How was your Valentine's Day? Mine was really romantic, I went to an indoor rock climbing centre with 6 children, 3 other adults, 3 cars (our friends helped out with transport, couldn't squash all those kids into the Corolla) and some party food for afterwards, because we had a Climbing Party for the Climber. And friends. For the first time ever, I organised an "outing" type party for him, to make up for the fact that he rarely has school friends to his birthday parties owing to his birthday falling at the end of the long summer holidays.
The kids were all excellently well behaved and just generally lovely. They also were really good climbers. Even the more nervous among them were shinnying up those sheer rock-faces like Spiderman. It was quite amazing.
It's my opinion that there is actually a specific "Climbing Gene" which obviously runs strong in The Climber. There were 2 other party guests with monkey genes, so they and Climber soon graduated to the extra-extra-high walls and got themselves to the top, over and over again. But even the non-natural climbers were great, and I think surprised themselves with how much they could do. And being children none of them seemed to be at all sore and sorry the next day. It's good to be young.
I wasn't sure how Cherub would go with it, initially he seemed to think it would only be a big boy activity but we told him it was for him too, and the next thing we knew he was scaling walls with enthusiasm and finesse, and pretty much commandeering Fixit for his own personal belaying use. So although he never climbed out of his cot till he was over 3, (Climber could get out at a very young age whilst wearing one of those sleeping sacks; very funny) it seems the Cherub has the Climbing DNA too.
The other adults (one instructor, Fixit, the mum of a party guest and one friend of Fixit's) were The Belayers while I roamed free with the camera and the drinks. Fixit's good friend Mick is a keen climber himself, so asking him to come along and help was a very good decision. He was really good at all the rope-y stuff and even better at coaching the kids up. For example, the rope ladder, he just kept calling out Two hands up, two feet up. Hand, hand. Foot, foot. It was great.
(Three Fixits; Mister Fixit belaying Climber half way up an enormous wall, while Cherub climbs the rope ladder)
Climbing centres have very good safety procedures in place, although I'm pleased to report not one child fell off the wall. However, as we left the premises after food and cake, Cherub started to choke on a giant lolly snake. I now know why they're called Killer Pythons. But after a lot of back-slapping, attempted heimlichs and much coughing up of slimy blue gelatinous matter, Cherub survived to tell the tale.
For ANZAC Day this is so beautiful and tender
6 hours ago