We needed to be at Seaworld by 9:30 so that we could book AJ in for a surprise! It was busy that Sunday morning and AJ was bubbling with excitement. It was the first time he, Mal and Mum had been. When we finally got through the gates (David had a little trouble because the ticket collector didn’t believe that he, Ivy and Noah were part of our party - seeing as he payed the $64 per adult and $42 per child (I can’t bare to do the maths) he felt that he had a right to argue the point), we guided the gaggle to the booking in area where we had orginised for AJ to go snorkelling in Shark Bay.
His session was not for an hour so we sauntered through the park, stopping to look at the dolphins and the dugongs before making our way to the waiting area. I was not in a particularly good mood because I had forgotten my hat and had no sunglasses. The sun was very bright and the weather was already hot to my unaccustomed body. My mother had also decided that she was going to give up smoking and this was her first day of bad withdrawal symptoms, so she was grotty as well. AJ was sublimly happy though as he prepared for his dive.
Ivy and Noah were overtired and sick of being in the pram and the girls’ patience was wearing thin with all the waiting around. They wanted to go on this ride and that ride and see this and that. In the end I let them go to look at the polar bears and the exploratory pool. Mum took the babies for a walk and all was quiet for a while.
David bought me a hat and Imogen lent me her sunglasses (see attached picture for a good laugh). What is it with these large goggle - like sunnies? Where have the sleek styles of the eighties gone? Not a Blues Brothers’ style in sight! SO, with the sun off my face and out of my eyes, Ivy now asleep and Noah happy to sit with David we watched our now 11 year old foster son in the clear waters. His smile was worth it all.
After that was finished it was lunchtime, so we sat under a tree and decided what to do next.
The beauty of having such a big family is that they all watch out for one another but one of the hardest things, with such a big age gap in children is how to divide your time. We decided that we wanted to see the dolphin show at 2pm and so we let the big children go together on all the scary, high powered rides and David, Mum and I took Malachy, Ivy and Noah over to the little kids rides. We were to meet up twenty minutes before the show. The big kids took off to line up for the first ride and we had a ball with the babies and Mal.
We only had one incident the whole day and that was when Lily came crying hysterically to us post ride on The Pirate Ship. Apparently the ride controller had joked that he was going to flip the whole thing over and Lily, who had tried her hardest to be brave, so as to impress he idol, AJ, lost the plot completely and screamed for the ride to stop. Imogen, her protective sister, ordered the ride to halt and then promptly told off the young adult for scaring a little girl! I think the worst part of it for Lily though was that she had fallen from grace in AJ’s eyes. He called her a baby and stomped around the park as though his life had come to a sudden end because Lily didn’t like the ride. We soon calmed her down though and things settled quickly after that.
We made our way to the arena where the dolphin show was performed and grabbed a seat. Everyone was hot and bothered and so Mum saved the day with ice creams all around. Ivy and Noah enjoyed their chocolate paddle pop, right down to the very last, sticky, roll down your arm, dripping lick. I took photos as evidence. Now when Noah sees them, he growls in a low rumble… ‘I like de clocolate!’
Indeed he did.
The show was amazing! These beautiful, intellegent creatures stole our hearts.
We finished the day by going to the water park. Noah discovered he was not scared of this type of bottle (water) at all and had a wonderful time splashing his mother. Ivy found that things looked better from a different point of view and fashioned her new Cupid Girl swimmers. I only wished that I had brought mine because my pants and top were now virtually soaked through.
That evening, we went to dinner at a Japanese Restaurant. AJ and Mal were amazed with the acrobatics performed by the chef as he cooked in front of us. Noah decided that he would choose this night to declare his independence and refused to eat unless he was feeding himself. Ivy took a liking to pickled japanese vegetables and the waitress was so amazed that she brought her another bowl (complimentry). Mum had purchased another packet of cigarettes and although she felt beaten by her 40 something year old habit, she was smiling and relaxed again. David and I basked in the glow of a successful day…well, for a short time anyway, before Noah tipped his whole bowl of fried rice onto the floor.