4 wasn’t enough, I went for 5.
My parenting skills were tested on Friday when I took my 4 children to Seaworld for the first time in their little lives. My wife an I had held off for a number of years as Izaac was always too young (he is almost 4 now) and what would we do if they all ran off in different directions??? I always said, I’d pick my favourite and Mel, you pick yours and we hope the other one would get hungry and find us at some stage.
A friend of ours needed some help watching their son Thomas, I thought to myself, I am insane enough to take 4 kids to Seaworld, why would one more make a difference? Sure I said, throw him on the pile, he’ll be fine.
So I had -
Jaecob - 6
Thomas - 5
Kaine - 5
Izaac - 4
Yve - 5 months
Thomas was dropped at our house at 8:30am just as my wife was leaving for work. I was packing snacks and sandwiches for the day (shhh don’t tell the dolphins, Seaworld doesn’t let you take in food from home). I pulled all 4 boys aside and said, “If anyone gets lost today, give this card to one of the staff and ask them to call the number” as I handed them each of them one of my business cards to put in their pockets.
First stop wasn’t Seaworld, but the swimming pool. Izaac had swimming lessons at 10am, and the penguins would just have to wait. I was packing swimming bags, nappy bags, food bags and clothes bags. I thought I was coasting and had plenty of time. It was 9:30am and as we were only 15 minutes from swimming, I thought “lets get the kids in the car and cruise down to the pool”.
Now, getting 4 kids into the car takes approx. 7 minutes, I didn’t take into account that adding 1 child, 3 extra bags and 5 very excited children into the equation would add more than 8 minutes to the exercise. I thought I was very well organised… I had the spare booster seat in the car and everything, but no, I wasn’t organised. It was like catching 5 tadpoles in your hands at one time… I had kids going in different directions… one wanted to pee, they all wanted to pee… Yve did a poo and it was all on! Finally, after what felt like 15-20 minutes we were all in Di (the Hyundai) and I started the ignition. I looked down to the clock expecting to be late. What I didn’t expect to see was 10:01 on the clock.
We drove to the pool, obeying all road rules (Hi Amanda (Thomas’ mum) if you are reading this) thinking to myself, Lyn, Izaac’s instructor is always running late. We got there at 10:15 and I doubled parked out the front and ran Izaac into the pool, pulling off shoes, shirts and pants along the way. It seemed like the lesson just started and all was good. I went back out and unloaded the rest of the motley crue and fed Yve.
After swimming lessons it was Seaworld time, we drove down to The Spit and the kids were getting more and more excited. We parked quite a distance away from the entry, as it was already 11:30am and the carpark was quite full. I unloaded the children, put Yve in the pram, then the nappy bag on the back, then the food bag underneath, then Thomas’ bag and then our clothes bag on my back… ready to go. I was exhausted already.
We got to the gate, I unpacked all our tickets and reminded them about my business card. I said “OK boys we are here, I am going to give each of you a number. Kaine - 1, Thomas - 2, Izaac - 3, Jaecob - 4. Now when I say the word “Numbers” you say your number in order. Let’s practice.”
Awesome, at least if at any time I can’t see them all at once, I will be able to hear them. We went inside and had a bite to eat (saved myself a good $50). First stop was the new penguin exhibit.
Kaine was a fan of the penguins (like the hat, I knew I wouldn’t be losing him today!) We were very lucky as it was feeding time and they were all up and about ready for a feed. Ralph lost his head in all the commotion.
Whilst Eric posed for photo’s as he was very proud of his poo…
We left the penguins and hit the Pirate Show. Most of our day revolved around the feedings and the shows, as we couldn’t hit the rides with Yve in tow. The “Numbers” thing worked well too. Favourites included the Sea Lions, patting the Ray’s and Starfish and of course the sharks.
One of them though Izaac looked especially tasty!
It was getting quite late in the day and the Dolphins were on at 3:00pm, I thought that this would be a good place to finish and then we would make our way home. As we walked into the show, I heard my name called out. Kaine and Thomas’ friend Tahlia was there with her mum, sister and friends. We sat with them and Tahlia’s mum asked if we had been on the log ride. I said no, as we couldn’t go on anything as we had Yve. She then said, Tahlia wouldn’t go on anything and would likely go on if the boys went on, so I asked the boys. Kaine and Izaac was keen, so I went on with the boys and the other 3 stayed with Pauline’s (Tahlia’s mum) friend. The boys loved the log ride, even the scary bit. They got pretty wet, so they were happy.
We made our way back up to the exit, bought a few keepsakes, including a Angry Birds Pig (nothing says “I’ve been to Seaworld” better) that Jaecob couldn’t go without. We didn’t get to the car until 4:30pm and it was starting to get cold, I piled the 5 of them into the car and they were chattering about their day.
I stopped off at the trawlers on the way home to get some seafood for dinner. I then dropped off Thomas. I knew the boys weren’t keen on seafood, so my final mistake for the day was “What do you want for dinner boys?”
Kaine “Hot Dogs”
I wasn’t going to ruin a great day, so we all drove down to the local shops, I ordered pizza and pasta from Dominos and ran in to get some hot dogs and buns from the IGA. We got home at 5:30pm, I heated the dogs, served up the pizza and pasta, put on a risotto and fed Yve. Mel walked through the door at 6:00pm, I asked if she minded shelling the cooked prawns? We ate the prawns, with a Sauvy B and I finished the risotto -
Garlic King Prawn, Moreton Bay Bug and Avocado Risotto… a perfect end to an awesome day.