Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Our Trip to "Crazy-Land"

We are fortunate to live extremely close to a major amusement park—let's call it Crazy-Land for the sake of this post.  For the past two years we've endured our son's endless pleas to go to Crazy-Land (we drive past it at least once a week).  We finally gave in this past Friday.

On Friday morning we schlepped the kids, the giant jogging stroller, changes of clothing, swim gear, towels, water shoes, sunglasses, sunscreen, snacks, sippy cups, extra underwear for my 4-year-old son (just in case), and our proudly purchased discount-passes (my husband saved $13 off of each ticket at our local grocery store) to the park for a day that promised to be all sorts of... well... crazy.

My husband bragged about his genius at finding discount passes as we pulled into the parking lot, and I was forced to acknowledge that, as always, he was the bargain master, and yes—generally his skills at ferreting out the best deals were under-appreciated in our household.

I believe I was still stroking his ego as we tried to unload the heavy bags that vomited out the back of our van as soon as the hatch opened, when the man from the car next to us approached us and said, "Hey, you guys wouldn't by any chance want some free passes, would you?  I have four extra and they're only good until Monday, and we're looking to give them to a family who could use them."

I had begun to say, "Oh, isn't that nice of you, when I was cut off by my husband, who said, tight-lipped, "No, we have passes already..." then, "dammit!" under his breath. 

I patted him on the back comfortingly as we strolled toward the park.  He was taking the whole matter rather hard (he is very serious about saving money, and I knew he was already thinking about what he could have done with the cash we had spent on the tickets), but he promised he would get over it, and we proceeded into the park.

As soon as we crossed through the turnstiles, our son Evan began strutting about, hands on his hips and rump shaking, shouting "Oh YEAH!!! Oh YEAH!!!"  He then began running back and forth in a random zig-zag pattern, flailing his arms about and shaking his head, and the looks he was attracting from the passersby said that they were slightly concerned he might be having some sort of seizure.  I returned their worried gazes with a look that I hoped communicated "He's fine—he's just a spazz."

We decided to start the day with a nice, calm train ride to get our 20-month-old daughter Clara warmed up to the idea of the park.  We boarded the train and Evan was extremely excited—he continued his endless chant of "Oh yeah!" during the ride (this occasionally morphed into Justin Bieber's "Baby, Baby, Baby...Ooooh...and then back into "Oh yeah!" ...it was like the remix from hell), while Clara—who was downright terrified—spent the whole ride shrieking in my ear and frantically screaming, "No CHAIN!!!  BYE-BYE!!!  DONE, DONE, DONE!!!"   Needless to say, it was not a very relaxing ride.

Once we had extracted ourselves from the train and steeled ourselves for what the rest of the day promised to bring, we redirected the children to the kiddie area, where there were more age-appropriate rides available.

What ensued was rather predictable—Evan saw the various attractions and began frantically running from ride to ride like a chihuahua on speed.

Clara was initially scared, but then she spotted this statue of Snoopy and was quite content to stand there and molest it for a good half an hour, so I babysat her while Evan went on some rides with his daddy.

And, fortunately, we were actually able to convince Clara to ride a couple of attractions (especially if they resembled a swing set) before we took a break for lunch. 

After lunch we decided to head to the water park.  I took both children into the ladies' room with me to change while my hubby rode one of the new coasters that had recently been installed.  Changing myself and two children into swimsuits is quite the feat on an ordinary day, but considering that my son was still running about like a yippy-dog on crack, and that I had no leash with which to tether him to a toilet, it was absolute chaos.

Clothing was thrown randomly into whatever bag was closest as I tried to keep Evan from running out of the bathroom, giggling, with just a shirt on and his wee-wee flapping freely in the breeze.  I considered it a triumph that we didn't leave a shoe behind and I still had both of my own children with me when all was said and done. 

The stroller was now completely useless, as in my panic I had randomly loaded it down with bags that were now bursting at the zippers, threatening to explode and haphazardly spew our belongings onto the cement.  My husband returned from riding the roller coaster, flushed with excitement. He saw the stroller and the look on my face and frowned.

"Was there... a problem?" he asked.  I glared at him and said, "Take her!" thrusting our daughter into his arms and grabbing Evan by the hand before he could dart away again. 

We trudged over to the water park and headed for the kiddie play area.  Clara wanted nothing to do with it.  She wouldn't set foot in the water without shrieking, and when I tried to take her down one of the little baby slides on my lap, she panicked and ended up pooping in her swim diaper.

No, Clara wanted nothing to do with water play.  She instead found a reclining chair, pulled a towel from one of the bags, and sprawled across it.  She said, "Night, night," closed her eyes and lay there sunning herself.

