I took the Sprogs to Waterworld at Moore Park last week. Their Nonna ponied up the $20-a-head entry fee. God bless her. They were sooooo excited when we got there, itching to explore. We were first in the queue when the gates opened at 10am and the little one literally dragged the big one to the pool.
They headed straight for the biggest slide and I stood, camera ready, to capture their descent. And waited. And waited. Performance anxiety, I presumed, Sprog 2 being leery of heights. Disturbing images of me having to climb the slide to rescue her (a la Mumabulous’ traumatic experience) filled my head.
Eventually Sprog 1 appeared and gun-barrelled down. She hit the small mattressy thing at the bottom and was catapulted into the air, then smack, into the 30cm deep pool. I winced. She came up smiling.
Sprog 2 edged towards the slide, tightly closed her eyes and pushed off. She hit the small mattressy thing at the bottom and was catapulted into the air, then smack, into the 30cm deep pool. I winced again. She came up … spluttering. Then exclaimed: “That was actually fun!”
Score! I grabbed a can of Pepsi Max (yerk, that stuff’s awful, but beggars can’t be choosers) and settled into a plastic chair for a two-to-three hour commune with my iPad. Twenty minutes later Sprog 2 stomped up, dripped all over my iPad and informed me she’d had enough.
Now, even though I hadn’t paid for those tickets with my own money, I was a bit cross. I insisted she go back for more punishment. She glared at me, lips turning blue and said: “I don’t want to, it’s cold and it hurts when you hit the bottom.”
So I bribed her: “Do 20 more minutes and I’ll buy you hot chips.”
There’s parenting rule number 3 - Do not bribe children with junk - broken.
She pumping the air in victory and headed off for another 20 minutes of chilly pain. Then I sent her to the refreshment stand for her chips to buy myself a bit more “me” time. Five bucks they were, for a measly bucket of most shrivelled, greyish chips you’ve ever seen.
Now, I’ve never met a chip I didn’t LOVE or at least tolerate so I started tucking in. Sprog 1′s junk radar started going “beep, beep, beep” and she turned up for one too. Then she pulled a face and spat that chip right back out.
Ewwww. They were DIGUSTING. Metallic tasting. Completely inedible. Even for me.
I went back to the nice Swedish lass selling them, bought a bottle of water to rinse our mouths and informed her there was something wrong with the chips. She smiled blandly at me and said, “Really, I haven’t tried them yet.”
And because I am hopeless with confrontation I slunk away.
But later, as we were leaving, I heard her telling her manager: “The chips are disgusting”.
And I got brave and said: “Yes, they are. Terrible. Can I have my money back?”
To my surprise, he gave it to me. Woot! It’s the little wins …
We wandered over to the playground. The FREE playground. The Sprogs had a fantastic time. Didn’t want to leave. Happy to play for hours. Ah, farking the irony.
Except my iPad had gone on the blink and I was hungry. So I made them leave.
We headed to the local Chinese restaurant and stuffed our faces on wonton noodle soup and roast duck with rice. That New Year’s resolution diet might have to wait until after school holidays.
And a fun day was finally had by all.
(Until we got home and decided to build Sprog 1′s Lego hearse. No, that’s not a spelling mistake. It has a coffin and everything. Sprog 1 gets really tense and snippy when she’s building Lego. Reminds me of her father.)
Any school holiday suggestions for me? Ones that are relatively cheap and keep them amused for more than 20 minutes?
PS To be fair, Waterworld is pretty good in theory. I’d just advise you go in a group, so they have friends to chase around, spur them on and maintain the enthusiasm. Buy your tickets online for $20, they’re $25 at the gate.