Monday, June 28, 2010

Water Park

Sunday the family took a trip to Six Flag's Hurricane Harbor for some fun in the Sun.  We had to take Gram's and Papa's van to the park because ours died on Friday.  A dead fuel pump didn't dampen our spirits as we took Grams and Papa along with us.

We got a later start than we wanted.  It is never easy getting the kids both going in the same direction but throw in the fact that we had to put some "scum scream" (sun screen) and swim suits on the kids it gets even tougher.  To explain the "scum scream" quote from above, scum scream is Alyce's name for sun screen.  Her language is just about perfect to us but sometimes she will still butcher words giving both Mom and I a tickle.

At the park everyone had a good time.  Once a home base was found Alyce took off towards the kiddie play area.  The kids area had three parts.  A big rope house with lots of water jets, water slides, and a pirate ship.  The pirate ship was the area dedicated to kids Alyce's age.  The other two areas probably would have gotten her run over.  The first thing she did was go up in the pirate ship and down the slide.  She did it two more times and then something must have happened because she would have none of the slide.  She would go up in the ship, turn the captains wheel, and even look at the slides but not go down.  A few times the number of kids in the boat probably exceed a maximum threshold and parents weren't allowed up there (more on this later) so I'm guessing Alyce got spooked or pushed around by some other kids.  Alyce being the shy girl she is, shriveled from any sort of confrontation.  Later in the day Mom and I finally devised a way for Alyce to go down the slides but with our help.  One of us would be along the slide and as long as we held her hand she would go down without any trouble.  We didn't offer our hand unless she asked for it and sure enough a few times she did it without our help.

To better explain this pirate ship you go in it on one side and slide down the other.  This presents a dangerous situation for a parent.  Do you hold your child's hand after each trip down the slide to the stairs so they can go up the stairs and back down slide to be out of your sight before you get back?  Or do you wait at the bottom of the slide and let your kids out of your sight as they walk around the pirate ship and for you to catch them at the bottom.  In both cases a single parent has to let their kid out of their sight.  Ignoring drowning hazards in the 6 inch deep water in such a public place with so many people it is a recipe for a lost child.  Such an event happened to me!  One time Alyce seemed to be taking a bit longer get back up the stairs than she should and I started peering around for her.  Luckily looking through the pirate ship I saw her walking away from me and already 30 feet away.  I tried calling her over to me but due to all the running water around she couldn't hear me.  Panicked I ran around the ship (losing sight of her momentarily) and eventually caught up with her as she was over half way through the kid's play area.  I gave her that hug that parents give to kids they thought they'd lost even though she was only lost from me for about 20 seconds.  I told Alyce that she scared me and shouldn't wonder off and I'm sure she probably wandered what the big deal was as she knew where she was.

This is one of those lessons learned by a parent where they finally realized where their parents where coming from when they were grounded as kid.  Because when I was a bit old than Alyce I left home during nap time to see if preschool was still open without telling anyone where I was going.  Sorry Mom for scaring you like that.  I can only imagine what you were going through.

The only other event of note at the water park was the wave pool.  While I was holding Alyce she seemed to enjoy herself by going up and down with the waves.  I Kind of played it up a bit by jumping up saying "wee" when every wave came.

This was a good introduction into water parks for Alyce but me having to hold Alyce in the wave pool is highlighting the fact that she doesn't know how to swim and really isn't comfortable in water above her knees. I think it is time Mom and I find some swim class for her, even if they are early on a Saturday.

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