Kent Family Fun Day: Discovery Centre and HMCS Haida

Friday, July 17, 2009

Today was Kent Family Fun Day #3, and again our plans were modified. I woke up this morning to hear the rain pouring down onto the veranda outside our window. Puddicombe Farms in the rain did not appeal, so we decided to backtrack and visit our choice for last Friday's outing, the Parks Canada Discovery Centre down on the waterfront here in Hamilton. This is a part of Hamilton I've not really seen much's quite nice!

We started the day out however with a trip to Ikea to purchase some new dishes. I've been becoming increasingly concerned with the safety of our use of the plastic Walmart dishes I bought probably 5+ years ago. Ikea was having a sale on a set of plain chinaware and their sets of small glasses are quite inexpensive so for about 20$, we replaced all the the plastic. The kids were especially pleased about the change when we couched it in terms of them being 'old enough' now to use glass and ceramic dishes.

They were also thrilled to play in the ballroom there at Ikea....although I was not as thrilled as I thought I would be. I was trying to explain it to James: you'd think as a mom I'd be excited to shop at a place that offers to take care of my kids for free in a fun, safe environment. But there's just something about the staff there that rubs me the wrong way. James pointed out that they have alot of liability to consider. This is true, but how sad is it that the concept of liability causes the employees of a company to have to be so...cranky. I think it's just that they have to 'pete and repeat' the same stuff so often that they lose perspective on how to be tactful about it.

For instance, when we arrived and started to sign in, my kids were already getting their sandals off and socks on (the sock rule being one that I learned the hard way yesterday when Jairus and I went out to scope out the dishes) when the chick at the desk realizes that she's only got 2 slots left. It would be 20 minutes until there would be room for my three. So I agree to wait, but when I break the news to them, Verity is quite upset. They give me a pager to let me know when to come back and I hand it to her (it's got a lanyard attached to it) to placate her with the idea of getting to hold it and be the first to know when they can go back. The desk worker quite bluntly tells me that I need to hold onto it because "it's quite expensive" and she might drop it or lose it. I felt like a 10 year old.

And just the way they word the sign telling you that there's a 45 minute limit when it's busy. It doesn't ask nicely that you only leave your kids for 45 minutes when it's busy. It doesn't plainly ask or even state that the rules are that you only leave your kids for 45 minutes when it's busy. It tells you, yea orders you to only leave your kids for 45 minutes when it's busy. It irked me just to read that sign. At least now I can say that Jairus is toilet trained (they don't need to know that he has accidents, all kids do, right?). It downright angered me that they don't allow kids with pull-ups in the ballroom with no caveat for someone like Jairus. I've only let the kids in that playroom once before and it was quite a while ago. Back then I just let Jairus go in and didn't even tell them he was in pull-ups. They didn't suspect a kid his age so we didn't have any trouble, and let me tell you how ready I was to raise up a stink about discrimination towards a special needs child if they dared to.

Anyway, that's my gripe. Back to Kent Fun Day.

After we did our shopping, the kids talked James into staying for lunch at Ikea, so we then went straight to the Discovery Centre. I realized that I didn't have my camera so I had to make due with my cell phone. Some pics are not bad, but lots are kinda crappy....sorry! They'll do for the scrapbook, which we picked up tonight along with prints of the Storybook Garden pics. Can't wait to get started!

Though not in the plan, I should have known that if we were so close to the Haida, James would want to go see it. So for another 5$ added onto the Discovery Centre fee, we went over afterwards and romped around the old battleship.


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