it started out with a bang. the girl at the front desk gave us enough free passes to come back three more times. i'm glad we did. oliver was dismayed that we were trying to leave him during our second visit. the gaggle of girls made absolutely no effort to engage him. we sat there for 15 minutes before trying to make a break for it. he ended up wailing and they paged us back. we tried again and were paged a second time before throwing our proverbial hands up in the air and leaving.
the third time, it was more of the same. the room is kind of I-shaped and the girls are rather involved with sitting in the junction of the I in a circle and chatting ceaselessly. oliver eventually chilled enough to offer one of them an ear of fake corn. she responded to him for about two seconds before turning back around to chatter. you do not turn your back on my son when he is offering fake foods. i felt bad for him.
brian and i each heard them using the dirty words in the presence of a four year old. and in the presence of a parent. since brian spent a good 20+ minutes back there the second time so i could at least work out, he heard one girl comment how she hates watching kids because it's so boring, he heard one talking about spending the night with her boyfriend, he heard one mentioning that a parent had complained about them to the front desk, etc., with a parent sitting a yard or two away!
it's one thing to be an idiot in the customer service department when i'm ordering a burrito from you and can be done with you in 45 seconds. it's another thing when i'm dropping my child off to be under your supervision. needless to say, we weren't comfortable and neither was oliver, judging by his crying fits.
last week, we finally made our way to another branch farther north. the two attendants had the personality and conversational skills of dead fish (i do not exaggerate much), but oliver was enchanted with the place immediately for some reason. the only fit he threw was when i had to rip some plastic grapes from his hands on the way out. we signed up last weekend (hoorah.. our membership lets us visit any branch in the metroplex, except for the downtowns) and we got a break on our sign up fee. childcare, year-round pool use, and classes are included. we went again last night and oliver still loves the place. we ignored the fact that it had spontaneously become 85 degrees in the nursery by the time we were ready to leave.
so, i'm pretty excited to finally be burning some calories. and, if i ever do pop out another living burden on the environment, the fish will watch it writhe in its carseat starting as early as six weeks old.