Why did we decide to drive via Canberra again? I can’t remember. It was something to do with wanting to check out an exhibition at the national gallery, but that prospect now seems dwarfed by the inconvenience of the extra hours in the car with the kids. Am I a bad mum for saying that?
Anyway, here we are in hotel room. It’s raining cats and dogs, and the kids couldn’t care less about viewing large-scale light installations. They’re also climbing the walls, due to having been boxed into a car from Sydney for hours. There’s only one thing for it, as far as I can see, which is to take them somewhere where they’re officially sanctioned to tear around indoors. Alright, then, inland capital – what have you got for me and my kids? Indoor play centres in Canberra, show yourselves. And maybe batten down the hatches in preparation for the particularly fierce tornado that is three year-old Belinda.
Seriously, the kids get beside themselves with excitement about going to these play centres. To someone who’s not a parent, they might just look like germ-riddled, hyped up gymnasiums, but there’s a hidden genius to the whole thing. They really come into their own as children’s party venues. In Sydney, we’ve been to more than a few of these places for birthdays. You wouldn’t believe what a lifesaver it is to a have a crew of four year-olds going nuts together somewhere other than your house.
Perhaps you can tell that I’ve done this before. As a mom of five, I do have a bunch of experience in dealing with situations of just this nature. That experience has taught me a few things, not least that most capital cities have at least one set of giant indoor play equipment safely nestled behind some form of security system that prevents your kids from running off into the suburban wilderness.