June 22, 2012

Park It Here

I have a confession to make (yes, another one, don't judge me). I don't enjoy taking my kids to parks. I understand it's pretty much a necessity if you have kids and don't want to go insane. And don't get me wrong, I love to see them playing and having fun. But I don't like sitting there...doing nothing. I get antsy. It's not relaxing for me. I want to be doing something. I am incapable of enjoying doing nothing. Well, that's not entirely true. I do enjoy doing nothing under the right circumstances. Sitting outside with nothing to do but stare and do security watch is NOT the right circumstances. I don't particularly enjoy chatting up strangers in the park so it's not a great social event for me, and, for the most part, I hate being out in the sun so it's not a chance to enjoy being outside. I love, love, love when my kids are having a great time and enjoying themselves--especially if they are doing it outside. I just wish I didn't have to sit there while they do.

Does this make me a bad mom? Possibly. I never claimed to be Mom of the Year. Just chalk it up along with all of my other failings.

If we are going to a regular park, it's not so bad. I can relax with a book while they play on the playground or kick around a soccer ball. It's pretty easy to keep an eye on them while catching a few paragraphs here and there. Or I can bring some paper and catch up on my writing with the same results. The problem is the 90 degree weather here in TX which necessitates visits to water parks.

I hate water parks.

I don't generally like rides and I don't generally like the water slides at the big water parks. I can't understand how shooting almost straight down a two story slide while your bathing suit bottom creeps to parts better left unknown and water sprays up your nose leaving your brain water logged is considered fun. Oh, and let's not forget the dig-the-bathing-suit-out-of-your-hiney-without-anyone-noticing dance you get to do before you can actually stand back up. And all this is done while parading around body parts that haven't seen the sun in years and are kept under wraps FOR A REASON. Yay. Sign me up.

I think I might be able to enjoy a water park if it was just me. I'd just plop myself down on an inner tube and cruise the lazy river for 3 hours, with the occasional dip in the water to cool me off. There would be no hanging onto 2 inner tubes while keeping an eye on a third in the deep end of the wave pool where I will use my under worked muscles to keep us all together while also trying to coordinate just the right time to jump with the waves so I don't get a gallon of chlorine water dumped into every orifice in my head. There would be no "I wanna go here", "No, I wanna go here" arguments. There would be no moments of panic when I lose sight of one of the minions and I frantically look for the lifeguards to see if they are currently fishing one of my kiddos out of the water. And best of all? There would be no one to say, "That ride looks really scary. Will you please go on it with me, Mommy?", which is always accompanied by the doe-eyed orphan look that only those with a heart of stone can resist.

I'm sure this makes me a horrible mother but I do not enjoy spending hours in the heat, sweating in a bathing suit I would rather not leave the house in, worrying about sunburns, drownings, lost children and how many kids have actually peed in the pools. I would rather be relaxing, enjoying my kids in the relative safety of a normal park where I can indulge in reading, writing or taking pictures, and the only thing I have to worry about is sunburns, bugs, strangers and how many kids have peed on the slide.

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