“Would You Rather…?”
My nearly nine year old, Natasha, and I play a gleefully horrific game called “Would you rather…?” She learned it from watching some kids’ TV show that I probably shouldn’t let her watch. Although I pretended to be shocked at first, I find that not only do I enjoy the game; I am really good at it.
“Would you rather… stick a pencil in your eye or your hand into a bucket of cockroaches?” (Cockroaches) Score one for Natasha. “Would you rather… eat a slug or be covered in them?” Tough one, Mom.
Okay, so I probably shouldn’t encourage her. But, come on, it’s fun! And a nearly-nine-year-old is the perfect foil in this gross out competition. Natasha gets such a kick out of creating disgusting scenarios. “Mom, the grosser the better,” she told me with a confident gleam in her eye.
Recently, I stumped myself in a very personal version of the game. “Would you rather… go to a child’s birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese’s or Club Libby Lu?”
I was so relieved as my girls and their friends grew past the phase of having birthday parties at Chuck E. Cheese’s—a cavernous, deafening games arcade with horrible food and enormous puppets performing on a stage “Where a kid can be a kid” (but this parent really was the one who suffered).
To my despair, there is a recent replacement. The description on its Web site poses Club Libby Lu as “a special secret club where super fabulous girls can get makeovers parties, play games, get advice, and find really cool princess paraphernalia.” Translate that into a mall store where 14 screaming girls are getting made up to perform in a “show” while loud pre-teen pop blares in the background and mothers navigate the crowded merchandized floor replacing the stuff your kid hands you while inaudibly screaming “No” as your child piles stuff into your arms saying, “Here, Mom, I really need these.”
Wait, I need a moment. I thought I was out of the woods with obnoxious venues when I declared that if anyone wanted to go back to Chuck E. Cheese’s, they would have to go with their father. But fathers can’t go to Club Libby Lu. It’s like going into a Ladies’ Room. I personally witnessed four fathers, looking like deer in headlights, standing outside the mall store, shifting uncomfortably watching their little girls getting made up to look like the latest pop queen. The mothers had to go in and brave the fray.
Looking forward, I suppose I should count my blessings: “Would you rather… go to a party at Club Libby Lu or come home to one of those teenage parties with a keg provided by somebody’s older brother or sister and hundreds of kids camped out in your living room?” Club Libby Lu may not be so bad.