Seeing as how most of the school holidays have involved staying at home doing DIY, recovering from Christmas and getting ready for camping, we thought we'd better make an effort and actually take our kids somewhere. You know, actually do something with them.
To make up for our (almost) total lack of effort in the fun stakes, we splashed out and took them to NZ's Premier Theme Park: Rainbow's End (woop woop). OK, you Queenslanders, Californians and Floridians... stop laughing. It's the best NZ has to offer and the kids don't know that it's a bit sad as theme parks go internationally. They were majorly amped OK?
Hey us Kiwis are simple folk. I still remember my nephew saying to me, after we visited Owlcatraz (which really really sucked): "Aunty Simone, was this your best day ever???" See. Simple folk. Easy pleased.
OK, now back to my story:
We did the regular Theme Park stuff...
...rode the rollercoaster (the kids went on three times and loved it)
...ate candy floss...
...and learnt a few things about our kids while we were there...
This little guy just loves cars, trains, anything with wheels. He just loved the "Carwash Convoy" in the kids area - must have rode it 10 times. In fact refused to leave and had to be bribed.
What we learnt from him was how your heart can just blow up to 15 times its regular size and threaten to burst with love and joy when you are watching your gorgeous kid enjoy something so much. (In fact watching the three of them together we were fairly bursting with pride at how gorgeous they all are and how much we love them).
Scrag completely missed his daytime sleep and did he whinge or complain?? No not once. He is truly the happiest baby in the world and we are the most blessed-est people to have him.
Miss Fab (a.k.a. Princess):
Our daughter is the Queen of Courage. She is a can-do girl. Ride the roller coaster?? No problemo. Let's do it again? You bet!
How about the Fear Fall? Yeah, why not. Hey, that was great! Daddy why are your knees knocking together??!
What about the Dodgems? Mummy can I have a turn driving? Sure.
Sometimes we forget that she's only five. She's so tall she qualified for nearly all the big rides and went on them fearlessly. So when she asked to drive her own Dodgem car, I thought, why not?
I was waiting with Dash in the Bumper Boats queue, so Daddy took Miss Fab and Scrag Dodgem-ing. When they came back, Miss Fab was shaken and crying. It had not gone well at all. All the other drivers kept crashing into her. She got stuck in the middle and Daddy couldn't rescue her. His heart broke as he watched her tears; he managed to grab the attendant and got him to rescue her.
The King of Persistence. Dash got it in his head that he really wanted to have a go on the Bumper Boats. Nobody else wanted to, but he was determined. So I said, "Well it looks like a long queue, but if you really want to go, then you can line up by yourself. I'll wait over here."
So he waited. And waited. And Waited.
Boy o boy the look on his face when it was his turn! Off he raced, totally enjoying himself on the water with his new buddies.
I was blown away by his commitment, his patience... and his social skills!
When it was over, Dash and Cowboy Hat gave each other a high five and went their separate ways. I am so amazed at my seven year old son's social confidence. And Thankful - because it will take him Far.
Who knew you could learn all that about your kids at a Theme Park?
P.S. Owlcatraz is a real place, near Shannon in the Horowhenua; it's a kind of Owl sanctuary with a (really sad mottley) petting zoo and miniature railway. Click here if you don't believe me... :)