On Saturday we went to the water park. I'm still baffled by just how much preparation goes into an event like that. As simple as it is, requiring nothing more than swimsuits and towels, or so I thought, it became a huge, race-against-the-clock, list-making, shoulder-sagging, detail-oriented monstrosity. I'm sure none of this is news to you experienced moms, and especially you experienced moms of more-than-one-kid.
I've always wanted to be one of those jump-out-of-bed-pull-the-hair-back-and-go kinds of people. I've never been one, nor do I even have a clue of exactly how liberating it must be, although I can certainly dream... Just to get my sorry butt out the door in the least high-maintenance way, I have to complete a whole ritual, including straightening my unruly, frizzy, bed-kinked hair (think Thing One), brushing my teeth, washing my face, moisturizing (or sun-screening), putting on at least a little bit of foundation primer and foundation to cover the zits and shiny spots and uneven complexion, and obsessing over what to wear, and that's all even without a shower. I won't go into what a typical get-ready-for-work day entails.
So, with all of those steps just to get me out, going to the water park added, in addition to getting Samantha fed and dressed, the logistical brain teasers of what the hell to do with my money and keys so they were accessible in the giant-sized beach bag, what snacks to pack and how to pack them, which towels to take, whether or not to take changes of clothing, and if so, which ones, how many times to put Sammi and myself on the toilet before we left to minimize the necessity of having to use the sodden, germ-ridden facilities at the park, which sunscreens to bring, and what time we'd need to get out the door.
Steve's invaluable insight told me to put the keys and money in a zip-lock baggie. Perfect! I tossed some lip gloss in there, too, hopeful that I could attempt to make the drowned-rat-me into the drowned-princess-me with a quick swipe of moist (gah, I hate that word!) color. I knew it would be futile, and never ended up touching it. Drowned rat is drowned rat in just about any book, especially the ones distinctly lacking the presence of a fairy godmother.
I packed fresh fruit (not a favorite of Samantha's, unfortunately, but I hoped this would be the miracle day to change her mind), fruit snacks, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and Cheetos. Turned out to be the perfect combo, even if the fruit was only eaten by the grown ups, and the fruit and drinks fit perfectly into a small insulated container with an ice pack.
An extra set of clothes was painstakingly selected for each of us, although in the end we just kept our swimsuits on and sat on towels on the ride home. Note for next time...skip the extra crap. The bag, weighing about the same as a small child, ended up creating a permanent dent in my shoulder in addition to adding painfully to the weight of my own small child who was too whiny to walk on her own. Note for next time...skip the extra crap (and make sure the kid is not cranky in the heat, standing in line, exhausted from staying up late for fireworks the night before and waking too early that morning).
We visited the bathroom several times before we left the house. We visited the bathroom at the water park several times while we were there. *sigh*
I'd made arrangements to meet a friend at 10am, thinking only at the very last minute that that would be way too late to get an umbrella-covered spot or, potentially, to even get in at all. We rushed out the door at 9:00, arriving at 9:30, and, after waiting behind about 40 other people in the sweltering 90-something degree heat for the ticket window to open at 10, made the mad dash through the park to squeeze 4 loungers under the huge umbrella with about 20 other people. Is it me, or were there an awful lot of numbers in that paragraph?
I'm heading out to a different water park now (it's Sunday afternoon as I write this). Will I loosen my vanity standards, since they don't seem to make much of a difference anyway? Will I make sure the kid isn't tired and is excited and raring to go? Will I take a smaller bag?
No, no and yes.
Off to wash my face now, kid is exhausted and cranky and keeps telling me she doesn't want to go, and I already have a smaller bag packed from a playdate this morning. No food other than a couple of packets of fruit snacks is needed since it's 3pm.
I may never learn, and I most certainly will never be able to pull my hair back and run out the door, although I am growing my hair out for that exact purpose. I'll let you know if it works next summer.
Update: the Sunday water park outing got canceled due to thunderstorms, so we had an extra playdate at home with friends instead. I think Samantha and I were equally relieved. Whew!