Towards the end of the holidays, we’d almost lost the plot. There had been four afternoons at the museum already, and a seriously testing spell of rainy days was determined to keep us in. But I was holding one more trick up my sleeve, saving the best for last. I bundled the kids into the car and told them we were going shopping. Of course it was only partially true, because we were also heading towards the kids birthday party venues. Melbourne, you dreamboat!
We had reached that critical ‘tear your hair out’ stage of the holidays, and if I had told them what we were about to do, they would have gone wild. I’d had enough of their antics inside and they needed exercise.
I deliberately parked a fair walk away, so they wouldn’t immediately know where we were going. By the time we reached the front door of the most advanced indoor play centre Melbourne has to offer, I needed a coffee. Then it dawned on them where we were headed. The kids almost knocked the turnstile over trying to get in. I had to jump back as I watched them tear off to the climbing wall. I ordered a coffee and pulled out my book. Over the next hour and a half, I was completely relaxed. My kids are 7 and 8, they play well together generally. But I know from experience that bringing them to a place where they can compete against each other buys me up to three hours of quiet time.
I hardly saw them the entire time, except from the short intervals during which they’d appear and drink down some cold water. Then it was right back into it. I was more than impressed with their stamina seeing as they’d barely moved during the rain in. When it was finally time to leave, they were rosy cheeked, breathless and definitely ready for some lunch. We ordered food from the onsite cafeteria and then, after one last round of the climbing, we left. I felt totally refreshed, and they were completely exhausted, which every parent knows is the ideal child to parent energy ratio.