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Empty chairs at busy softplay places.

(58 Posts)
AmazingBouncingFerret Fri 16-Aug-13 15:22:15

Today I braved the hell that is commonly known as softplay. The weather was shit so it was inevitably packed.

All tables taken but lots of spare chairs, I asked about four different chairs only to be told they were taken - fair enough if they are.

So I was stood there like a lemon, balancing fruitshoots on the bubblegum machines whilst trying to read my game of thrones. (wifi was broken which added to my fury)

One woman I asked was sat alone at a table of 4 (but only 3 chairs were there iyswim) After she has told me the seats were taken she moved the two pairs of children's shoes off the floor and onto the table infront of the chairs. Another woman who I previously had asked (and if you're reading sorry if I was slightly blunt when you said they were taken blush) took pity on me standing like a lemon and brought over a chair but asked if her child could please use it when they had ordered lunch, I said no problem, we then laughed at how busy it was.
So I sat at space on the table for four and not once did anyone sit in the spare chairs, I was there for almost an hour when I gave the chair back to the poor kid wanting his lunch and at this time the other woman was getting up to leave. She actually said to me "we're going now, you can sit on one of these chairs if you want" hmm I was too tired, in pain and generally feeling shitty to respond with anything other than a feeble "thank you" hmm blush

So am I being unreasonable, saving chairs for children who are far to busy having fun and being little tearaways to actually sit on them is not on. Especially when busy and lots of adults have nowhere to sit.

AmazingBouncingFerret Fri 16-Aug-13 15:52:10

No I apologise Ice. You are well within your rights to express an opinion on softplay. I'm just feeling very ratty right now.

AmazingBouncingFerret Fri 16-Aug-13 15:53:19

It is hilarious really. I mean these kids returned to the table a number of times to get a swig of water but not once did they sit down!

jacks365 Fri 16-Aug-13 15:54:34

While I do sympathise with you why shouldn't my daughter have a chair when she needs a quiet sit down and a drink to cool down and catch her breath. My local one insists you eat in the restaurant when its busy to cut down on the issue so its never been an issue here.

HerrenaHarridan Fri 16-Aug-13 15:56:36

I've been living in Scotland too long, I would have just sat down on the empty chair at the table and if given a funny look said "kids look like they're having fun, I don't know where they get the energy"

I've never had a bad experience at the soft play, maybe in just oblivious smile

missmapp Fri 16-Aug-13 16:00:22

I was a soft play today ( am now home recovering!)

I had my to and two friends children who I am looking after. I arrived early, so had plenty of tables , but still I took two chairs- one for me and one for whichever child was having a quiet sit/ drink .

As it filled up, I was amazed at the possessiveness people had over there unoccupied chairs- bags/shoes/ coats draped over them- but no child ever sitting in them.

Fair enough if you are having lunch , but otherwise YANBU and you should have had a seat.

FridgePervert Fri 16-Aug-13 16:06:41

I would have my daughter sit on my knee, or the floor rather than watch an adult hang around like a spare part for an hour when the seat was MAYBE going to be used for a few minutes.

froubylou Fri 16-Aug-13 16:07:25

I always remember a sign that used to be on our local buses when I was a kid. It stated 'Courtesy can make the journey more pleasant. Children should give up their seats to older people at busy times. '

Worked when I was a kid. If the bus was busy you sat on a knee or stood up.

I would have sat down and just moved if the kids came back to eat.

Hate soft play though with a passion. Tis hell on earth. DD now 9 so past it mostly. Now it's cinema trips, bowling, shopping for clothes and youth clubs she is into.

Drawn the line at smurfs 2 tho. The first one was a new kind of hell!

AmazingBouncingFerret Fri 16-Aug-13 16:13:13

Jacks so adults should stand around whilst you are next to an empty seat you are hogging just incase your DD might need to catch her breath?? What's wrong with your lap? Or the floor? You're paying for them to play not maybe sit down for 5 minutes.

MummytoMog Fri 16-Aug-13 16:17:35

My DD doesn't sit down. EVER. If she wanted to sit down at soft play, she would sit on the floor by my feet. Although mostly I have to drag her out kicking and screaming 'NO, Mog LOVES play, Mog LOVES'

pianodoodle Fri 16-Aug-13 16:25:46

I braved my first soft play recently, and stupidly on a Saturday.

Never going back without earplugs. The screeching!!

MaryKatharine Fri 16-Aug-13 16:34:09

Oh, ours are all empty at the weekends. Around here it's a weekday pastime for all the nct groups and then all the mummies of preschoolers.

SarahAndFuck Fri 16-Aug-13 16:34:41

YANBU OP. And if you were in the soft play place at Cleethorpes today (where we went to escape the rain while DH packed up our tent and probably swore a lot ) I would have gladly shared my sofa with you.

