We've become very close and five of us have second children now who are only a few weeks apart too. We've all been on holidays together and tell each other pretty much anything, the things that you really do only share with your closest friends. However, I have a secret that I haven't told them, and I feel I should really whisper it for fear of having parents descending on me and questioning my rights to be a parent at all. But here it is: *whispering so barely audible* I hate soft play centres and I also hate the park!
I love doing fun things with the kids and my loathing doesn't stop me going but as soon as I get a text suggesting either option for the kids I get that sinking feeling in my stomach. The soft play I can't stand because unless you're really lucky there will always be one child there whose mother thinks that they've paid the small entry price for childcare and not for soft play facilities, which means that the rest of the parents are constantly trying to reason with their own upset children when really they all just want to remove the offending child from the building! It's like when two children are fighting over one toy. If the toy belongs to your child, you tell them they must share, if it belongs to the other child, you tell your child it doesn't belong to them and ask them to give it back (or is it just me with these double standards?!) You would never dream of telling the other child that they must learn to share their toys with your own child!
On the plus side, the place itself is fab, I don't think it's overpriced or anything, and they make really nice coffee!
As for the park, well I spend half my life there because the kids love it so, and all of my baby friends seem to love it too - I can't bring myself to confide that I really don't like the fact that if we have any weather apart from rain, including snow, wind, arctic temperatures that I don't want to go and stand outside with no warmth, watching both my kids run off in opposite directions, both demanding my immediate attention!
So there we have it, I'm sure I will continue doing both activities several times a month until my kids no longer enjoy it, but I've let you in on my little secret - don't tell anyone!