One of the reasons why I’m eager to have Jennica spend an extended amount of time in Taiwan is so that she really gets a chance to know and interact with her “cousin” (my cousin’s daughter), Ashley. I was so happy to see Jennica and Ashley take to each other right away. Without speaking a word to one another they began to play shortly after they met by simply mimicking each others actions. That game alone brought squeals of laughter – endless fun. (Really, I don’t think the game has an actual end.)
Today was Ashley’s third birthday. To celebrate, her mom (Shu-Fern) and I took Ashley and Jennica to a place called Dream Mall where there is an indoor play area for kids. I have really only been introduced to indoor play areas since moving to San Diego, but in Taiwan it was quite a different experience! In the states, upon entering the play area I would fill out a waiver stating the birthdate of my child, sign my name, and check the box that waives them of all blame for anything that might happen. Then take off Jennica’s shoes and make sure she’s wearing socks. Here Shu-Fern took care of all the paperwork so I have no idea what I signed. We also had to show proof of the child’s age – I happened to have a copy of Jennica’s birth certificate in my purse (as evidence for flying Southwest when she used to be free). Then they sent us straight to the bathroom to make sure both girls have empty bladders. Then they took the temperature of both the girls and moms with a forehead scanner. Once they verified we were well, they let us in to remove shoes and put on socks. Jennica tried to make a run for the play structures right after but an attendant stopped her immediately and directed her to the hand sanitizer. NOW she can play. In the states, there is usually just one employee keeping a lazy eye out for what might be happening in the room, and fights for toys or overly aggressive children are unnoticed. Here there were employees standing around all over the place and while there were only four kids there, they were on top of every move each kid made – no going up the slides, no throwing the balls in the air, watch out for the little girl, no aiming the air gun at other kids, etc.
Jennica and Ashley had a great time until Jennica froze mid-play in the middle of a ball pit. “I’m going pee-pee!!” she announced. I rushed to Jennica asking her to please, please stop and wait but she had already released it all. I thought to myself, this can’t be good. The attendant in that section immediately left the room and two seconds later I heard an announcement come over the loud speaker. Even though I didn’t understand a word that was spoken over the loud speaker I knew exactly what was said. Seconds later attendants wearing face masks and gloves equipped with plastic bags and cleaning supplies swarmed the area. I sheepishly picked Jennica up and said sorry in Mandarin several times as I waded out of the ball pit. That clearly marked the end of our time there!