Meanwhile, Evan had discovered the greatest thrill in the park so far—the squirting fountains!!  Why would squirting fountains be more exciting than, say, a kiddie coaster?  Well, basically because a kiddie coaster doesn't spray water in your crotch.   Take a look—this is just brilliant.   I'm... so.... proud.
We spent quite a bit of time like this, with Clara rearranging herself on the towel and Evan experimenting with the water jets. We were exhausted and began talking of getting everyone back into normal clothes, but Evan refused to leave until his crotch had been sufficiently sprayed to his satisfaction.  

It also didn't help that he found it quite enjoyable to have the water spray his bottom too.

Yep—that's my boy.  

We practically had to drag him out of the water park, but we finally did manage to get back to the changing areas.  I took Clara with me into the ladies' room, and my husband took Evan, but the bags were so mixed up it was impossible to tell who had whose clothes.  I ended up with my husband's shirt, Evan's socks had been lost completely, and I simply couldn't find my underwear. 

What I did have, however, was an extra pair of Evan's toddler-sized Calvin Kleins.  I debated whether I'd be able to squeeze my butt into his teensy undies.


(You may be asking yourself why a 4-year-old needs Calvin Klein underwear.  Basically, he doesn't. They were on sale at Ross, and I caved.)

Fortunately, I finally located my undies at the very bottom of the diaper bag, underneath some crushed peanut butter crackers.  I shook the crumbs out of them and hoped peanut-butter crackers were vajayjay friendly; I did not want to get some bizarre infection from half-eaten toddler snacks.
We got some semblance of order to our bags and headed back to the main park, where Evan resumed his routine of running, yelling, going on rides, and shouting "Oh YEAH!!"  But eventually even he started to run out of steam, and we began to trudge our way to the park's exit.
Before we left, I asked him to pause for a picture with me and Snoopy, and he agreed, but only on the condition that he could "pose" me.  This is the result, and I must say, it's ironically my favorite picture from the whole day!

By the time we got to the car, we were all weary and worn out, and in my husband's and my case...absolutely starving!  The kids were asleep by the time we were out of the parking lot, and they continued to snooze while my husband ran into the grocery store to buy a turkey sub for dinner from the deli counter.

We pulled into our driveway and listened to our children snoring loudly in their car seats.  We decided not to wake them up for dinner; instead we gingerly carried them upstairs, changed them into their pajamas (they didn't even wake up during this process), and laid them gently in their respective beds.

My husband and I then got to enjoy the first quiet dinner at home together we'd had in a LONG time.  It was nice.  At one point my hubby said, "Hey... we should do this amusement park thing more often!  Putting the kids to bed was a breeze!"

I shot him a murderous glance. 

"Just kidding!" he said. 

Good—just making sure.
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  1. Looks like such a fun time! Too bad about the free pass though . . .oh, the irony!

  2. LOVE IT! We went to a theme park the summer (I have a 1yr and a 3yr). Yeah, it was CRAZY to say the least... and HOT! But, thank GOD for the water parks in most of them! They SERIOUSLY save the day!!

  3. OH, this was so funny! Perfectly described family "fun" day. I went to Sesame twice and Hershey park once (wrote about that one in my blog too) and I am always amazed at the chaos. And I hate the water parks because I always get stuck with both boys in a dirty bathroom yelling at the top of my lungs "Don't touch anything!" But the kids faces of joy make it worth it!

  4. This is just hysterical!! I'm sure you weren't thinking so at the time, but it certainly is - most likely because I've endured trips very similar.

    Someday he is going to be very embarrassed when you show those water jet pictures to his girlfriend lol!!

  5. This was so cute to read! You are such a good writer. I can just picture you in the ladies room, struggling with everything...hilarious!
    Cheers from vB members to remember,

  6. Oh man - girl - you have a gift. I love reading your stories. My husband is always asking from the next room - "what in the hell is so funny?" and "are you crying? why are you crying?" I'm visiting from the VoiceBoks Members to Remember list. Have a great day.

  7. how much fun !! you all look like you are just having the time of your life !! reminds me when my kids were that little, so cute and funny.

  8. I applaud your stamina and selflessness in visiting an amusement park! I once wrote a post about amusement parks, and to me, they're like hell.

    But kids do love them, and so I greatly admire parents who have the strength to visit them.


  9. Wow that seemed like an awesome and very exhausting outing! I think Evan was conditioning himself for when he reaches the age where girls have the knack of kicking guys in the nuts...by then his will be strong and tolerant, that is if he continues with the water jets training.

    I love it when the kids tire themselves to sleep...once I even had my 4 and 6 year old pee before putting them to bed and the funny thing is I had to assist them coz they were asleep and couldn't stay awake long enough to pee.

  10. I am literally ROFL right now! My kids love the spray jets as well. :) My youngest son's name is Evan, and he would definitely be the one to run around like crazy!

