Picture this, if you will, five children, two babies two parents and a senior (sorry mum) matriarch lined up on banana chairs. Towels down, sunscreen and swimmers on and a whole world of water before them on a perfectly sunny day. Not too hot and not too cold. Add to this scene the mother and her mother in "like totally dude", happenin’, surfy- labelled boardies and an equally expensive labelled shirt and you have the setting for the day.
The children scatter. The littlies to Wiggle World, where they can splash through musical fountains of water, stand under a flower shower or swim in the ankle high pool. The older children are thrilled with all they see and make their way to the various adrenalin pumping rides. The Rip, The Beach, The BRO (blue ringed octopus), the hydrocoaster and… THE GREEN ROOM!
A monsterous tunnel that throws you and three others into what appears to be a conical sink hole flipped on it’s side. As the occupants of the clover shaped tube slip from the top of one side, down and almost all the way to the top of the other side, the mother thanks her lucky stars that the boardies she chose are dark blue, so they will adequately mask the stain she will aquire when her children (or adrenalin junkie husband) push her onto said ride (and she knows it is coming).
The grandmother is forced to find a designated smoking area, such is her fear of these kinds of rides. She is also thankful that boardies mostly come in black and blacker because she has promised the children she will attempt at least one ride.
The adrenalin junkie father is overloaded by all that he sees and he takes a moment to recover from the expanse of gut wrenching, whirling,vomit inducing mechanical giants (that and the cost of the boardies) by reverting to organisation of posessions so the family is free to wander the park without having to worry about anything being stolen. Once he has calmed down, he attempts to feign amusement as he watches the toddlers spray each other with Dorothy The Dinosaur and Wags the Dog water guns (secretly he is wishing he could run wild and free with the eleven year olds and the nine year old who thinks she is eleven).
His wish soon comes true as the babies become restless and tired from morning beach walks and Wiggle overload. The mother finds herself in a banana chair, watching one sleeping child in the pram while the other is asleep, like a kitten, on her lap. The children come to drag the Daddy away. His fake protests fall on deaf ears and his poor acting skills do not convince the mother that he wants to stay to help out with the cherubs. She laughs and shakes her head. He pretends to be pulled away by the children but once he thinks he is out of the mother’s line of sight she can see him scurry ahead of the kids.
After an hour or so he returns, saturated and happy. A smile splits his face from ear to ear. There is a sparkle in his eye that the mother has not seen for a long time. The children are beetling around their hero father, excitedly telling the mother and the grandmother of their adventures. They eat their lunch hurriedly and then all of them, including the fully adrenalised father, scuttle away again. The grandmother is almost chain smoking now, knowing that her number is up next. The mother remains on her banana chair, watching as the cherubs sleep and listening to the Wiggles music playing in the background, thinking of all the thing she would like to buy in the shop that sold her the board shorts.
The toddlers are blissfully unaware of all that is going on around them and continue to sleep for another hour before waking to consume a bucket of chips each and half of the mothers burger. They are back in Wiggle World before you can say ‘Captain Feathersword’ and the mother and the father are released from parental duties to ride the waves together (the grandmother thankful for an excuse to buy more time).
The father rides The Rip with the mother and two of the children, after making her stand under a huge Nickelodeon water bucket that spews massive amounts of H2O onto her head, soaking her to the very core. He then convinces her that The Green Room is not as scary as The Rip and leads her to the top of the ride. As they get on the cloverleaf raft, he turns to her and declares that he lied and this is by far the most petrifying ride he has ever been on. As she leans over to hit him as hard as she can the ride controller heaves the raft into the tunnel and the mother once again (amongst screaming her lungs out and holding on for dear life) thanks the surfy labels for the dark coloured boardies.
The ride lasts about 9 seconds but it is a few moments of absolute childlike enjoyment. The mother feels light and happy and free. For a day that she thought would be boring and of very little enjoyment for the adults, it has turned out to be the best day so far.
As the parents return to the banana chairs to find the babies pulling apart a garden, the other two big kids drag the grandmother off to face her fears. She returns later, shaking and wet but she has not let the children down and they see her as a hip, cool Gran with a bad ass attitude! They circle her and bask in her heroism.
The sun is starting to set and the family are one of the few remaining in the park, having had the most wonderful of times, they are reluctant to leave it behind. Knowing that the holiday is drawing to a close.
The mother shops her heart out and the family purchase photos snapped in an instant of time. Some showing children smiling and happy, some with looks of terror on their faces, some with their favourite Wiggles character. It is a day none of them will ever forget.