I assumed parents sent their kids to the kids club so they could relax and get rid of them for the day. I couldn’t figure out why these parents would have children if they never spent any time with them. Oh how naive I was. I love spending time with Athena. I prefer to have her with me when we’re on vacation, especially if it’s just the two of us. She’s fun to be around and she makes my day better in every way. Without brothers and sisters, though, sometimes I just can’t cut it as a friend or playmate for her. She wants to spend time with kids her age and experience new things from a different perspective. She learns from them and enjoys the same level interaction. That’s what a kids club gives her that I can’t. When we’re on vacation, I try to find a balance between letting Athena discover things for herself and exploring together. The Little Big Club at Hard Rock Hotel Cancun allowed us to have the perfect balance of family time and discovery on our own.
The Little Big Club includes a daily schedule of dreamy activities like the Character Breakfast with appearances by Angelina Ballerina, Bob the Builder and Barney, crafts, pool time at the children’s pool playground, musical performances at the theater by Barney and dance classes with Angelina Ballerina. We attended the Character Breakfast with Athena and watched as her eyes lit up with excitement. She had her picture taken with Angelina and Bob and she sat with other children while we gave her space to be independent. It was clear that she felt comfortable at the club and we weren’t needed all the time.
Besides the daily schedule, there is an array of ongoing activities in the Thomas & Friends Activity Station, Barney’s Music Room, Bob the Builder Construction Zone and the Angelina Ballerina Dance Studio. It was no surprise that she loved the dance studio but we were pleasantly surprised when she spent just as much time in Barney’s Music Room. I think she’s going to be musically talented like her uncles. She picks up sounds and tones that are a mystery to me and she gravitates toward musical instruments.
We spent two hours with Athena at the club before leaving her in the hands of the supervisors. She already found two girl friends that had her full attention and she hardly acknowledged that we were leaving. When I picked her up, she was bouncing with excitement to tell me all of the amazing things she did that day.
She loved the supervisors, activities and children at the club. Every morning she woke up begging to go to the kids club. The supervisors were hands-on with her as well. One day, she had her nails painted, another she had her hair done in braids and another she was passed out, sleeping, in a chair with an Angelina Ballerina costume, a head band with ears and pink-painted toe nails. She never naps during the day anymore but it was just too much excitement for her. She had the ultimate hard rock play time.
She spent about 3 hours a day at the kids club without Darren and I. Then, when we were together, we were excited to do family things. We attended pool parties, danced on the beach, splashed in the ocean, practiced our handstands, ordered room service, discovered our favorite drinks and participated in the daily activities. We each had time to ourselves and time together. The kids club was a place for discovery and independence. Every child needs interaction with other children and time to explore the world on their own in a safe environment. It’s hard letting go but she’s learning so much about the world and life and making good choices for herself. I will always encourage that.