Bouncy bouncy bouncy bouncy fun fun fun fun fun

When you’re lying there in the hospital cradling that new baby in your arms, no one tells you that you’ll never be able to wear pencil skirts without Spanx again. They don’t tell you’ve just had your very last shower with the bathroom door closed. And they certainly don’t tell you about Bouncy Castle Duty.

This week at our preschool fair, I was thrust into the wild world of oversized inflatables volunteerism. And if I could sum it up in one word it would be this:


I devoted an entire hour to hoisting kids up onto the bouncy platform thing by their feet. Most in socks, but not all. Yep, I touched a whole lot of sweaty children’s feet this weekend in the name of fundraising and community spirit.

Most of the kids were delightful. If there is a prize for well-behaved, obedient bouncy castle addicts under 6 with faces painted like superheroes, surely our school takes it by a longshot. (Let’s start a trophy case, PTA!) But then there was the 13 year-old who was taller than me. And sweatier. And, it seems, not yet much interested in underarm deodorant. Eau de Teen Boy. Delightful.

When I got home that night I didn’t think much of it, except to marvel at how I survived an entire hour in an unventilated classroom with no windows, that had been stuffed quite literally to the ceiling with coated 1000 denier nylon and hot air. But when I plucked my sweater dress off the floor the next morning, it hit me.

Hit me right in the nose, in fact.

Which makes me wonder how many other people that I had interacted with all day were privy to the delightful scent.

Apologies fellow parents. Apologies pizza delivery guy. Apologies Nate.

And that’s to say nothing of the yellow spin-art paint that it turns out was all over my back, some of it, oddly, in the same shape and size as a small child’s handprint.


21 thoughts on “Bouncy bouncy bouncy bouncy fun fun fun fun fun”

  1. I am a pretty laid-back mom, but I'll admit that bouncy castles give me the willies. All those bare feet on rubbery surfaces….and each other! All the potential for a nauseous child to, well, bounce upchuck all over the rest of the kids. Plus, I've been to parties where those things become like bouncy mosh pits, with little children crammed into the corners while monstrous big kids cave the sides in…gah. The whole thing makes me claustrophobic.

    I'm close enough to childhood to remember what FUN they are when you're a kid, though, which is why I take a deep breath and let my kids climb in.

  2. Yes Megan, there was the TERROR that I would be liable for some kind of toddler collision on duty. I kept wondering what kind of insurance I had for that sort of thing.

  3. Bouncy castles suck. I can tell you that, as a well-seasoned mom of four giant smelly boys, you need to get in the habit of cherry picking your volunteer duties but quick. Everyone at my son's school knows I'm up for the high-profile, low-intensity jobs. You know, ticket taking at concerts. Reading with adorable first graders. That sort of thing.

    The bouncy castle…well, just be glad you didn't have to go in there after any of them. They pee in there, you know. Pretty frequently.

  4. I wish I could claim that I'd been “workin' the bouncy castle” to explain away what must either be a significant hormone imbalance or the fact that I might be close to death, but peeeeeeyuuuuu some days I wonder if I shouldn't just be dunking myself head to toe in Secret. I hear it's strong enough for a man, but made for offensively smelly women.

  5. My 10-year old boy wears deodorant, the heathen (the 13 yo you spoke of, not my son) sheesh, and people insist that Jersey, you know, stinks…fuhghettaboutit.

  6. Too funny! Good for you for getting involved even if it meant paint on a dress and unpleasant odors!!

  7. You're a saint! And brave! My parents never let me play in them…they were worried I'd hurt my heart. Lame.

  8. Ah…bouncy castles are part of our world down south. If you aren't familiar, down here we have actual businesses in the business of having MULTIPLE castles in one room for children to have their for birthday parties. Let's see, there is iJump, Jumpin' Jax, Pump it Up…need I say more? Some are bouncy castles, others are bouncy slides with maze courses. In the past 4 weekends we have attended no less than 4 of these parties and at one of them my 3 year old could maneuver all of it (including the 30 foot high ladder to the slide YIKES!) except for the SQUEEZE section because he was too short. Sadly, Mommy was too fat to do the SQUEEZE and had to shove him through 😛 However, I see it as an hour or two of wearing my boys out to oblivion and good sleep over a weekend.

    Oh, and we had a CARS themed bouncy castle at my boys joint b-day party last month (see 10/19 blog post slideshow) and I must say, worth every dime I paid to rent it to hear him scream “MOMMY! Lightning McQueen is at MY HOUSE!” when he woke up from his nap and saw it in the yard. (and it was very clean, kudos to the rental company)

  9. “They pee in there” made me laugh b/c after three kids, if I go bouncing in a Bouncy House, I'm the one doing the peeing. My bladder is no longer capable of handling such activity.

  10. I, too, am a proud vet of the southern “bounce party” venues. They are unbelieveable!!! And boy are you ever sore after shoving and pulling your kids up, down, and around some of the bounce toys. Makes for a good afternoon and a good solid naptime.

  11. Yes, these things may be very dangerous. I always remember that my children never get into those bouncy castles- unless I supervise them, of course. But then again, there's only so much a father can do.

  12. um, bare feet in the bounce house? NASTY! We love us some good bounce housin' – in fact, have two little bounce houses of our own, one square one, one water/slide one. Just this weekend we went to our first bounce house playland thing – it was AWESOME – but…no socks – no service.
    Who on earth lets their kids in a bounce house without socks? Those parents should no better.

  13. southerners: the warehouse o'bouncy houses is not unique. We got them in California. Hell, they had them in the UK last year when I was there.

    So far, we've managed to not have to deal with bouncy houses, wonder how long I can keep them secret? Also, ball pits.

  14. not surprise me why at the end of the day you didn't think much of anything after what you had been through..haha but to see all those kids enjoy their time i think it worth

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