My son recently celebrated his third birthday. We knew this year that we wanted to keep things simple for him. We didn’t want to throw a huge party. We simply wanted to spend quality time with our son on his day. So, we decided to take him to Monkey Joe’s.
For those that are unfamiliar with Monkey Joe’s, it’s a very popular place with several indoor inflatable jump castles. Perfect to let the kiddos run around. We chose to take our son on a weekday shortly after they opened up for business.
He had free range of the place.
We were the only ones there, which meant he could play on any jump castle without waiting to take turns or navigating around several other kids. He had the space to run, jump, and be free. It was perfect.
However, what was perfect for us wasn’t quite the same for our son. You ever purchase a gift for your little one, excited to see them open it up, only to realize that they ended up playing with the box instead? Well, this was something like that.
I’d say he spent roughly five minutes in one jump castle before he found his way towards the arcade games. He enjoyed the bright lights and weird noises that came from it. We entertained it for a while before asking our son if he wanted to return to the main attraction-the jump castles.
“Hey buddy, don’t you want to go back to the jump castles? You can choose any jump castle to go on?” In our minds, we thought surely he’d enjoy the castles more than the arcade games. That’s why we chose Monkey Joe’s, right?
But to our surprise, our son looked up at us with those big brown eyes and simply replied, “No.”
We were in shock that he wasn’t interested in the jump castles. My husband and I thought maybe if he sees us jumping, he’d want to tag along, but he didn’t. So, we sat back and allowed our son to move as he wanted. The moment we did that, we began to realize he was having more fun with the arcade games and was not interested in the jump castles at all.
The birthday smile on his face told us this was what he wanted.
It didn’t matter if he didn’t really understand how to play the games. He was just having a blast seeing the games light up whenever he pressed a button or make a yahoo noise whenever he walked by.
Not only did we learn something new about our son, but we also learned to embrace what’s more interesting to him.
We thought he would enjoy the jump castles more, but it turned out he enjoyed the games more. And that’s okay.
We’re just happy that we were able to provide him an enjoyable birthday regardless of what our expectations were in the beginning.