There is no way I would expect someone to stand up for a couple of hours just for the brief moments my DS comes back to the table for a quick drink every now and again.

Our local place just has tables to sit at, no sofas or separate eating area, and I wouldn't insist on keeping a whole table just for me and a pair of shoes until after we had eaten.

I can understand the woman who wanted the chair for lunchtime as balancing an older child on your knee while you both ate wouldn't be easy, especially if it was something you needed to use a knife and fork for.

But if DS needed to sit down on a chair for a minute for a drink and a rest then it wouldn't kill me to stand up and let him use my chair if need be, although he's still small enough to sit on my knee for that even though staying there for a full meal would be difficult.

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Fri 16-Aug-13 16:47:24

I went to the one on the town centre the other day. I was the oldest non-grandparent by about fifteen years, I reckon.

I always go dead early so I can have a seat. At the main one we go to, though, all the tables are organised as doubles, with six chairs and you can get eight round at a push - which makes me feel crap when I am on my own with the kids and hog a massive table we don't need.

bronya Fri 16-Aug-13 16:51:06

Surely the point of it all is that the adult sits while the child runs around? So chairs should really be just for adults unless the child is actually eating?

MammaTJ Fri 16-Aug-13 16:52:10

I will never lose mine! Just gave a good display in town! I ended up chasing someone who threatened to fill my face in! When I offered her the chance of one free swing she ran! grin

MuddlingMackem Fri 16-Aug-13 17:08:57


I'm with whoever said that they'd send their kids packing if they tried to spend soft play time sitting down. grin

However, if the place is usually that busy, and the parents so unpleasant, invest in a folding camping chair from Asda or similar and just take it with you. That way you can plonk it wherever is best to hide from your children and it'd be much more comfortable than the plastic or wooden chairs most softplay places have. wink

PattieOfurniture Fri 16-Aug-13 17:10:34

I went to one today for the first time in years and had a mirrored experience to yours.
I'm a bit down about it now really because there were two tables sort of joined up with the one table empty, I looked over and knew one of the women on the joined table from a playgroup I used to take ds1 to years ago, she looked at me and started pulling all the chairs in on the joined table with the body language suggesting fuck off you ain't sitting here.
I'm a billy no mates as it is and this sort of attitude makes me really sad.
I won't be in a hurry to go back.

LazyMonkeyButler Fri 16-Aug-13 17:13:18


When I used to take DSs to soft play I would generally try to find enough chairs for all of us, but if an adult came along without somewhere to sit then I would offer a seat (unless food had been ordered, then all seats would be needed pretty soon).

However, although you are welcome to take a chair - I would have said no to sharing the table. This is because DS1 has aspergers and would become distressed if he saw strangers sat in "his seat". If "his seat" was missing - no problem, strangely enough. But someone else sat at our table, in "his seat" - no, can't cope.

We did have to leave a children's show once because a very loud woman sat herself & 6 children down at our table (I said we had one free chair she could take as DS2 was sitting on the carpet with other children) she then went round finding other chairs and putting them round our table. I discreetly, but clearly, explained the problem with DS1 & she just looked at me and said "well if he has a problem, we'll move when that happens". It doesn't work like that - sorry, it just doesn't. I was very pissed off as we had arrived 90 mins early for the show to get a front table (where I could keep the DSs in full view) and she had shown up at the very last minute & expected to still get a good view.

chocolatespiders Fri 16-Aug-13 17:17:07

Haven't been to ones for years but I have taken a cushion and sat on the floor before.

mumofweeboys Fri 16-Aug-13 17:20:59

God people are so rude. I only hit soft play when it opens so usually out by lunchtime. That wouldn't happen at my local soft play as the couple who run it never leave anyone standing

AmazingBouncingFerret Fri 16-Aug-13 17:34:02

This one opened at 10am, I was in there for 10.20. People must have been queuing at the door to get in!

Ezza1 Fri 16-Aug-13 17:36:18

Yanbu to expect a damn seat instead of standing like a lemon.
However ywbvvvvvu if you were to pull a seat away and sit down 3 seconds after my ass had left it. This actually happened to me angry Fucking wanker dad of someone. Was too shocked to say or do anything at the time but if I ever see him again

AmazingBouncingFerret Fri 16-Aug-13 17:38:25

I asked about seats before just plonking my arse in them! shock grin

SarahAndFuck Fri 16-Aug-13 17:50:40

I once sat down in a chair a stranger was saving and ended up with his arm around me.

We were both very surprised about that, but neither one of us moved until his wife arrived a minute or two later, when he removed his arm and gave her his seat. grin

Rowgtfc72 Fri 16-Aug-13 19:12:07

Sarahandfuck dont know if youre local but Cleethorpes soft play was done out last year and is much more user friendly than it used to be. Ive sat next to complete strangers who really dont mind giving up a seat there.The sofas are lovely too, especially when Formula 1 is on and then DH will join me !

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