My mom works at a church as a bookkeeper and apparently this job has its perks because she called one day to say that she'd gotten some killer coupons to go to a local theme park and was excited to get together with me and take the kids. It is not at all surprising that she'd call me about a coupon. My family on her side is nothing if not thrifty, but I was a little surprised that she'd want to do anything with the three of us, much less go to an amusement park.
You see, over the years, I've devolved from being "the good daughter" to being the "unappreciative and unhelpful" daughter. Nevermind that I had two small children who seem to need an inordinate amount of attention and about whom I was admittedly a spaz after spending almost 6 months in the NICU. That's my excuse for my reputation anyway. And I'm sticking to it.
In my entire childhood, I also remember going to amusement parks maybe two or three times with my parents. Ever.
Anyway, my mother has become a very busy person in her golden years and since the kids had a week of camp (Mam at YMCA Art Safari camp and Smunch at Lego Engineering camp) and swim lessons to attend, we found that there was just one day when we could all go to the park. Fortunately, that part worked out well. We arrived on the Friday before school started, just as the park opened, which wasn't until 11am.
Mam immediately wanted to go on The Banana Split ride. Smunch wasn't so sure. It's one of those rides that's usually decked out like a pirate ship where it swings like a big pendulum. At first, Mam and Gram were going to go alone. Then Smunch changed his mind and we all went. Mam and Gram did well. Smunch and I were kinda horrified. I remembered something. I'm not at all thrilled by thrill rides. And apparently my son isn't either.
He and Mam both liked this one though. It's like a Teacups ride, with the teacups dressed up as garlic blossoms.Because there was no line, the kids stayed on for a second round while my mom and I couldn't get off fast enough!Mam wanted to go on the Mushroom Swings. Smunch didn't dare, so we watched Mam and Gram from the sidelines. The watching didn't make him want to do it any more than he had before.Smunch, ever the cautious child, was even too scared to go on the ferris wheel with me. So Mam and I did that while he and Gram went to ride the monorail.After that, my mom gave each of the kids $5 to spend on whatever they wanted. I approved this idea. After all, my mom was very good at teaching us how to manage money. And this would probably be a good lesson for my kids. They're certainly old enough. Of course, it meant that Mam bought almost $5 worth of cotton candy and Smunch bought at $3 lollipop that he has barely touched since. Mam certainly found other things she could spend her money on and I felt a little badly for not encouraging her to shop around, but I suppose it was a good lesson to realize she'd bought cotton candy and now couldn't afford a "mood necklace". She bought a small lollipop and owed my mom 20 cents in the end. Smunch held on to his extra $2.
By the time we were done in the gift shop, it was already 4 o'clock. I'm not sure where all the time went, honestly. We took the kids to the water park portion of the park and stayed there until they turned the water off and closed the park at 5.
Such a nice day. It wasn't even sweltering as that particular park often is. And who knows? Maybe my reputation..at least the part fueled by my reluctance to "share" my kids with my mother when they were fragile babies...is on the mend...