And the Aquatic Centre is kid heaven.
It has a water playground (pictured there), a huge twisty waterslide, a massive wading pool for toddlers and all kinds of fountains and other ways to get drenched. And the whole family gets in for $20. Another reason to love Australia. We had a great time and also achieved a parent's main goal for a weekend outing: tire your children out. If they're not begging to go home and go to bed, you haven't had enough fun.
After we swam, we had dinner outside on the grass under a large tree. Dusk was falling, and looking up in the tree we were sitting under, one of our friends noticed a bat hanging up there. It wasn't moving though. And it was just one bat. Except then we noticed another. And another. And several more. And then they started waking up and flying around. And y'all, they weren't those little bats that you can't tell if maybe they're sparrows or something. These were BATS. With batty little furry heads and big, leathery, batty wings. They were practically flaunting their battiness. Did I mention that they were BIG? And that they were BATS?
You are probably guessing that I wasn't so thrilled about this. Isn't it nice how we're getting to know each other better? I'm sure you can construct my worst nightmare from reading recent posts. A bat with a rat on its back and a red back spider perched on its head. Flying above my head, screeching and trying to get me to change cell phone providers.
I am fine with bats while they are just chilling in the tree, 20 feet above me, but I don't really wanna be around when they start swooping and stuff. The kids thought it was the coolest thing EVER and got closer to the bottom of the tree, peering up into the branches. Jason, in his element, bounded around on the grass pretending to be a bat, landing on the kids' heads and squealing. He is the fun parent. I am okay with this.
Meanwhile, I am rapidly finishing my sandwich and simultaneously buckling Grace into the stroller. She might make a tempting bat snack, you know, and I didn't want one of them snatching her up.
"Are you scared, Mom?" Ava asked me. "No, I'm not scared," I said, "I just don't want bat poop on my head." This was partially true.
They were well and truly waking up now, and as I had already started walking with the stroller, Jason and the kids caught up with me. Nate and I ended up walking together towards the car.
Nate: Mom, do you think God would make me a bat?
Me: I don't think so, buddy. He's already made you the way He wants you to be. Why do you want to be a bat?
Nate: So I can see other bats. And eat fruit.
Me: Um. Oh.
Nate: Maybe when I get to heaven He can make me a bat.
Me: Ya think?
Nate: I'll ask him. (Looks up and raises his voice) God! God? When I get to heaven, will you please make me a bat? (Lengthy pause. He is sincere in this.)
Me: Well? What did He say?
Nate: He say yes.
Me: Really? Are you sure?
Nate: Yeah. He always tells me yes.
Me: He does? How come?
Nate: I know a magic word.
Me: So you say a magic word, and God says yes when you ask Him things?
I knew my spiritual life was missing something. A magic word. Nate's been asking God lots of things lately. You know, the usual: Can I have a puppy, Can you make it not rain on my birthday, and Can you make me a bat when I get to heaven. What kid hasn't asked for that? Well, the jury's still out on the puppy, his birthday isn't until October, and we'll have to wait till we get to heaven to see about the bat.
But who can resist a magic word? And hey, his reasoning is sound. He just wants to hang with other bats and eat fruit. It's what bat dudes do. And if that's wrong, he doesn't wanna be right.
I think I'll stop here. Cause really, this messes with my theology and I should just go to bed now.