However, something oddly bizarre happens to children when they go anywhere like this. They get overstimulated and act like the bad children in Willy Wonka as if someone pumped the oxygen with pixie sticks sugar candy, steroids and strong liquor. This causes seemingly normal children to freak out, turning angry and ready to fight.*
What Chris and I witnessed when we took Molly and Jack to The Vancouver Aquarium is akin to discovering that cool new acquaintance turns "whiskey mean" and that you need to go home before he reaches the bottom of drink 4. That being said, we all know someone or have heard stories about specific types of alcohol because of its Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde properties.
Children destinations are supposed to be fun, but often lead to tears after parents dig their heels in refusing to give up and leave, having spent too much money to walk away from an educational excursion. This leads to the child equivalent of bad adult drinking behaviour, and we experienced all of this in a short hour and a half trip to the Aquarium.
Adult Drinking Trait: People who get weepy and cry about their life when they drink too much red wine.
Child Aquarium Equivalent: Two little girls, about 7 years old, sobbed in front of the jellyfish tank crying because "I....I...just want to go home!" Their parents suggested going to see just two more things. This lead to full blown tantrums.
Adult Drinking Trait: The Whiskey Means - People who like to fight when they've had too much whiskey.
Child Aquarium Equivalent: At the penguin display a 2 and a half year old boy kept on grabbing at Molly's stroller, the only person bothered was Chris and the boy's mother who began to yell at him and then released him back into the crowd. Two minutes later he walked back over to Molly and slapped her in the face. To Molly's credit, she didn't cry, she just gave him this, What the F is wrong with you, look which I was unaware a nine month old was capable of. The slapper's mom "wisely" demanded that he apologize to Molly which he adamantly refused to do**, and started kicking and screaming inches from her face until she finally dragged him away.
Miss Molly, checking out the Penguins with her dad. Mere moments before the slapping incident.
Adult Drinking Trait: Absinthe equals black out juice. It makes people hallucinate, freak out and then forget about it later on.
Child Aquarium Equivalent: We were excited to show the minions all of the neat animals at the aquarium. After the penguins and the otter*** we decided to go underground to see the beluga whales and the dolphins. We sat on a bench in front of the display window as the first beluga swam by. Jack yawned. Molly had a nervous breakdown. Clearly this mammal was too big to exist in her world. We, dumbly, thought it might be a one off and after calming her down sat her in front of the window one more time - just to be sure. There were screams so loud they could break glass, followed by sobbing and head burrowing into my shoulder. I took her away from the windows and calmed her down while Chris and Jack went to go check out the dolphins. A short trip in the car on the way back to the hotel left Molly happy, refreshed and seemingly unscathed by her recent trip.
Adult Drinking Trait: One Tequila, Two Tequila, Three Tequila - Floor - we all have seen the T-shirts and I know very few people who are over 30, unless they are vacationing in Mexico, who still drink Tequila because of how it knocks them out.
Child Aquarium Equivalent: When Chris and I decided that enough was enough and Molly had decided that she hated anything that lives underwater we tried to make our way out of the labyrinth that is the Aquarium. As we finally approached the exit a little girl, about 5 years old, fell onto Jack's stroller. Her father picked her up and told her to watch where she was going. The girl threw herself onto the floor in front of us and started screaming, "I DON'T CARE!" Clearly she was lying.
*It's the child equivalent of what happens to couples at IKEA.
**Cause clearly she deserved it, sitting there all smug unable to speak looking at penguins.
***Who spent close to the entire time we were at the aquarium cleaning his nether regions. Apparently this otter thinks that cleanliness is next to Godliness.