I decided to cancel an out of town trip we had planned. It was the right thing to do, for various reasons, but it is still hard for the kids to face a week at home when we had planned to be on vacation. So, I decided to have a little "stay-cation", and ramp up the next few weeks with some fun and special outings. I did some major googling and made a list of fun things happening in and around our town. One benefit of living in a huge city is that there is no shortage of places to go to spend time and money!
I read about a park with a huge playground and a splash pad, and decided that was a great (and free!) way to kick off our week. It is just too hot to play outside unless you're soaking wet these days, so the idea of the splash pad appealed to me. Plus, Emma is a H-U-G-E fan of All Things Water Related. I figured she and I could play in the water with cups and spray toys while the boys spent all kinds of energy at the park.
We packed a cooler, drove a million miles, called Daddy for directions when we got lost, spread our blanket out in the middle of an open field in the blazing sun, kicked off our shoes, and headed eagerly to the splash pad.
Emma was not impressed.
I figured it was just a little intimidating since there were so many kids and the water sprayed from so many different directions. I had high hopes that after a few minutes she would warm to the idea of keeping cool.
I was wrong.
Emma was completely terrified of the water and refused to go near it. So, we had some playtime on the blanket while the boys went full speed on the play equipment.
The boys kept trying to lure Emma to the water. They tried everything they could think of to get her to play. I made them run through the misters with her, despite her extraordinary protests, because I was worried about her getting too hot.
It seemed rather wrong to stand on the grass and snap pictures of my poor, screaming child who was reaching out for me to come rescue her from the torturous, cool spray.
So, I only snapped a few. Loudmouth was super unaware of the great photo potential here. She wasn't too concerned about posing for cute blog pictures.
There were a few rides and games inside the splash park, so the boys tried to distract her a bit, but by this time she was teetering on the brink of a total melt down.
Satisfied with the fact that she was at least wet, by splash pad water and buckets of tears, I released her from the treacherous responsibility of having fun with water in the 100 degree heat and sat her down instead in the beating sun. She was perfectly content.
I tried to make a little tent of shade in the stroller for her. Every once in a while she would poke out her head to peek at the kids laughing and splashing. She'd wave her little finger at them and shake her head and say, "NO!"
I even tried handing her two ice cubes to play with, and you would have thought I'd dumped two poisonous spiders in her lap. We had to make them go away. They couldn't even be on the ground where we could still see them.
The tide, it is a turning. I need to keep up.
Despite her aversion to being wet, we all had a great time at the park. We stopped at Sonic on our way home for half price drinks during happy hour. So, our first day of stay-cation filled an entire day, completely wore out three children, and cost me a whopping $2.47.
Stay-cation is off and running. Now, if it only came with some maid service...