  11. LOL!! I know that "Oh yeah!" dance all too well! My kids are kind of spastic, too. ;) At least you have fun stories to tell, right?

  12. You are so funny! I love the description of your son as you arrived and throughout the day - OH YEAH! He sure enjoyed his day and you didn't even have to ask him what he thought!

    It sounds like it was a good day after all with a reward at the end for you and hubby.

    Visiting from VB Members to Remember.

  13. Oh I remember days like that! And we still have days that are both fun & exhausting. I'm glad you found your smile for that picture - its great! Oh, and yes, what is it with the spazz-dance? Mine have just started doing that! Must be the moon..... Great story, thanks for sharing! Coming from vb

  14. This whole post is hilarious! I love your writing style! This very much reminds me of our last trip to the water park.

    Thanks for linking up on our Welcome Wednesday! :)

  15. Ha ha!! I loved this post! We recently went to Lego Land with our toddler, actually it was just a few weeks ago and trying to battle the bathrooms and the contents in the stroller and walking around the park 6 months pregnant, I was starting to think, was this really vacation? You are hilarious. I'm adding you to my sidebar blog reading list. Hope the vajaja is ok! ;)

    Oh and thanks for stopping by the Hump Day Hop!

    Heather From and Mommy Only Has 2 Hands!

  16. I happen to enjoy the spray jets on my bum as well.

    As for your hubby being the master of savings, gurl....I have to stroke my mans ego too. God forbid I mention that I usually save us at least 35%-60% every shopping trip. Apparently that's just my job.

    Loving your girl sunbathing :)


  17. That is too funny! I have never braved an amusement park with my kiddos. Just going to the pool sometimes is a giant chore.
    Thanks for following, following you back.

  18. Sounds like a fun (and funny) day! Love the sunbathing pic.

  19. Very fitting! We went to Disney on Tuesday, and I can relate to most of this post. Kids sort of become unreinable (that is a word, I'm sure of it) once you pass through those entrance gates...

  20. Jenn,
    I'm sorry that it seems like I laugh at you every time I read your posts. It's just that I've so been there and done that. Reading your posts also bring back so very many happy memories of when my kids were younger!
    I hope your vajajay is not traumatized from the peanut butter crackers!!!

  21. Oh, good golly! Lol! The last time we hit up a place like "Crazy land" was when our oldest was an only child. You've now got me completely terrified to do it with 3.
    LOVE the pics of your son *ahem* spraying himself, lol. I have quite a few of my boys doing that too. Not sure why they do it, but I've often contemplated getting a Beday since they seem so enthralled with the feeling.
    Stopping by from Voiceboks! Have a great day!

  22. Hi, excited to find your blog through blog hopping. I’m your new follower! I invite you to come on over for a visit when you have a chance, and hopefully follow me back.

    Have a fabulous week!
    Apron Senorita

  23. You had me hanging onto every word! This was really a full day. Going to an amusement park with kids is a hectic activity. On one hand, though, your hubby may be right about the kids bedtime being easier.

    VB Rocks!

  24. Wow...sounds like something that you will laugh about in the years to come but at the moment was a nightmare for you! I have to admit I did laugh while reading the post! LOL... Found you via Thoughtful Thursdays! Follow back @ http://www.pargasjunkyard.wordpress.com and/or on facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pargas-Junkyard/259287017434763

  25. This is such a cute post. I loved reading this. And the pictures are spectacular. The ones of your daughter sunning and your son, er, feeling good are hysterical. And the undie story has me in fits. So funny. Hope you have a great weekend.

  26. So glad summer is not quite over yet that you can still enjoy the last few lazy days. Glad you had a wonderful time with your family.
    Wishing you a great weekend,
    Español para Niños (Spanish for Kids)

  27. This took me back to the days when my kids were small. We took them to Six Flags and they wouldn't ride ANYTHING. We watched a couple of shows and spent WAY too much money on lunch and then we were done. The only fun they had (it seemed) was squirting people with the coin operated water pistols. Yes, I have boys. Anyhow, thanks for the laughs! Stopping by from VB. This is my first visit here but I'll return!

  28. It looks like everyone had a great time. I wish we had a amusement park near where I live in MS, but we have to travel & with the price of gas, we didn't go anywhere this year. But glad ya'll had a fun day before the summer ends.

    Stopping by from Members to Remember (a little late) & thanks for visiting my blog.


  29. Cute, cute post...Laughed out loud as I am around little boys all the time...Have a great weekend

  30. Oh my goodness...I was laughing THE ENTIRE post saying to myself - I've done that...Sounds like Lulu...The Man has done THAT a few times - a good laugh before bed is nice!


