In nearly every mall that I’ve visited so far in Brazil, there is a place where you can drop off your kid while you shop. It’s like a little mini infantil buffet, usually with a small trampoline and a ball pit and those bi-level crawling tubes like you might find at a McDonald’s playland. When I first saw one of these places, and realized that people just LEFT their kids there, I thought that was INSANE. Sure, they have a system where you need to produce a receipt to pick up your child, but they have a similar system at Chuck-E-Cheese and no one LEAVES their kids alone there. Breeding ground for kidnappers and pedophiles is what I figured.
Sure, in NYC the kid gym Sophia spend a good deal of time at sometimes would have a “pajama party” where, on a Friday night, you could leave the kids to do activities for a couple hours. But the staff knew my daughter and we knew them. Also, the people that worked with the kids all had college degrees, most were in the city trying to make it big on Broadway.
But this evening, in an attempt to be a little bit more Brazilian, we dropped my daughter off at one in the Gavea mall. She had been there before and played while I worked on my computer, sitting in an extremely small chair at an extremely small table. But tonight she went it alone.
Ok, yes, so I checked on her four times during the hour she was there. But my husband and I were able to walk around a bit and grab a quick cocktail and appetizer.
Best of all… ela sobreviveu.