Friday, August 26, 2011

New Thing #37: Little Monkeys at Little Monkeys

Cousins B and C are staying with Grandad and Nan for a few days this week while their parents are away on a well-deserved vacation. Grandad called us to ask if we would like to join him and the cousins at Little Monkeys on Wednesday. Easy question. Of course we would!

Little Monkeys is an indoor playground in Burlington. I had heard of it before and wanted to visit, so Grandad's timing was perfect. We met up with them in the parking lot. It is hard to say who was more excited - the cousins or LP1. It was a noisy, happy group that entered Little Monkeys, donned socks and headed inside for our adventure.

Whoever designed Little Monkeys is a genius. It is enormous. There is a huge indoor playground, a rock-climbing wall, a designated toddler area, space in the back for riding these little bikes, playhouses, exersaucers and games to keep children busy. The best part is the ample, soft leather seating, the free wi-fi and complimentary coffee for the keepers of the little monkeys. Heaven.

Don't even try shaking a stick in here. There is so much fun to be had you couldn't get that stick anywhere close to it.

LP1 and the cousins immediately took off to play on the playground. I love the way the cousins look out for her and always make sure she is okay. It is so sweet to see. LP2 played in the toddler area for awhile and then decided he was hungry. He had a bottle while Grandad and I took advantage of the complimentary coffee and caught up with one another.

LP1 and the cousins alternated between running around, playing on the playground and checking out the other activities. Grandad got pressed into playing some table-top hockey with Cousin B. LP1 was playing by herself in an area where they have soft blocks made out of gymnastic mats. She was attempting to build herself a house. I heard her begin to cry so I went over to check it out. There was another little girl in there, probably at least 5 years old, if not older, who was taking away LP1's blocks and kicking down what she was building. Admittedly, LP1 is not the greatest at sharing right now and we are working on that...but she is also TWO YEARS OLD. My protective Mommy instincts took over and although I wanted to kick that child, I settled for staring at her until she finally got uncomfortable and left (this is the greatest thing you can do to kids that are being jerks because what are they going to say to their parents? "Mommy, that lady is staring at me!"? Bring it on). Fortunately, Grandad soon came to the rescue and it wasn't long before he was building LP1 a fantastic little castle to play in...I think he was also getting requests from other kids for their own customized houses. He certainly has a knack for pleasing a crowd!

LP2 decided he was ready to try out the toddler zone again so we went and played in there for awhile. He was happy to crawl around, exploring the small slides. He would sit back and clap his hands with delight. There was another small boy in there and LP2 ambled over to say hello and touch his face. I'm not sure if all children do this or if it is a phenomenon confined to ours but both LP always reach out and touch other children. It is always very gentle but sometimes it scares other kids. This particular little boy was unfazed, though. He also didn't speak a word of English. Fortunately, neither does LP2, aside from a few words like "yum yum", "hi Dad" and one time where I'm almost certain he said "okay".

After snack and juice breaks and some lunch for LP2, it was soon time to go. I was surprised to discover that we had been there for nearly 3 hours! What a fantastic morning! The LP really enjoyed being there with their cousins and Grandad. I did, too. I think Grandad and I should plan to meet there for coffee one day!

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