Saturday, April 4, 2015

PA -- December 26

A different friend who had worked as a security officer for a local military post volunteered to accompany us on December 26 visitation. He had known my youngest daughter since she was born, belonged to the same church as we did, and had family in Canada.

I had made arrangements to rent a "hospitality room" at a hotel in Canada that had an indoor water park. My youngest daughter loves the water and swimming, and it would give us an opportunity to exchange Christmas presents and relax. There was a restaurant at the hotel where we could eat lunch as part of the visit.

Ken claimed that my youngest daughter had "a fever" and "was sick" but agreed to meet us there - and informed us that we would be going to lunch at Denny's and a movie for the rest of the visit (no cooperation at all and no accommodations for spending time in a Christmas style).

When they arrived, Ken and his wife interrogated my friend and roughly asked my youngest daughter, "Do you know this guy?" - but she was able to name him and describe how she knew him.

We went to the hospitality room and opened Christmas presents - my youngest daughter chose to do that first (even though Ken and Mary had "conveniently" forgotten to bring the presents that they claimed my daughter had picked out for us), and then went to the water park.

The were some incidents of note while we were opening the presents:

  • Every time Amelia opened a present Mary would demand to see it and make somewhat negative comments about it in a nasty tone of voice.
  • We had bought a FurReal Puppy for Amelia since she had talked about missing her dogs at my house and had talked about how Mary wouldn't allow her to have a dog. Mary commented about being glad she could turn the toy off and take the batteries out.
  • We bought four tickets to a Phineas and Ferb show that was scheduled for our visitation weekend and time slot in Kingston. Phineas and Ferb had been one of her favorite shows to watch at our house. Four tickets was enough for my two daughters, myself, and the "supervisor" that was ordered by the court. When Mary Shaw saw that there was no ticket for her, she said "we will see if you can go".

My daughter was excited with her presents and the water park, and had no sign of a fever or a cold. We had brought several of her swimsuits with us so that she wouldn't have to change into a wet suit if we went more than once, so we changed and headed out.

We arrived at the water park at about 12:40 and there was at least one other family and three lifeguards present when we got there. The lifeguards informed us that they would be closing at 1 for their lunch hour, but would then reopen.

My two daughters and I decided to go in the hot tub, and my youngest daughter brought her "swimming Barbie and swimming dog" that were a present from her oldest sister. It was my job to keep winding up the Barbie and the dog, either of which was a two handed operation. I would wind one and let it go and be winding the other one while my youngest daughter chased whichever one was swimming. When the bubbles would stop my daughters would go push the button to restart them. The other family was in and out of the hot tub with us.

Ken and Mary and my friend were seated about 20 feet away in plain sight. My friend was taking pictures of us - which include the other family and the toys. The lifeguards were stationed so that they could view all people in the park at all times.

At 1 we went back to the hospitality room, and as we passed the restaurant my youngest daughter asked if we could eat there. Ken tried to tell her no, but she insisted that she didn't want to go to Denny's and wanted to stay there and play with her Christmas presents and go to the water park again.

The restaurant didn't open for a while, so we went back to the hospitality room, changed into street clothes, and played games and read books for an hour. Then we went back to the water park again, and this time my middle daughter decided she didn't want to go in, but my friend thought that he might so he showed up a few minutes later after changing into his swimsuit.

This time there were several other families at the water park - parents, multiple kids, and at least one set of grandparents. My middle daughter sat by the water slide, my youngest daughter and I went in the hot tub for a few minutes, then went in the pool, then the splash park, then the hot tub, pool, splash park...and my friend sat directly next to the hot tubs for a few minutes until he decided that he wasn't going to go in the water after all.

I tried going in the pool once, but it was too cold for my taste so I would sit by Ken and Mary while my youngest daughter was there or in the splash park.

Finally, my friend and I were able to convince her to try the water slide and she went down it repeatedly while I sat next to my middle daughter and my friend. Finally we called it quits and convinced her to get out of the water and to go eat at the restaurant.

Once again we went back to the hospitality room and got dressed in street clothes, then went to eat. While there, Ken kept getting phone calls from someone. Later my friend reported that he got some calls at the pool also and kept telling the person that he "wouldn't be able to pick him up after all" because he and Mary "couldn't get out of visitation". My friend said it was obvious from the conversation that Ken and Mary had made other commitments for a time when they already knew that they were supposed to allow me visitation.

After eating in the restaurant, we went back to the hospitality room and played some more games. My youngest daughter wanted to go back to the water park but we explained that there wasn't enough time to change, go to the water park, and then change back again.

After the five hours was up, Ken and Mary took my youngest daughter and left. She gave all of us, my friend included, big hugs and said that she missed us and couldn't wait to see us again.

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