So on our ‘Things We Must Do in the Long Summer Holiday’ list the kids had written  ‘Go to Bounce’.

In case you are not familiar with this particular activity Bounce is a shed in a city near us which is home to 100 plus trampolines. Eldest and Middlest have each been to a party there. It was a ‘thing’ about a year ago. In the manner of children’s parties the herd has now moved on. Mainly to the outside Waterpark on a nearby lake. Even looking at children in wet suits in that lake makes me shiver. And worry about algae and stuff. We did a similar thing in Greece last summer. In the Med. Air temperature 38 degrees. Sea temperature 28 degrees. Currently here the air temp is about 18 and I am pretty sure the lake has made double figures but probably only just. It looked more fun in Greece. But hey each to their own.

I am digressing. I apologise.

Youngest has had a bee in her bonnet about Bounce since I had to decline two birthday parties on her behalf that were being held at this palace of bouncy wonderment. To hear her talk you would think this shed was some sort of utopia. With added dodgeball.

So I agreed to let them come. We were going to do it yesterday but then we went on a bike ride down the new bypass (on the cycle route in case readers of Cycle Rage are wondering) and had lunch in our supermarket of choice. That sounds like I am being coy. I am not really. Our supermarket of choice is Sainsburys. What can I say? I like their meat. And the fact that they let me park there on Fridays so I can collect the kids without queuing up for half an hour to leave the school carpark. I owe them. Plus all my ‘favourites’ are saved on their web site. And I am blowed if I am going to go through the rigmarole of starting all over somewhere else. I can almost do my on line grocery shopping in my sleep.

By golly I am digressing again. So after our jaunt on bikes we decided to save Bounce for another, less exciting day. Today is that day.

I booked an hour’s slot on line. And paid an extortionate amount for the privilege. Then I had to buy two pairs of ‘Bounce’ socks. Eldest had brought his home from his party. The parents of the child that Middlest attended the party of are obviously more savvy. They probably kept all the £2.49 pairs of socks and got a reasonable used price on e bay. I was expecting quite a lot from these socks. I generally only pay £2.50 for a five pack of sports socks….

We arrived. Only the independent schools are off this week. So we had thought it might be quite quiet. We hadn’t reckoned on school parties. The double decker in the car park was a little unnerving. I approached the reception desk. Luckily I had printed off all my waiver forms and registration forms and booking forms. These basically consist of reams of paper in which you agree that if you die it is all your own fault, you muppet. And that you won’t get the extortionate entrance fee back in that event.

The lady then asked me if I was staying. I hadn’t booked myself onto the trampolines. I don’t do trampolines. The reason I don’t will be self evident to anyone who has borne three kids. My children haven’t borne three kids so I had to do a little ‘delicate’ explaining. How to tell your kids they have shot your pelvic floor and you are therefore unable to partake of a fun activity with them without making them feel guilty for it? I think I navigated that quite well. The adverts around the place suggesting that Bounce is a ‘family activity’ are clearly designed by marketing executives who have not had children. Or are male.

So I told the lady I would be staying as youngest is 8 and surely therefore too young to be left unattended? She agreed, she was too young to be left. And then she charged me £2.99 for the privilege of supervising my own offspring. My god. Money for old rope. Luckily this entitled me to spend £2.99 in the café.

We acquired the socks. I was a little ‘disappointed’. I am not sure why normal socks would not have worked. I suppose they lack the ‘grips’ on the bottom. And are not bright orange. All  my kids possess Christmas slipper socks though. I think they should have been allowed. However unseasonal they are.

We watched the Safety Briefing. In synopsis. If you die it is all your own fault. You muppet.

They donned the amazing socks. I decided to not bother with a locker. Which would take my pound and not return it. So I carted all the jumpers and shoes and socks (of a non grippy, non orange nature) with me.

We entered bouncy utopia. It quickly became apparent that I would not be able to spectate from the café. As it is below the level of the trampolines. This seemed a little unfair as I had paid £2.99 for the privilege of spectating. I had expected a viewing gallery at least. Oh well. I spent my ‘voucher’ on tea and a piece of Rocky Road. The offspring went off to bounce.

I tried to use the ‘free’ WiFi. Which necessitated that I ‘check in’ on Facebook. These people have an eye for the buck that’s all I can say. I deleted the post once I was safely logged in. Sod you Bounce and your ‘free’ WiFi providing you with ‘free’ advertising. I am not sure why this bothers me so much. But it does. I never check in on Facebook. Ever. I felt dirty.

The place was packed. There seemed to be an entire sixth form in hogging the Slam Dunk area. And another younger school party in the dodge ball arena. And queuing up outside.

Luckily the teenagers’ time was soon up, and the other party left half an hour later. Once I had finished my tea (no food or drink allowed in the bounce arena) and decided to risk leaving my bags in the café I climbed the steps to take a few videos of my springy, flippy children. Just to pretend I was bothered about their antics. In these situations (risk of death, which would be all your own fault, you muppet) I find it is best to just not watch and instead write blog entries.

All too soon their hour was up. Although they would never have coped with two. They were a sweaty mess. As shown above.

I am hoping they will all sleep well tonight. That might provide some ‘compensation’.