and so the strange summer — now it’s hot! now it’s not! — eddies to a close. inbetween breastfeeding sessions on the couch, there were a few big city excursions over the school holidays: a bookmaking workshop at the library; an afternoon of getting tangled in ribbon at the forecourt of the arts centre; a few hours with the upside down sea jellies at the aquarium… however it did seem like we spent a lot of time at the mall, and not just for cupcakes.
(but look at it! the drumstick, from cupcake central — a rather splendiferous concoction of chocolate-filled vanilla cake topped with an immense swirl of frosting, a drizzle of chocolate and butterscotch, chopped peanuts, and a wafer. much less messy than an ice cream on the train home.)
no, melbourne central, we found, contained a secret oasis in the middle of the hot, bustley city. we’d been to the parents’ room at myer a couple of times; it was nice and all — wall decals, comfy though inefficiently arranged seating — but it was always crowded with queues for the two nappy-changing stations, and for some strange reason, all toilets but one were kept locked. we’d been to the one in david jones all of once. you’d think it would be fancy, but in fact it was a rather depressing, drab, beige room. with perfunctory chairs, wedged into a corner, surrounded by a bank of reeking nappy bins.
so the melbourne central parents’ retreat was a bit of a revelation. yes, more than just a room. it’s a spacious haven divided into zones:
a nappy-changing area, with a sink with boiling water tap and microwave for food preparation.
a lounge area with cosy (spinning!) chairs.
roomy curtained cubicles in blue, green and red for privacy — each one containing a stylish and comfortable armchair, adorable table, and an abridged and woefully (un)subedited version of little red riding hood as wallpaper.
a little nook with booth seating where you can bring in your food from the nearby dining hall (my pick is the impossibly tasty brown rice sushi rolls filled with spicy salmon, or spinach and sesame).
…and yes, climbing racks, amongst other play equipment.
the kid was most impressed with the little peepholes and cubbies, for quiet time…
and the amazing suspended ropes for rambunctious swinging fun.
there are gates to keep small people contained, and an automatic air freshener dispenses a puff of inoffensive fragrance every now and then. a cleaner comes through often. yes, harlan will grow up happy here… the weather of late is conducive to sushi and cupcakes, and i think i might like a browse at the gap.