Saturday, April 1, 2017

Docklands Day

School holidays started with a bang today, with me enlisted to take my middle daughter (almost 12) and her two besties to the Docklands for ice skating, lunch, shopping and Starbucks.

My middle kid has had her heart set on ice skating for a while now, primarily triggered by her love for an anime series called Yuri!!! on Ice. She's also been so keen to consolidate her friendships with her two high school best friends, and was promised at least one holiday catch up.

As luck would have it, her two friends' availability and ours only had minimal overlap, one of which was the very first day of the break. I was dubious - we normally try to go super quiet on the first weekend of the hols - but she was so keen that I decided to go with it.

So, on what probably should've been a work and housework day for me, instead middlekid and I left the house at 9:30 to go collect her two friends and hit the Icehouse at Docklands.

Skating was a huge success - she absolutely loved it, and after 2.5 hours on the ice and the encouragement of her friend who is a good skater, she was already improved enough that she could skate the perimeter steadily without holding on.

Her greatest excitement, I think, was when I agreed to sign her up for weekly skating lessons next term on Sunday mornings. She's stopped playing netball and has given up singing lessons for next term, so she only had piano - which she learns at school - and chess in her extracurricular basket.

We've always said we'll pay happily for 1 sport, 1 music and 1 other extracurricular for each kid, so she was delighted to realise that skating could slot in as her sport.

To my pleasant surprise, it turns out that a term of skating lessons is considerably less expensive than a term of singing, so we seem to have made a good trade financially too. My eldest is currently doing clarinet (through school), jujitsu and interschool debating, while the youngest has gymnastics, after-school club and swimming. I really feel that's enough, to be honest.

After skating, we wandered over the Docklands shops for lunch at The Groove Train, and then browsed around the shops, especially EB Games (aka nerdvana). The girls all noted the entrance to the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel and expressed some collective interest in going - I made a semi commitment to take them all on another occasion if we can find a mutually suitable day. (I suspect it won't be this holidays!).

We then hoofed it to the Spencer Street Centre (1.5 km mostly up hill thankyouverymuch) because they had their hearts set on going to Starbucks. (I tried in vain to persuade them that Starbucks wasn't all that - it's too deeply embedded in pop culture for them to listen!) I guess I can't complain, as the walk got me over my steps goal for the day and got the blood pumping. (The coffee was pretty average, but then, I am not a Starbucks fangirl - the kids liked their iced fancy drinks :-)

We ended up home just after 6 after we dropped both the friends to their houses, footsore, tired, but (in the almost-12 year old's case) replete with the exact day she wanted, with the exact people she wanted to spend it with. I enjoyed myself too - her friends are nice kids, and it was fun seeing them all have fun (plus my lunch was delicious!)

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