Climb Fit, Artarmon

The two weeks of school holidays are coming to an end.

Alfie has no complaints; he’s had a fabulous respite from school despite being devoid of friends.  They have all either been away or placed in vacation care.  So it’s been pretty much just the two of us which I have enjoyed and valued despite the mild anxiety of every day thinking of all the things I would normally be doing that I’m having to shove to one side.

Two hours of climbing!

Two hours of climbing!

Other episodes of anxiety are caused by wondering how to amuse this eight-year old boy.  Today however was well planned.  Alfie is a climber; he’s been climbing the door frames and scaling the kitchen cupboards ever since he learned how to walk.  While I’m always impressed to see him sprawled out like a spider on one of our ceilings, Carl can’t see the talent for the marks on the walls.  How does someone who showers every day have such dirty feet?

Halfway up 'the chimney' which is where you climb like you're climbing the door frames in your home - Alfie's had plenty of practise!

Halfway up ‘the chimney’ which is where you climb like you’re climbing the door frames in your home – Alfie’s had plenty of practise!

If you follow me on Instagram you would have seen recent images of Alfie scaling the outside of the house and roosting at the top of fig trees.  But that’s all a bit unsafe and some other parents have walked past these fig trees saying wise-owl-style, ‘That’s very high up you know’, like somehow I hadn’t noticed the obvious.

Climbing up to the over-hang

Climbing up to the over-hang

So I thought I should take him somewhere where he could get all of this out of his system and so I booked him into two hours of indoor rock climbing at Climb Fit in Artarmon.  I booked a belayer so I could take photos (and sit down and read the paper).  We arrived first thing in the morning and by sheer good fortune the centre was virtually empty so there were no crowds or noise and Alfie had the run of the place.

On the over-hang

On the over-hang

Alfie told the belayer that he wanted to try the overhang but that he wasn’t sure he had the confidence.  She had Alfie try a number of different courses and gradually built up the degree of difficulty by having him first try the green markers then the blue, then the yellow.  She said he was a natural which was encouraging after being told at swimming lessons, ‘He’s uncoordinated’.  A bit brutal!

Climbing along the roof

Climbing along the roof

Alfie did make it all the way to the top of the ceiling and he did start on the overhang.  He managed to get halfway across before fear set in so down he came.  Not a bad effort for his third climbing session.

He's on the roof but this is so much less worrying than seeing him at the top of a fig tree.

He’s on the roof but this is so much less worrying than seeing him at the top of a fig tree.

As the centre was quite empty, Alfie drew an audience of instructors who were all impressed at how well he did and so it was suggested he join the after-school group.  It’s every Thursday afternoon from 4pm-5.3opm.  As there wouldn’t be any point in me dropping off then picking up, I’ll have to stay at the centre every Thursday afternoon.  So that takes care of my Thursday afternoons from here until Christmas!  Slight anxiety setting in.  It will be a good chance for me to catch up with you all on Instagram and Twitter!

Deep-fried chicken

Deep-fried chicken

After the rock climbing I took Alfie to one of his favourite restaurants,  Sushi Train in Neutral Bay.  I think all kids like these restaurants because they get to grab what they want and let all those dishes they’d rather not have, slide on by.  The first plate Alfie picked up was chocolate mousse – so Japanese!

Grilled vegetable gyoza

Grilled vegetable gyoza

Then we went to the Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace to see Gravity in 3D.  It’s so wonderful that Alfie is getting to an age where we can go and see movies that both of us enjoy.  Having done two sets of parenting I have seen so many kids’ movies and while a few stand out as memorable, others like the Chipmunks have been nothing but torture.

Vegetable Spring Rolls

Vegetable Spring Rolls

We both enjoyed Gravity although I did have to ask the women behind the gilded cage at the box office how it is that to take an adult and a child to the movies could cost $40.00.  And it would have been $2.00 more if we hadn’t provided our own 3D glasses.  She said, ‘Oh, it’s the technology’.  So there you have it.

Not a bad way to finish the school holidays.

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  1. G’day! The smiles on Alfie’s face always say it all Charlie, true!
    I have abseiled 4,000 metres into a cave, but rock climbing is on my list to do!
    Cheers! Joanne

  2. Yay, Alfie! What a legend. My eldest was a climber, and other adults where always saying helpful things like ‘Did you know your little girl was at the top of the clothes line/swing set/tree?’ It used to freak me out at first but by the time she was 7 I’d learnt to just not look.
    (Chipmunks are the devils work)

  3. Wall climbing definitely sounds like an awesome way to entertain an eight year old boy! Think of all the energy he got out of his system!

  4. This does look safer than climbing the side of your house. Good for Alfie.

  5. Such a brave boy! Love his confidence 🙂

  6. Wow look at him go and grow! He looks so much older than the previous photos. I remember the very skinny boy at the swimming carnival!

  7. Hi Charlie, I know your school scheduled are different than ours but can you tell me what holiday Alfie just had? Our kids just went back to school on September 3 and they be there until Christmas vacation which is generally about two weeks and then they continue school until mid to end of June. Then they are off until September and it starts all over again. They get the summer off so they can help on the farm (because we have do many farmers here…not!). There is talk about school all year long but I highly doubt the teachers’ union will go for it! After all, our teachers sure need their summer vacation!
    We’re planning on seeing Gravity (sigh: George) on Tuesday because it’s $2.50 Tuesday! Glad you both enjoyed it.
    I went rock climbing a few years ago and I didn’t enjoy it because you really have to have short nails on hands AND feet. I had to go into the ladies room and actually cut my toenails right down (not that they were that long, but in the summer I like them a bit longer for sandals).

