?

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