In the past when we’ve gotten our tax return, we’ve paid off bills, and bought one nice thing for ourselves and called it a day. This year we decided to do things a little differently. While we still needed to pay bills off, the rest we decided to stick into savings and be done with it. There’s nothing big we need or want, so no reason to just go and blow money just because we have it.
This morning when the money came in, Thomas had a spontaneous thought. Let’s go to the aquarium! It’s something we’ve always wanted to take Holden to do, but never done before. And now we have Parker who is also old enough to enjoy it and who LOVES fish tanks. Without a second thought, we got the kids ready and went on our way. We’re never spontaneous, we always plan ahead, this was definitely something new for us to think about doing something and then to instantly do it.
Holden never really gets excited about anything so he was pretty ambivalent to the idea, but Thomas and I were really amped to take them and see their reactions.
An hour later, we got there.. and it was Mommy central. Apparently Saturday morning is peak hours for the aquarium. Who’d have thought?
The funny thing was.. most of the kids were MUCH younger than Holden. Even younger than Parker. Tons of moms with tiny little babies passed out, heads back and mouths open, strapped to them walking around and looking at all the fish. I always find it funny when parents take such small children to an attraction who aren’t old enough to enjoy it. Aquariums, movies, amusement parks- you’ll see the same thing everywhere. There was even a good amount of preggos there. What, does the baby have a window seat in your uterus?
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with living vicariously through your kid. Why not use them as an excuse to enjoy something you haven’t had the chance to experience since you yourself were a child? I just giggle because it’s not something we ever did. Mostly because we just didn’t have the money, but also because I didn’t see a point in dragging a lump of baby to a place they won’t remember or even have the brain power to understand what the hell is going on. To each their own!
Parker was instantly in heaven. Pointing, waving, grunting, freaking out at all the fish. Holden, who I thought would be equally in awe… was really more interested in climbing on everything and attempting to break his neck instead of actually looking in the tanks. He was also more interested in talking to strangers and hugging random children who gave him the most confused looks i’ve ever seen.
He didn’t want to pet the stingrays (“I’m terrified!!!”), and would have rather played in the sand of the touch tank than actually touch the creatures in it. Parker on the other hand wanted to do EVERYTHING.. but instead ended up splashing himself in the face with disgusting fish water.
What was really nice is how well behaved they both were. No real whining, no tantrums, no complaining, no crying (other than when the stingrays came close enough to Holden for him to actually touch them). We came across two brothers a little older than Holden and Parker who were the opposite of well behaved. Neither wanted to share what they were doing, or leave.. and when they were disciplined by their mother they screamed at eachother. Gutteral screaming and shouting.. straight out of a horror movie. Thomas and I gave each other a look.. the “thank God our kids aren’t like that” look, but i’m sure when they get older they’ll have similar moments. I hope not, but i’m not putting all of my eggs into that basket.
All in all I think they had a really good time. Holden says his favorite part was playing with the shells in the sand.. of course it wouldn’t be actually looking at the fish! I can’t remember ever having been to that aquarium before and to be honest I wasn’t all that impressed. I thought it would be bigger. I guess nothing can really compare to the “Ripley’s Believe it or Not” Aquarium in Tennessee.. that place puts all other aquariums to shame!
As long as the kids had fun, I consider it a worthwhile venture.
I also had a love affair with a Cuddlefish. I thought it was giving me the look of death but the girl who worked there (making sure no one used flash for pictures of him) said she’d never seen the little dude react like he did to me. I want one!
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