I spend every Wednesday doing something fun with Sadie, my two year old daughter. We go swimming, to the zoo, playgrounds and more playgrounds.
It's fun, I love being able to spend time with her, time that I wouldn't have if I was still working my IT job. I feel fortunate being able to do this.

(Bare with me, there's some valuable lessons at the end.)

Yesterday though, I took her and her four year old cousin to a play centre.

This place was crazy. Didn't help that they had free entry all week I guess, so there I was with the two wild ones trying to make sure they didn't break anything (bones, heads etc) surrounded by about 500 hundred other kids and 250 latte sipping mums.
I don't think I saw one other male adult in there, but maybe they were just hiding in the pool of balls under the trampoline.

I would have described this as hell on earth. Not anymore. BC ( before children) this would have been my worst nightmare, now however I am able to totally block out any other noise, cries and I only hear my own kids. And their cousins.
So even though this would have been a nightmare for me a few years back, same as going to the Yarraville Club for a counter meal (they have a playground inside the restaurant!) I am now able to totally enjoy it and learn a few things as well.

At the Yarraville Club I learnt that people are tight asses. I mean this in the nicest possible way. On a Wednesday they have steak night, so cheaper steaks and there are always groups or couples there that don't have kids. I don't get it. They sit there, annoyed with the noise, the running around and the playground. I have even had complaints to my face.
I get that you want a quiet time and no kids running when you go out for dinner, I do myself, however I choose to go to this place so that the kids can play while we're eating.
I would never ever go there with my wife if we had a baby sitter and would have never gone in before we had kids either. The playground stares you right in the face as you're walking in!
Lesson: Don't settle for cheap if it's not the right place for you. Pay more for quality.

Yesterday at the play centre, Sadie kept trying to keep up with her older cousin and as soon as he disappeared, she'd start crying. It happened a lot! She kept trying though, wouldn't give up and went to all the places, in the big kids area, that he did. Go go go!
Very resilient and consistent in her efforts and after a while she was keeping up. She got better at climbing the stairs, going down the big slide and jumping on the trampoline with 10 other bigger kids. (Limit - max 1 child at any time...I was supervising though so perfectly safe)
Was a successful day and she had a great time and next time she'll get up
all those obstacles right away.
Lesson: Never give up. Be consistent and you will get to where you want to be. Consistency will improve you.

So take away what you want from these stories. I know what I will save from it.