Brazilian Challenge Day 2: Reckless Abandonment

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.

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11 Responses to Brazilian Challenge Day 2: Reckless Abandonment

  1. It sounds like IKEA- I used it when I was a nanny, but it was unnerving. Would they call you if something went wrong? In IKEA they would just page you, but if you’re in the mall it’s different. You are BRAVE!

    • Yes, they are supposed to call you if something went wrong. Do they have this at IKEA? They have something similar at the Brazilian version of IKEA (I swear it is a total rip off of IKEA or owned by IKEA) a store called Etna.

  2. Brasilicana says:

    Wow – that’s a huge jump from yesterday’s Brazilian challenge!

    Just before Christmas, they had spaces in some malls where women could leave their husbands to be babysat while they embarked on hours of shopping. The “maridotecas” had video games, table soccer, free massages… some of the husbands didn’t want to leave! :-p

    • OMG. Now THAT is Brazilliant! One thing about the malls, at least in Sao Paulo and Rio, they usually have cool stuff and services. Since I lived in NYC the last 6 years I was in the U.S., I didn’t go to malls so I don’t know how U.S. malls are keeping up with cool stuff.

  3. Alex says:

    I mean if I were a parent I would probably use this everyday even when I wasnt in the mall. Drop the brat off, go for a nice leisurely long lunch, buy some hangers and then I’d come back a few hours later. Maybe that’s why I am presently unfit to be a parent…..

  4. Pingback: Hang Loose | born again brazilian

  5. Anna says:

    my nephew went to those places all the time ! He loved it!!
    they took my cellphone and said they would call if he wanted to leave or sth….but it never happened!
    I loved the one brasilianca described!! I think its harder to shop with men than children 🙂

  6. Corinne says:

    I have used them and they do call. They called me because my kid started to cry and wanted to leave. Back when the New York City Center mall in Barra had first opened they had a really large gaming center. the newspapers referred to it as a “guarda-marido” while the wives went shopping!

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