Someone screwed up royally. There was never any mention before today about a splash pad. Where in the parent handbook was this Field of Dreams described? How did I miss this?
Let me set the stage:
1. Exhausted baby who wont nap
2. Dogs wont stop barking
3. Three cups of coffee deep
4. Every toy blown through
Nothing left to do… no where else to go… I was in deep trouble. I was sweating in places that shouldn’t sweat on your day off.
Then… The amazing idea of heading to the park for a brief and hopefully calming ride on the swings. Laughter drowned away the screams and tears and filled the air with the sweet sound of giggles that only a park swing can create.
But there is only so much swing time one 14 month old can endure before its time to move on, and we hit that stage pretty quickly.
Panic set in, I could feel the wood chips closing in around me… There was no where to go… Nothing else around to entertain this little beast who was slowly beginning to dislike his dad.
I began to think about driving to another park… You know switch things up. Try some new scenery. Problem is the other parks we’ve tried out are scary. I know that sounds asinine but the last one I went to was a death trap. It was pretty much the Hunger Games. Children running around with sticks in their hands doing whatever the hell they want. Like I’m talking The Wildwest… And there is no Wyatt Earp to keep the Cowboys in line. Borderline scary.
I mean don’t get me wrong, I used to play at Old Parloa Park in downtown Bethel. The double headed Dragon Slide, the silver beast from hell as it was so often (never) called. Every time you climbed to the top of that thing you were taking your own life into your hands. You never knew when got to the top of that slide down might be your last. And if you were lucky enough to make it all the way down, you still had to deal with the third degree burns from the sizzling hot aluminum that had been baking in the sun all day. It was an adventure every time, perfect for the thrill seekers of B-Town because that old ass slide was about two bolts shy of having no bolts at all.
Clearly we were out of options… That is until the heavens opened up and that giant slab of circular concrete, that I assumed was used for Medieval jousting matches, turned into a water miracle. I can not even explain to you how quickly Jackson did a completely 180 when he heard the water smack down on the blacktop (PS why is the splash pad base concrete? Seems a little dangerous, no? Then again better than the rusty merry-go-round that claimed the finger of at least three children a year at Parloa).
The water was cold and more importantly clean and kept Jax busy for hours (20 minutes). He looked like Barry Sanders escaping from defenders as he went from water spout to water spout with the biggest smile on his face.
Thank you splash pad… Thank you from the bottom of my exhausted heart.