I almost turned around when I saw the Valleyfair/Cedar Point/Six Flags/Disneyland playground. Had I not given my word I'd be there and driven a half hour to see my friends, I would have. The few snapshots I was able to take will not do this park justice. There were HUNDREDS of kids RUNNING at BREAKNECK speed, DOZENS of (very calm) moms milling about, water fountains spraying water onto the acre-sized playset in the the stiff wind that nearly blew us away.
What had I gotten myself into?
The boys googled the playground like it really was Disneyland because it could have been - it was the biggest park they'd ever seen - as I packed up the stroller with our diaper backpack, bag o' water clothes, and lunch. It took a few minutes to find my friends, amongst what was obviously another mom's group gathering (based on the giant sign that said APPLE VALLEY MOM'S GROUP, of which none of us 7 moms and 15 kids belonged).
They couldn't get out of the stroller fast enough to join the throng of children in the labyrinth. I tried greeting my friends while surveying the land for the best lifeguard position, so as to scan the area for my (thankfully) red-clad children. My boys chose to divide and conquer, each darting a different direction, climbing heights I'm afraid to mention, lest you think I'm a careless mom. My heart was racing as giant 8 year olds tore about, leaping over the 14 two year olds scrambling beneath them. I moved to the center of the play system when the fellas chose to climb its opposite side, so I could better
I tried to small talk with my twin mom friends, whose obedient girl-girl and boy-girl twins played together, buddy-style, even posing for adorable pictures through the bars. Only one other mom there had boy-boy twins, and I know she understands what I'm saying - one of hers went MIA, she parked the known boy with our gaggle during snack/lunch time, and found the missing one wandering the parking lot!
|N attempting escape in the bottom left|
We kept up a frantic pace for about a half hour, ate a picnic lunch (kind of) and dove back into the playground with a Need for Speed. They found the fastest, steepest slide on the system - nearly straight down, and slick with the spray from the water fountains nearby. (M was a bit unhappy with me that I wouldn't let him in the sprinklers, so I think that's why he chose this one - so he could still get wet and I would, too, standing nearby.) They couldn't get up the stairs, across the bridge, and down the slide fast enough. Over and over and over again. I told myself that at least they're working together on the same side of the structure, which was better to keep an eye on them than their previous tactic, Disappear Into The Tube Slides With Lots Of Big Kids.
A little before noon, there were signs of slowing down, and I knew I had to make a hasty retreat before the puppet wagon arrived (for which the Well Behaved Twins got to stay) and I missed my window of opportunity to beat it home and get them in bed before they fell asleep. Because if they fell asleep on the ride home, just 30 minutes, I'd have two grouchy two year olds by 5 pm because they didn't get a "real" nap, a risk I'm not willing to take today.
I also wanted to get out of there before Anything happened. Anything being, well, anything. When the fellas get tired, Anything can happen, which is usually Something Not Good.
So we left, and as I listed to the Veggie Tales DVD entertaining my very exhausted boys to keep them awake, I wondered if Boy Moms die sooner than Girl Moms. If I were to reflect on the life expectancy of the women in my family, who primarily have birthed girls for the last 100 years, I'd say, yes, Girl Moms live longer. Because none of my Girl Mom friends looked like they were about to have a heart attack today. Just me and the other twin boy mom.