Slip Of The Tongue

Never just accept no as an answer, is something our youngest seems to have cottoned on to better than most.

“Can I take this ball home please?” Miss7 asked a friend of ours who owns the local indoor play centre, The Gympie Jungle.

It was a purple example of the type you find in ball pits throughout the civilised world. I don’t know who came up with the brilliant idea of bringing a playground inside, bubble wrapping it, tacking on a coffee shop with free wi-fi and lots of tables where you can pretend to be filming your kid when you’re really playing Pokemon, but I want to hang a framed photo of them beside the legends who thought of flushing toilets, home brew and air conditioning in cars.

On this occasion I wasn’t at the playground to escape housework. Every couple of months Master27 drives up from Brisbane and we hold a small event we call Boarding School. Basically, it’s a board games night where we open up our game’s cupboards to any locals who’d like to try new tabletop games. We don’t sell them or anything, and we don’t ask for money, we simply like introducing people to what many probably still think is a boring hobby.

Trust me, comparing today’s selection of dice, card or board games to Mousetrap, Monopoly, Connect4, Mastermind, Cluedo and Checkers is like comparing communication using your iPhone to morse code.

When we decided to do this we needed a place with lots of tables and coffee, and Master27 just so happened to have a friend whose parents owned an indoor kids’ playground. It was an easy decision.

Best of all with this place is while families can come along and if the little kids get bored they can play in the playground equipment, including a hugely popular ball pit which always makes me think of Sheldon Cooper.

“Can you imagine,” our friend asked Miss7, “if I let every kid take home a ball? I’d have none left.”

And that, I assumed, would be that. It was a perfectly acceptable explanation. And really, when you think about it, a very good point. It was clear to me this was not the first time the query had come up as a kid was leaving the centre.

From the look on our friend’s face, however, it was the first first time any kid had come back with a gut churning point of their own which very nearly had her agreeing the ball pit could maybe do with a cull this one time.

My daughter glanced at the purple ball in her hand then grinned up at the manager.

“But,” she said cheekily, “I’ve licked this one.”

What we’re going to do with a purple ball I don’t know.

Our kids loved Zombie Dice & Tsuro – they were some of the first games we purchased

Raising a family on little more than laughs

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