Having Fun Even if it Kills Us

My husband took this week off. We don't have any big trips planned for this summer because of baseball (i.e. Angus playing on the competitive team and Matt assistant coaching and very few baseball-free days, hence the customary appellation 'goddamned baseball' as in 'are you guys going to Gerry and Erica's cottage next week-end?' 'Just me and Eve -- you know, goddamned baseball', 'So what's Angus up to tonight?' 'Goddamned baseball', 'Did you hear about that earthquake in Mexico?' 'Yeah -- goddamned baseball'), so the plan was to get some stuff done around the house and do some family stuff.

Stuff around the house: I think a few weeds got pulled (five to seven, I'd say). We plugged in a fan in Angus's room and then an alarm clock in Eve's, because she did an informal poll and realized that two out of three bedrooms in this house had a fan AND an alarm clock and one room which happened to be hers had neither. We actually cooked a couple of nights.

Family stuff: Monday we went to the beach. Tuesday everything sucked. Wednesday Eve and I went shopping (for an alarm clock, among other things) and to the chiropractor, while Matt and Angus, on a rare baseball-practice-or-game-free day went to the driving range to hit a couple of buckets of balls. Then, for a change of pace, they went to watch the East Nepean Junior team play (everyone say it with me) goddamned baseball.

So today we were going here. This would be our grand family adventure, our glorious summer pilgrimage. We would arrive early, we would leave late. We would laugh in the face of gravity and tighten our sphincters in the face of danger. It was going to be epic.

Did I mention that my kids are totally lame?

Okay, that's unfair. They're not daredevils, they've never been daredevils, I have no grounds for expecting them to be daredevils. The distinctly un-epic nature of this adventure was a combination of the unknowable and the unfortunate. I thought the park might have some slides that fell somewhere between zebra-striped four-foot-long kiddy rides and scream-til-your-throat-bleeds gut-wrenchers. But it really didn't. Unless your seven and ten year old are adrenaline-junkie thrill-seekers (which I realize a good number of them are), there just isn't a lot for them there. I have a policy where once a year or so I push the kids to do something that scares them because I know how great it feels once you do it. This policy went horribly wrong in the Midway-Octopus-Ride Incident of '07, (and don't think Eve failed to bring that up today), but usually it works out splendidly. So there we were in the lineup for the Canyon Rafting ride, because we could all go together and hey, four family members in a raft, what could go wrong? Okay, it was a little embarrassing standing there with Eve sobbing in terror while I patted her back saying 'it'll be fine, it'll be fine', and then Angus said 'my stomach feels a little sick' which is not-terribly-sophisticated code for 'actually I just realized I'm scared shitless', but we persevered! We stuck it out! We stooped to the ignominious level of telling them how much it cost to get us all in here and chucking them in the raft and hoping they'd be too scared to complain on the way down.

It was... okay. It was less of a balls-up than the Octopus Ride Incident. However, Eve was most emphatically done after that. We hung around the wave pool for a while. We went down the Jungle Run a few times, which was lovely. Angus said he would go down the Fast Track with me. Halfway up the stairs I realized he had really just said it to make me happy and was wearing a 'I'm approaching the steps to the guillotine' expression, so I told him I had already pushed him to do one thing today and I wasn't going to do it again, but I really hoped he would do it because I knew he'd enjoy it and feel great after. So of course he gritted his teeth and conquered his fear and loved me for it, right? Oh hell no, I went down that sucker ALL BY MYSELF.

Also, note to self? Don't use Neutrogena sunscreen next time. We got home and Eve looked at me and said "you got sunburned, Sister. I mean... Mother."

Oh well. It was an adventure. Of sorts. I did eventually apologize for tossing around the word 'wussy' a little extravagantly ("How can you call me that? You're my mother!" "I know. I'm the mother of a couple of WUSSIES.") Truthfully, I wouldn't have done any of that stuff when I was their age either. Thankfully, it never would have occurred to my parents to spend that unholy amount of money in order to give me that opportunity. It's not their fault we clearly have too much disposable income. Tomorrow? They can play with the hose in the front yard. Safe, unthreatening and free.


Lynn said…
This review is hilarious. You should send it to Kids in the Capital :).
Unknown said…
oh, what a big bunch of wussies :) ummm... that's my big fat foot in my mouth cause we recently went to our local water park (which was ridiculously expensive as well) and I REFUSED to go on any slides. My hubby took the two girls by himself and they actually went on one by themselves. I have to say I'm proud of my daughter, she's deathly afraid of heights, but she did it!

Me? I stayed in the kiddie pool with my 2 year old. that's it.
Ms. G said…
"you got sunburned, Sister." Hee Hee...I admit I'm the one in my family that wussies out on rides. The rest of them? Thrill Seeking Missiles the bunch of them.
This was hysterical, thanks for the giggle: )
Pamela said…
Goddamned baseball!
I'm also a lame-ass wuss when it comes to the rides - I cry on the kiddie coaster for god sakes! We moved right next to Canada's Wonderland & my son's already asking at 4 to go on the "big roller coasta". Um, no way Jose - he'll have to go with his Dad or wait until he's 14 & go with friends!
Julie said…
"We would laugh in the face of gravity and tighten our sphincters in the face of danger. It was going to be epic." that's going to have me laughing for days.

I think we should plan for an adult Calypso adventure. I've got a sissy-boy son so I know I won't be getting on any of the fun stuff when we go. But I WANT to go! (insert whine)
Anonymous said…
My kids and I fall soundly into the "Daredevil" category. My husband, on the other hand, falls soundly into the "Has a Weak Stomach and Would Rather Sit in a Lounge Chair and Read" category. It's not a great match, I must say. He's fabulous on so many other levels, but he's NO FUN at places like that. No. Fun.
Holy crap, I used Neutrogena sunscreen today and got burned. WTF? My son is on the scaredy cat side so I don't think big waterslides are in our near future. I loved them when I was a kid though.
Shan said…
Oh my gosh... so funny.
Mary Lynn said…
I think there's a very good chance I have at least one kid to share adventurous experiences with. The girl seems to like a good ol' adrenaline rush. The boy is decidedly less interested in rides and thrills, but I'm hoping that changes as he gets older. I don't necessarily want them bungee jumping or sky-diving, but it would be nice to go on the occasional roller coaster.
SuziCate said…
Waterparks...yay, as long as I don't have to be seen in a swimsuit!
The Mayor! said…
LMAO....what, I thought we all called our kids wussies when the situation necessitated it...we're simply preparing them for the world outside their door, like any good parent would! Besides, I agree, nothing more annoying than putting that time, energy, & money in to something only to have them all wuss out of the fun lol

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