Mind over matter. Words to live by indeed.
There are certain things as an adult that I can choose not to do. The ability to make choices based on one’s preferences and/or inability to engage in less than desirable activities simply because I don’t want to is one of the highlights of being a grown up. For instance, I can choose not to eat at a buffet style anything, for the rest of my life. I can choose not to dip into the community Skittle bowl that adorns a random conference room table without answering to anyone. No one else is affected. I simply walk away and get on with my life.
It becomes a bit tricky when you become a parent. I don’t want to intentionally pass along any irrational fears to my children, so I make a conscious effort to bury them way deep down inside. Should nature overcome nurture or should they come to their senses and choose to avoid public restroom door handles on their own volition, so be it. Until then, I will put my game face on, set realistic expectations, allow my kids to be kids, and take one for the team when the call comes in.
Spring break water park fun here we come!
The kids were so excited, and why wouldn’t they be? This is a kid vacation. No adult over the age of 30 chooses to put themselves in this type of situation unless they have children and/or are clinically insane. It’s part of growing up. The fun parts slowly get replaced with insight, general awareness, and looming fear. Decent parents choose to overlook their selfish tendencies and instead put their children’s needs and desires first. I, if anything, am a decent parent. My kids undoubtedly had a blast, I physically appeared as though I was doing the same, and my children will store this event in their long-term memory bank with the rest of their delightful childhood memories from now until eternity.
Do I wish that I wasn’t so uptight? You have no idea, but that ship has sailed, so let’s move on with today’s lesson plan.
Survival tips for the not so chill parent.
The hotel room: The key to a happy stay? Low expectations. Let’s be real here. This is a zoo sans the locked cages. Animals run free, exploring their terrain, feeding off the land, scratching at will, and smearing pizza sauce everywhere. The room is a threat and serves only as a launch pad. Get in and get out. Spend as little time in there as possible and only go back when it’s dark, you have become severely disorientated, and are so ridiculously tired that you could/would sleep in a pile of dirt.
The wave pool: My kids really loved this one. Maybe it was seeing the pure panic on their mother’s face each and every time a tidal wave would forcefully drag her beautiful young children under water, maybe it was the steady wave of bodily crud exiting unseen crevices floating aimlessly around desperate for host reattachment, or maybe it was the floating hair (spiral shaped and dark in color) that rivaled the actual amount of water per surface area. It’s not yours, but what a nice thought.
The lazy river: What’s not to love here? You’re floating in packs of strangers going around and around and around and around. You want to get out? Lol! Sit down asshole. You’re not going anywhere. And that floating band aid you’re trying so desperately to avoid? It’s coming, and you can be certain, he’s bringing his friends.
The hot tub: If sitting in a bubbleless lukewarm cesspool that has exceeded its capacity twice over is your thing, then bring your fruity umbrella cocktail and undiapered toddler on in and join the party. The more hair on your body, the better. Please be sure to rub up next to your neighbor and maintain physical contact at all times, because after all, we may be perfect strangers, but we’re all here for the same thing. Relaxation.
The water slides: You can get maximum enjoyment from this scenario if the lines are long and you are forced to stand in a never-ending stairway to heaven miles and miles up in the sky. The steady drip drop on your forehead of crotch juice from up above might seem like unnecessary torture at the time, but rest assured when you finally reach your destination and get to nestle into the tube that maintains a consistent 1/4 inch full of “water” and has once occupied every single ass crack in the history of mankind and then participate in the three second plunge to your probable death, it’ll all be worth it.
The kiddy pool: This might seem like a safe bet, but don’t kid yourself. It’s the bathroom.
Take five: If you need a break from the water activities at the exact same moment that every other occupant does, then head on over to the arcade. Be sure to take a second mortgage out on your home before doing so though, because that crane game with the giant ball prize is going to kick your ass and it will get personal.
Once every family member has a ball they don’t want to carry around, go ahead and bounce them all over to the the lazer tag area. It’s a great family activity and guaranteed fun for all ages.
“Mommy, you shot me.”
“That’s the point of the game honey. Here, shoot me.”
“But Mommy, you shot me.”
“Oh my gosh! I shot you! I’m so sorry! I’m a terrible mommy!”
Turning in: Need a break from the stress before bedtime? Grab a bag of Cheetos, head back to the hot tub for a handful of hugs without commitment, and bury that shit way deep down inside as you watch your children frolic in the sea of hairy band aids and make lasting memories with their super chill mom who just bravely upped the ante and dropped a Cheeto on purpose in the whirpool.
See you tomorrow mister.