Thursday, June 6, 2013

Possum Magic, lunch and play: A one on one day with my baby

Another anti-disclaimer: I did not get theatre tickets for free, I bought them. Was not asked to write review, was offered no incentives to do so, and the Wyndham Cultural Centre doesn't even know I am writing it. It was just fun, so I wanted to write about it. Similarly, I received no incentive or request from Sanctuary Lakes Hotel to write about my meal - I just firmly believe that restaurants that get dietary needs right should be recognised and celebrated!

Today I took my 4 year old, the lovely C, out for a special morning together.

We had tickets to see the musical show of Possum Magic, based (very faithfully, I should note) on Mem Fox's wonderful classic storybook of the same name, at the Wyndham Cultural Centre at 10:30am this morning - a perfect timeslot for us, as we could travel on directly from school drop off and have heaps of time to park close, enjoy a hot drink together, and explore the theatre before kick-off. 

C loves many of Mem Fox's books, although her favourites, before now, have been the beautiful Hunwick's Egg and the sweetest Christmas story in the world, Wombat Divine. But as her excitement has been building over the past week, she's requested Possum Magic every night as one of her bedtime stories. She's pretty much word perfect with it now, which gave me a moment of pause, as I wasn't sure how she would react if the play departed too much from the text. (She's a purist, is C.)

As it turned out, I needn't have worried, as the one-hour performance followed the story with an exactness that C found very satisfactory. The addition of music and the inevitable physical comedy ("Behind you! Behind yoooooooooou!" audience participation FTW!) only added to her enjoyment of the whole thing. She was besotted with the funny kangaroo and the blue wombat, loved the kookas, and thought Hush was "so cute!"

As for me, I really enjoyed the performance, and more, the time with C. I turned my phone off when we arrived at the venue, and really focused on talking with C while we had our hot drinks, listening to her as we explored the theatre, and giving her lots of cuddles as she sat on my knee and squeezed me tight during the show. It was a wonderful experience, and I loved it.

I should add that one of the things that made the whole business so great was the professionalism and consideration of the box office staff at WCC. I had booked these tickets online months ago, when the program first came out, and thought no more of it. On Tuesday, a very nice woman from the theatre rang me to let me know that in the interim, a number of schools had booked, and we were now going to be seated within 6 solid rows of schoolchildren and teachers. She offered to exchange our tickets for ones further forward in a reserved row that was being offered to people with preschoolers only. I gratefully accepted, knowing C would find the noise and presence of a whole sea of unfamiliar schoolkids a bit intimidating. We ended up in a (relatively) quiet, spacious row, with a spare seat on either side, and I am certain this helped us enjoy our time more.

After the show, we decided to go out for a nice lunch.  I've heard great things about the lunch offering at the Sanctuary Lakes Hotel, so we gave it a try.

The meal at the hotel is essentially a luscious buffet, which can be problematic for Coeliacs because of utensil crossover and the like. I asked if there were gluten free options, and I was treated with such respect and consideration - it was wonderful.

The chefs advised that I could eat from the buffet if I wanted, but that they'd feel happier if they could make me something fresh, in their separate gluten free only cooking equipment, so I wouldn't have to worry about contamination. I selected a yummy green chicken curry, and by the time I'd loaded C's plate with rice, roast beef, pumpkin, chips and a bread roll, my steaming fragrant plate, with fresh pappadums, was in front of me. It was completely delicious and it's now almost 2 hours since I've eaten, with no ill effects in sight (I usually know by now!)

C also enjoyed her meal a great deal, especially the chocolate ice cream she got for dessert, and the whole caboodle cost me a staggering $19.95, as kids under 5 eat free at lunchtime during the week. It was great value and we had a lovely time.

Once home, C and I read Possum Magic again, played together outside, and she is now playing with toys while I write this and send a couple of emails. It's been such a beautiful day together and I'm so glad we did it.

1 comment:

  1. How very much I enjoyed your lovely day out! Experiences like this make such wonderful memories, especially for kids. MonkeyBaa have a performance coming up in Sydney for the school holidays of Milli, Jack and the Dancing Cat which you might like too. I saw their I am Jack in Brisbane and loved it.