    • Hi Eva, our school system is based on a four-term year. School begins at the end of January and goes until around Easter where they have a two-week break. Then back to school in April until the end of June where there’s another two-week break or three if you go to a private school. Back in mid-July until almost the end of September for another two-week break, then it’s back to school until the beginning of December if you’re at a private school or around the 18th of December if you’re at a public school. Then it’s the Christmas holidays that go for six weeks if you’re at a public school or eight if you’re at a private school. Confused? Private schools get more holidays because they fit more teaching time into each week.

  8. I had vertigo just looking at your photos!! Go Alfie!

  9. I love Alfie’s spirit–he is always so game for any activity and his smile really does say it all. You are making fabulous memories for him.

  10. Ooh, the spring rolls look delicious!

  11. Alfie looks like he’s having a great time on the climbing wall, with that a good meal and a 3d pic it sounds like a great end to his holiday. GG

  12. Delightful way to finish the school holidays. Alfie is a natural athlete and such a good sport.

  13. Yeah, he doesn’t look like he suffered any!! 🙂 xo

  14. Mum and Alfie bonding time is a precious thing. The two oldest are independent now and he’s got you all to himself. He must be a very happy little guy and pretty fearless to do all that climbing at home. With the professional belayer and instructors teaching him how to climb safely he’s less likely to get hurt even if his daring nature will lead him to keep pushing boundaries.

    And sushi afterwards … yummy. 🙂

  15. My grandson would have SUCH a ball with Alfie! Our kids are on a two-week break right now; my grandson isn’t having as good a time as Alfie, but the girls went to the Rocky Mountains with their dad.

  16. I think Alfie is a little spider man! Look at him go! Did you give it a try? Take Care, BAM

  17. Alfie is lucky having you let him climb around at home – I wish more parents let there children do that instead of worrying about height or dirt, even as I know I’m liable to end up in the latter category if I have children! I’m also really impressed at how well he did at the centre. I went indoor rock climbing for the first time since childhood a few months ago, and it was HARD! We managed about 45 minutes before being exhausted and never graduated off the easy levels 😛 He’s a natural indeed – by Christmas he should be doing wonders!

  18. That Alfie really can climb, CHarlie, and i cannot wait to see what he’ll be doing by the end of these sessions. I’ve taken the boys that live above me to a variety of events. The cost never ceases to amaze me, especially considering we’re talking about boys and not adults. I don’t know how parents of large families manage.

  19. Very agile young lad he is :), what did we used to do before iPads, iPhones internet etc while we waited for our kids, thats right I think I read a book, or spoke to people, now I hide myself behind the iPad and live in my own little world bit sad really lol.

  20. Good climbing! I bet you are glad the holidays are nearly over. Back to time to yourself. Although I think I used to enjoy holiday time when mine were young. We would draw up a roster of things to do each day.

  21. I’ve been attempting to ‘get back to my roots’ and climb anything that catches my attention. But I am not that brave as him.

  22. Alfie has had such a fruitful holiday 🙂 And wow he’s now also picked up climbing too! Maybe you can bring your laptop with you too Charlie so then you can blog and wait for him ~ hehe Hope you’ve had a nice weekend xox

  23. Alfie has had a brilliant holiday break from school. I always loved that special one-on-one time with the kids. We still talk about some of the times we had together.

    Thursdays we’ll know where to find you!

  24. Well done Alfie! Don’t think you would find me going up that wall!
    It’s scary what it costs to do anything now days Charlie! Glad you enjoyed the movie though.
    Have a super weekend.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  25. What a fantastic day for a little boy. He looks like a monkey up there – he is so talented. I remember that feeling of thinking of al the things I could be doing while entertaining my son when he was young. But it is such a short time in their lives after all – not that I thought that at the time

  26. Alfie looks awesome, what a fab time for a tough lad to go climbing. Sounds like you both have had a lovely time, but do agree with you, how is it that it’s so expensive to go to the movies, we’ve given up going because of that very reason! Crazy huh? Glad you are enjoying the school holidays, I’m at the stage of having my last one finishing high school, just HSC exams to go, not sure how I feel just yet, but will keep on smiling!

  27. That climbing wall looks like so much fun, and good on Alfie for getting to the overhang – he does a great Spiderman impression!

  28. I doubt if Alfie will ever get climbing out of his system! Although it’s been years since I’ve thought to climb anything, and when I was Alfie’s age it seemed I spent half my life roosting at the top of tall, tall trees. That looks like a lot of fun. Enjoy your Thursdays!

  29. I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed “Gravity” since all weekend long I’ve heard nothing bur raves. We must see it…maybe as seniors we’ll enjoy a much reduced ticket price!

    I am impressed with Alfie’s abilities, but I’d probably have to look the other way! I do recall the swimming lesson fiasco, so this is indeed good news! LOL!

  30. That boy is a natural climber indeed, and how fantastic for him to have found a place where he can develop his skills safely. Big commitment for you of course, but so worth it I should think – and he’s your last one.

  31. Like I’ve said before, you are a good mom…and a FUN mom! I hear ya on the footprints, but for me it’s handprints. I will know Nick is home from college just by looking at the doors. Alfie is going to have a blast every Thursday…I don’t think I’d make it a foot off the ground :/

  32. Oh how fun!!! I’ve never done a rock wall, but I’ve done “a little” bit of rock climbing. What a thrill. Alfie is definitely an adventurous kid. Good for him!

  33. “less worrying than seeing him at the top of a fig tree” – haha! I can well imagine :D.

    That looks like fantastic fun! We used to have a climbing wall at my old school… not sure if I ever went up it, but it was for sure nowhere near as huge and awesome looking as this one! Bet Alfie had a cracking time!

  34. Brilliant day. I am sure you are looking forward to hanging around on a Thursday….not. But you are turning him into a great kid.

    Happily my son has not mentioned this movie, but I do take your point about them getting to an age where you can both enjoy the movie.

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