  31. I'm so glad to have found you! Your post was hilarious! Possibly because I could relate too well. I love the photos and I'm glad you found your underwear. :)

  32. Your post was hilarious! Thanks for the laughs!

  33. Girl you need to find yourself a publisher and sell this stuff you a just way too funny!
    Following you already! Visiting via weekend FNF blog hop. Stop by when you have time I can always use a good laugh!

    Blessings to You and Yours,
    Patricia aka Mamaw

  34. Looks like you guys had fun!

    New follower! gotomommy.blogspot.com

  35. LOL great re-counting of your family outing to the amusement park! Besides all the craziness, sounds like you all still had a great time! Hope your husband's ego isn't too bruised over the tickets. lol

    Thanks for checking out our blog and for leaving such a sweet comment. We're following you back! Looking forward to reading more of your funny family stories. :)

    ~ Montreal Fashion Moms ~

  36. Kudos to you! I hope we can avoid the Crazy Lands out there for years to come!!

    I'm following from the Finding Friends Blog Hop!
    Come visit when you get the chance!

  37. I hate, hate, hate amusement parks. I don't think there is enough Valium and cocktails in the world to get me to go through the turnstiles. But every few years I convince myself that it won't really be that bad. It will be fun.

    And afterwards..I drink many cocktails because it was that bad.

  38. Hi
    Love your blog - it's hilarious!
    Found my way here via a blog hop - hope you'd like to follow my (very new!) blog too: www.blueearedrabbit.blogspot.com
    I'll be following you!
    Thanks! x

  39. Love when she Clara was sunning herself - super cute ;) They start so young. haha

  40. found my way here via blog hop and oh gosh... love the way you write! was laughing out loud silly to myself in front of the laptop! esp the previous post abt the beach! :D

    i'll be waiting for your next instalment! :P

    my blog @ http://blog.mybabyfootsteps.com

  41. Wow, I'm exhausted just reading this! An amusement park is hard enough, let alone adding a water park adventure on top of it. It's almost like you need a sherpa for all of that gear!

    Gina from vB

  42. This was hilarious! You are very good writer! OK - I think I would of left the toddler with a sitter and enjoyed the day with the 4 year old. They are so much more fun. (That's just me - I admire that you made it through the day!)

    And I think I would of called some friends and asked them to meet me at the park - they could of bought 2 of your tickets and each of you would of had 2 free tickets too - party of 8 for the price of 4! Yay!

    Great article!
    Tina "The Book Lady"
    I'll give you a stumble - I'd love a stumble back on my Classics 4 Kids post. Thanks!

  43. WOW Whata fun time at "CRAZYLAND"!!!
    I'm tired!!!
    visiting from Follow US Monday Blo Hop and aslo vB =)

  44. Hilarious! I can totally relate I have a 3 yr old an juat ventured for the first time to our crazyland this year. So glad I found your blog through mama-press Monday blog hop!


  45. Hi there! Cute blog! New follower here :) Found you through the Surfin' Blog hop. Check out my blog at www.wildyetzenful.blogspot.com

    Happy day!

  46. I'm a new follower check me out at www.ellienoelle.blogspot.com from baby tips,hair care,reviews, to recipes.

  47. i don't know how i missed this story, but i'm so glad i came across it!! HAHAHAHAHAHA you seriously need to write a book!
    the crackers in your hoo haa!!! LOL yummy!!
    the pictures of evan loving the water splashing against his front and back made me cry from laughing so hard!
    i'm glad you got to enjoy a quite dinner after all the madness! i can just imagine the glare you shot after your husband suggesting to go again!
    you are hilllaarrriioousss.
    and you have such a kind, loving heart. pretty nice combo <3

  48. Hello! I'm a new follower and would love it if you could follow me back :)

    Loved the story!!!


  49. So funny! Loved the peanut butter crackers in your underwear!! I almost forgot how exasperating it can be. I was the same, but I had 3 - all exactly 2 years apart. It was a blur. Now they're 17, 15, and 13. Whole different level of exasperation—especially asking them to do chores!
    One day my kids ignored me after I asked them 5 times to pick up their clothes. I marched upstairs, seething. I was like one of those exasperated moms who has ridden water slides all day with her kid and who screams at a ten-year-old stranger for breaking in line in front of her at the waterpark. Not that I’ve ever done that. In exasperation, even Jesus threw the thieves out of the temple so I bet you He’s on my side—on YOUR side too! Great post!

  50. Great story! I could relate to about 95% of it... only because I never lost my undies :) And if Crazy-Town is in Northern Ohio... let me know! We totally need to get together for a playdate :)

  51. Following you by GFC from Finding New Friends Weekend Blog Hop.


  52. Jenn this is so funny and brings back all sorts of memories of family trips to "Crazy Lands" I love the picture of your daughter sun bathing and the one of you and your son! I think it's great that you had a quiet moment with your husband, isn't it sad what we have to do to get it!!! xoxo


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