These school holidays, Ocean Keys Shopping Centre was transformed into a strange and frozen land. When we visited to check out the ‘Ice Age’ kids’ activities, I wondered if we’d been flung through a worm hole. Not only was the centre overrun by long dead creatures, I found myself in a wheelchair*, being pushed along by my children! It was a bizarre experience, but one I thoroughly enjoyed. And when my kids are put in charge of getting anywhere, the journey’s just as wild as the finish line.
We were there to participate in a prehistoric craft activity, which was set up outside Target to keep the littlies entertained while shopping. But first, we had to make it through the mall without colliding with a fellow shopper or the windows of a shop. Normally this would have been a simple task, but with a ‘mummy-on-wheels’, a daddy with a cold, and two stir-crazy children, I’m still surprised we actually made it. “This is crazy!” I remember shouting when, for the fifth time that minute, I had to cover my eyes for fear of crashing. Luckily, Daddy soon took over steering, but not long after, we were confronted by a glyptodon.
“What in the blazes is a glyptodon?” I hear you cry. Well, if you’re a Ninja Turtle fan like my eldest daughter, Eve, then it’s a very hairy version of Leonardo but without the mask… or the charm. A glyptodon, in actual fact, lived in the swamps of South America until about 12,000 years ago. Not too far removed fom the sewers of Manhatten, I suppose. So now you know. And if you’d visited Ocean Keys, you could have found out some more about him and even had a chat.
Next stop in the ice wilderness was a run in with a sabre tooth. Not exactly what I was expecting when I signed up to make a jigsaw with the girlies, but nevertheless a firm reality… with frightening foot-long fangs! The sabre tooth tiger apparently used to hunt in packs, and I’m sure he would have been well scary if his growling was anything to go by. “I think he’s very stwong,” came the understatement from my youngest, Ada. I just felt sorry for Mr Penguin.
I wasn’t sure at this point if we’d ever make it to the craft village, but on the horizon I finally spotted it. Just as I relaxed, Ada decided to hitch a ride on Mummy, and what could have been the downward slope to freedom became an uphill struggle with a maniac. As the wheelchair was derailed, Daddy frantically screeched on the brakes. Ada started crying, and Mummy let out a yelp. Just another day with pre-schoolers…
The craft activity was quite sedate compared to the adventures we’d had so far, and mummy and daddy took a breather while both girls began colouring in their jigsaw mammoths. Eve, forever studious, took great care in choosing the hues to best match the picture on the wall, while Ada attacked her project with crazy splats of rainbow. As a result, Ada finished up quite quickly and spent the rest of the 30 minutes hanging off my wheelchair arm rests and asking us for jelly snakes. For Eve, the activity took ages, and her picture was a masterpiece as always. We got to take the jigsaws home, so the girls could add the finishing touches, and the puzzles have been well used with the cold and rainy weather we’re having.
The only question left remaining was, “Would we make it out the shops alive?” Rounding the corner to the car park, we came up against a wooly mammoth who was shaking his shaggy head in our direction. I was concerned he was gonna charge us, but the girls were feeling brave and went up to show him their pictures. He didn’t have a lot to say, so we bid him farewell and escaped to Coles, gathering some supplies before we headed home.
Thanks, Ocean Keys, for brightening up our day, and for inviting us in to your prehistoric frozen world. Next time, though, doctor’s orders will be a nice leisurely shopping trip and a coffee 😉
*I’m recovering from an operation