Monday, July 9, 2012

High-Maintenance Me and the Trip to the Water Park

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!


Anna Theurer said...

Becca, it sounds like I could have written this post! My bag is just as full and just as heavy and it is just for the local sprinkler park.

Renee said...

It's the wet towels in the bag that kill me on the way out. Sounds like you went to Water Mine. I hope you liked it.

Deborah said...

We've been going to the pool in the afternoon - and I end up bringing along 2 bags - the diaper bag, then the pool bag (with towels, sunscreen, goggles, snacks, etc). By the time we toss in the floaties, I feel like a pack mule.

Rochelle said...

Can't.stop.laughing! Girl you should come be a fly on the wall as I go to the pool by myself with all three kids. I am sure I am a spectacle! LOL
Glad you had some fun!

Jenny said...

LOL...I am cracking up here...I have had many, MANY days like that! Fun outings are a lot of work...That's why we mostly stay home :D

lovemy3 said...

Oh my....I laughed out loud and had to read it twice to get the full vision :-) I'm getting better at the pulling my hair back, let's go kind of thing. It still doesn't happen often...only when my husband gets a wild hair. You would crack up laughing at my 3 and I getting ready to go to the waterpark. You would think I would have it down to a science since my husband has worked at one since I met him 19 years ago...still perfecting it ;-)

Becca said...

After I wrote that I thought it might sound terribly self-centered, especially given that there are so many moms out there that have to do that kind of planning and prep for *more* than one child, and my lamenting over packing for one was just selfish whining. LOL That's when I added the sentence in about experienced moms and experienced moms of more than one child. There was more to add to the story, but it would have fallen into the category of TMI, so I skipped it. But I would definitely have had the sympathies of *all* women if I had included it. :-(

Lacey said...

I'm getting to the point that if I don't have an appointment, I'm just running errands, I don't even bother with make up. Man in high school, I never would have left the house without make up. I guess five kids, one medical fragile, makes make up not so important. Or maybe I'm just too tired to care! LOL!
But it does seem to take me forever to get anywhere nowdays. I never make an appointment before 10am. Never!

Leah said...

Funny. You so never know how much work it is to just be a mom and get out of the house until you do it. I gave up straightening my hair when she was born. It cracks me up that you still straightened yours for the few minutes you weren't a "drowned rat". Glad you're keeping cool.

my family said...

oh you have me laughing and so relieved im not the only one. John alwyas asks why I have to have the lipstick, sigh!
men dont understand plus it helps my lips from being burned.
I have cut my hair short b/c I feel so yuck if my hair is in a pony tail, but then when we go to a water park I worry about it getting damp (and moist, HAHA, sorry) and looking like a freak show. I wish I could get ready quickly....guess I never will Im almost 38, oh well.