so last saturday was the birthday party of a good friend of mine’s little boy.  incidentally, because the two of us like to hang out, our sons have become little buddies.  this is extremely cute because now when they see each other they get very excited and talk to each other in their little toddler voices, and general adorableness ensues.

because it’s often easier to have a party out somewhere so that kids can run amok and be wild, my friend decided to hold her son’s party at Tree Paad in malta, ny.  it’s located at the corner of “oh hey what a great idea for a party” and “oh dear god this is a nightmare/i’m going to clothesline that 12-year-old barreling around if he almost knocks over another toddler.”  for those of you who have never heard of this establishment, it’s an indoor “fun center” where kids can run around, climb and jump off things, you know all that good stuff.  additionally, as another parent i was with pointed out, it appears to be run entirely by 14 year-olds.  
because my friend is a smart person, she decided to have the party at 10am, which is before all of the madness starts.  really up until noon, the place was fairly quiet and the kids could run around without fear of being bowled over.

after noon, however…different story.  the place became completely bombarded by loud, shrieking children, and adults who did not look convinced that patronizing this establishment was a good idea.  at one point, while standing in line at a random-toy counter with K, fistful of tickets in hand with a small swarm of loud, hip-high people begging their parents for toys they neither need nor really want beyond the next 10 minutes, i actually thought to myself “this place has got to be some type of hell.”  i looked around, and based on the bedraggled expressions of my fellow parent-types, i was not the only one thinking that.

joking aside, K and his little toddler friends really did seem to have fun, so in the end it’s worth it.  but never again will i question why a parent cringes when someone brings up going to a place like tree paad.  i understand completely now.  and if you find yourself either holding a party there, or going to one for someone else – for the sake of your sanity – go before noon.


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