What happened to us yesterday? We were shanghaied off to our local water park for a day of sunscreen and chlorine. Upon arrival we found a long line of teenagers rolling their eyes and waiting to escape the grip of their parents and hoping to go snog with each other in some hidden grotto. Behind them were a line of parents rolling their eyes and waiting to escape the grip of their nine year olds and hoping to go read a book in some quiet hidden grotto. Then there were a handful of us excited and happy to be hanging with our toddlers.
Our dear friends Heather-M and her two sons Cutie (age 5) and Cutie-pie (age 2) arrived shortly after us (thanks for the extra ticket M Family) and Punky Mom and her brood arrived later. Heather suggested we begin in the wave pool, meander around to the other attractions ending at the toddler pool. She said once we arrive at the toddler pool the giant frogs and tiny slides steeped in 6 inches of water will beckon our children like sirens and we will be held captive in the midday heat for the rest of the expedition. I agreed, the last time I had visited the water park I was wearing a bikini small enough to floss with and there was only the wave pool and a single water slide, she held season tickets and so she knew better than I.
After paying a small fortune for a tiny locker and stowing as much of our gear as we could we made our way to the faux seashore. The waves run in 15 minute intervals meaning 15 on and 15 off and when we arrived they were off. Ella was delighted with the “big-big pool” until the waves began at which point she clung to me like an octopus until I waded back inland so just our ankles felt the ebb and flow of chlorine and finally she relaxed her grip. We soon retreated to our tiny base camp under a plastic coconut tree to forage for cheese squares and juice boxes and reapply our sunscreen for the four hundred and eighth time.
The next adventure was the Lazy River. It has all the white trash charm of toobin’ down a river only without beer, mud, cut off shorts or turtles. I loved it. Ella and I went around that little Beverly Hillbilly river enough times to notice a nest of baby birds under the foot bridge and 4 baby ducks in the reeds next to the life guard stand. I could’ve floated around in that big yellow donut all day but Ella grew weary and it was inevitable she was feeling the lure of the toddler’s play area. I attempted to divert her attention with the giant play island but the kids that played there were wild and unruly I think I clearly saw one tan sinewy boy push a smaller plumper one towards the edge of the plastic cliff urging him to walk the plank and when I saw a group of boys trying to make fire with Piggy’s glasses I knew Ella was a little young for the clutches of Jack and Simon and we departed for shallower water.
The toddler pool is ingenious. Giant foam frogs and snakes and slides wading in six inches of cool clean bubbling water surrounded by lounge chairs filled with women in tankinis and short hair reading books and encircling all of it an un-climbable fence with a childproof gate. Ella rode the giant snake while I looked around to discover, not a single flat, tan, pierced tummy in sight and there were even a few Daddy types happily splashing around oblivious to nurslings latched on to exposed breasts shoreside. These were natives I could live with. I finally exhaled and sat down with my feet in the water where we spent the rest of the day, relaxing among the good people of Wet Willy's Little Lagoon.