This week I took all my kids to Six Flags by myself for the first time. If motherhood is like a video game where we’re trying to earn points and survive new challenges the game throws at us, this week, I definitely leveled up. I’ve taken them many times with another adult, but this was my first solo expedition with my entire crew, and as I suspected, I spent the majority of our time in the waterpark section with the younger ones while my oldest and her friend ran around to all the roller coasters.
I don’t mind waterparks, per se. The initial splash down the slide is refreshing. I feel like a kid again. Yay. But after about hour three squishing around in water shoes, my toes start to wrinkle and I wonder if this is what trench foot feels like. I could take the shoes off, but I have fungalphobia and just the thought of my bare feet touching the high-traffic area around the slides, much less the soggy toilet paper-covered bathroom floor, makes me pass out in horror.
So there I was three hours into this endeavor and I turned a corner from whence I feared I’d never return. I texted my husband, Alex, dry and delightfully alone in his office at home, for support.
Me: Wah. I have cramps. My feet are wrinkly. Wah. I hate waterparks. Why must our kids only want waterparks? Whyyyyy. Wah. Okay I’m done.
Him: *gif of sarcastic man mouthing POOR BABY*
Me: Patronizing. I reject this “poor baby.”
Him: It was the least patronizing one I could find.
*gif of different sarcastic man pretending to cry*
This was my other option along with a person pretending to beat off. I went with the only option I had.
Me: That’s … unfortunate. I now appreciate your gif offering. I just took off my water shoes and am sitting at a picnic table watching my feet dry. I want my shoulders rubbed. And a shower made out of anti-fungal ointment.
Please text me nice things.
Nice things to text me before I lose my mind. A random family just sat down at my table. I am having personal space issues. I yelled at a boy who kept hitting my butt on the pirate slides.
Him: *gif of cartoon fungus growing on a foot*
Me: This is mean. I need nice.
Him: Sorry. That one went out before I got yours.
*gif of Buddy the Elf saying I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU!!!*
Me: Bring me back from the edge of falling apart. You’ve had 22 years to practice. Remember your training.
This table is under a speaker playing loud music. Someone sprayed diarrhea all over the toilet seat in the bathroom. My toenail feels fungally. I want to smear myself with the ointments.
Him: So sorry. I wish I could be there to hug you.
Me: Thank you for texting with me. I just need to feel not alone for a minute. The cramps aren’t helping. I’m having sensory overload.
Him: I’ll take the next Six Flags run.
These were the magic words that gave me the strength to carry on for four more hours.
Once my feet dried and I put on socks and shoes again, my head cleared and I went on to be additional levels of amazing for my kids. We swung by Wendy’s for dinner on the way home, and as we got out of the car, my kids watched transfixed as a man opened his car door and proceeded to puke all over the parking lot. One too many upside down loops on the Mindbender for that guy, or something, and lucky us for being in the right place at the right time. I hustled my kids inside, where my son, who grew a whole inch in the last month and is now as tall as I am, ate a grand total of six cheeseburger patties. Apparently becoming a man takes a lot of beef.
Back in the car, beefed up and homebound, everyone chattered about their favorite rides and slides and processed the exciting riffs on what qualifies as waterpark apparel. So many body parts! Dangling so freely! We made it home, where I made everyone shower immediately and wash vigorously between their toes, and then I collapsed onto the couch with Alex and a glass of scotch, which pairs nicely with the vestiges of chlorine breath.
I started to swear I’d never go back, but then I remembered this year we got season passes so I’d probably be back next week.