I would like to take this opportunity to thank the PG Aquatic Centre for their awesome foresight and management. As a working father of a two year old son and husband to my now 37 week pregnant wife, you can imagine that I am extremely tired. It is often difficult to find time, and more to the point, the energy to spend quality time with the family and go on an outing. This past weekend was just one of those family outing weekends, so my wife and I decided that we should take our boy out for one of his favorite past times... swimming. We packed up this mini van, with all of the required paraphernalia, and for those of you with children you understand that this in itself is enough to bring on nap time. Once we arrived to the aquatic centre, we were informed that we were not able to jump into the pool for our family float down the river as it was not yet 10:30, this was the time that was allocated for adults only. That is correct... children are not allowed to go swimming on Saturday mornings at the aquatic centre, and I for one could not be more grateful.
After sending my pregnant wife and two year old packing back to the mini van, I gave myself the treat of a lifetime. I was able to swim on a Saturday morning without all of the pesky shouting, cheering and gleeful laughter of children having fun in the water. It was amazing. To swim with out all of that father-to-father competitiveness, and having to stare at the faces of smiling mothers and children bonding made the outing (for myself anyway) glorious. And I must say being able to swim laps around the seniors in a nearly empty pool was pretty sweet too. I was finally the big fish in a rather elderly and empty small pond.
After a couple of hours of some slightly awkward, and often suggestive looks (thanks Mavis), I opted to re-join my family who had been sitting impatiently in the mini van waiting for me. My son was crying, and my wife had an expression on her face that was faintly reminiscent of the time I forgot our anniversary (it was the first one). I slowly began to realize, much to my dismay that our (what I thought) most successful family outing to date was not as successful as I had thought. Apparently they had decided that this outing was not over, and I was dragged across town to the Four Seasons pool for more family time.
So sadly now we are in the not so forward thinking Four Seasons pool, which apparently will let any of the taxpaying (and not) public to jump in the pool at any time they want on a Saturday. Laughing children, and happy families is not my type of swimming adventure, as I have discovered thanks to the aquatic centre.
So this is my call to the City of Prince George to take a page from the bright minds of the wave pool management. We as a community need to start limiting access to publicly-funded facilities more often. I have a few suggestions as a father of one, with one on the way.
May I suggest limiting access to all shopping facilities for all men between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m., in particular anywhere clothing and groceries may be found. Banning seniors from accessing all parks during the day (nobody wants to be constantly reminded of their own mortality). Children should not be allowed to enter library facilities before 1 p.m. and after 3 p.m. (it would be nice to read a book in peace) do your learning and socializing at the skate park, or better yet take up smoking, and get out of my face.