My daughter was recently invited to a birthday party at one of those bouncy house places. My first thought was to drop her off then come back and pick her up once the pizza part was over (and grab a slice of cheese pizza on my way out of course. I’m not an idiot.) But she insisted I stay with her the entire time. So I got her situated then took out my phone and started crushing some candy while she bounced around with her friends. Then the unthinkable happened -- my battery died. I either needed to get involved in the action or else I’d be sitting around for two hours with nothing to do.
So I took of my shoes and went on a search for the most non-threatening bouncy house thing I could find.
And there it was.
It was an obstacle course for baby/wannabe bouncers. All I had to do was climb this small wall, slide down the other side, go through a tunnel, and climb another wall at the end. Easy peasy lemon squeezy, right?
I got through the little mesh door and climbed the first wall with ease and just a smidge of gracefulness, then slid down the other side. Alright, alright. I’m rocking this. Meanwhile, three year olds are stepping on my head as they zoom by without so much as a consideration for how much they’re damaging my self esteem.
I look at the tunnel and start to worry I may be too big to fit through it. But that’s not possible, because parents go through these things all the time, right? I mean, I’m a little chubby but I can do it. I had a fear of getting stuck like Winnie the Pooh after eating all of Rabbit’s honey -- mostly because the idea of sitting in that tunnel for days and not eating until I lost enough weight to be freed seemed daunting. If history was any indication, I would be waiting a LONG time.
I wriggled and scooted my way through the tunnel and popped out the other side successfully. Yes!
Now all that was left was the last baby wall. I’m very out of shape and was already exhausted by this point, but had faith in myself that I could complete this last challenge.
For twenty minutes I clawed at that wall, trying to make it to the top. And every time I did my arms got weaker and weaker. I would grab hold of bouncy house flesh and pull myself up while my feet ran in place, then just slide back down to the tunnel exit and lay on my back, gasping for air, until I mustered enough energy to try again.
After what seemed like forever, it was apparent that, yes, I was indeed stuck in the the baby bouncy house.
I felt like that guy that was wedged between a rock and a hard place in Everest or something. You know the one -- he had to use an army knife to cut off his leg...or was it his arm? Anyway. Except this was a bouncy house and I risked losing the respect of every parent and child in the building. For all I knew, they were watching and filming. Crap. Maybe I need to google “chubby woman gets stuck in bouncy house.” No, I don’t think I want to.
As I laid there at the bottom of the slide, so close to freedom, I began questioning all of my major decisions in life. What brought me to this place of defeat? How long would I stay at the bottom of this mountain, waiting for victory to come and bring along a stronger character and a more determined spirit?
“M’aam? Do you need help?”
I look up and see the teenage staffer staring down at me from the outside of the house.
She then walked through the mesh, stepped over the baby hill, slid through the tunnel, and was by my side in 10 seconds flat. She got me out of there -- I won’t give you the gory details, but I’m sure if you google “woman rescued from bouncy house” there’s probably something there.