While you were in your offices, doing your jobs…
“Hey Mom, remember how you said we’d go to the wading pool at the Legislature, like I did with my daycamp, but then you never, ever took us? Can we go now?”
Did some quick mental calculations: hot day + the kids will keep asking me for stuff – having to do anything for them / saying yes every now and again throws them right the hell off their game = “Sure!”
Unleash the children on the lush, green, paid for with my tax dollars grounds of the Legislature.
Spot the Fat Franks cart.
Desperately hope the children don’t spot it.
Hope is futile.
“Mooooom, I need a hot dog!”
Remind the children, gently, that not half an hour ago, they sat at our dining room table, refusing the hot dogs I’d made them for lunch. May have also suggested that if these children wanted a hot dog, they might try spelunking in our garbage can, to find their previously rejected hot dogs.
“Yeah, but these ones actually, you know, taste good.”
Again, gently remind the children that people who pick their noses and eat it have zero credibility in matters culinary.
The girl’s favorite activity in the wading pool? To ingest mouthfuls of water, and expel them, whale-style.
Yell at her not to do that.
Well, because even with the miracle that is chlorine, dear girl, you’re still ingesting water that has caressed the nether regions of many (possibly) unwashed strangers.
“I drinking butt water?”
Which the boy finds hilarious, and decides could be enhanced with a visual aid. He accomplishes this by pulling his trunks down over his bottom, pantomiming a giant, straining crunch. “Look, this is how the poop gets into the water!”
It may undermine the lesson I was trying to teach, but a good poop gag always gets me in the solar plexus, and I laugh till I cry.
Passers-by do not.
The girl, apparently inspired by her brother’s antics, needs to visit a washroom.
We find one, in the Interpretive Centre.
I usher the children in.
“OK, girl-child, pick a stall, and hey, look, boy-child, you can even use one of those urinals there…”
I could have sworn there was a skirt on the door.
Hustle everyone out, praying to no one in particular that the pair of shoes under the middle stall won’t laugh at me.
“Why we can’t go in boy’s room, but brother can come in girl’s room with us? asks the girl.
“Because!” boy child answers, exasperated. “Women aren’t just hanging their wangs out, for everyone to see!”
“Ooohhh!” Girl is entirely satisfied with that explanation.
The boy wants to try the bigger wading pool, so we move towels and associated crap.
The girl tries to get herself in, but can’t. But she is also satisfied to try, on her own, so I can sit back and people watch for a bit.
I watch the pervy guy in sunglasses taking pictures of bikini-clad mothers.
I watch the incredibly skinny, bleached blonde on the grass picking her arm scabs. And eating them.
And I watch the young couple frolicking in the pool, making sure people can see how young and fabulous and in love they are. Resist the urge to join their faux-splash fight, push both their heads under water, and wait for the bubbles to stop.
Wow, that last one shocked me a little. Apparently, my anger is a wee bit backed up.
But the moral of the story is: people are gross. And annoying. And the two are not mutually exclusive.
The boy approaches 2 kids playing tag in the water.
He asks if he can join them.
Kid A shrugs.
Kid B says, “If you come after me, I will put you IN THE HOSPITAL!”
So, way to go douchebags of the world. You’ve successfully raised another generation of douchebags. Good job, I guess.
Girl child has full-on reached her frustration limit, and is demanding help to enter this pool.
The set-up is kind of sadistic.
Climb onto a stone ledge.
Drop down onto a sole-punishing metal grate.
Hoist self up and over a 4 foot, smooth piece of stone.
The girl insists I need to get into the pool first, then lift her in.
I remind her I am not dressed to get in the water.
She cares not.
I lift her in as far as I can from the outside. She refuses to stretch her toes the remaining 1/4 of an inch it would take to touch bottom.
Instead, yells things like “Why you trying to hurt me, Mommy?” “Why you not try harder, Mommy?” And my personal favorite, “I don’t want you to be my Mommy!”
Strangers are horrified at the sight of this red-faced, bawling preschooler, with the mean lady who looks like she may be trying to dunk her.
I give up, get into the pool, pull her in.
Tears stop. Immediately.
“Thank you Mommy. You get out now, ‘kay?”
Slink back to the towels to sulk/dry off.
And finally, finally, the kids are happy.
I look at my phone, for the time.
We have exactly two minutes to make it back to the car before the meter runs out.