Monday, December 21, 2009

H_mb_g - All that's missing is "u!"

I'm pretty happy with this one. Primo's class was focusing on one letter of the alphabet each day, so I decided to combine that with the vacation countdown and this is what I came up with. You've got Uncle Scrooge strumming a ukulele, made from meat and cheese, sitting under an umbrella made from oro blanco (like a pomelo and/or a white grapefruit.) And, he's on vacation at a Floridian beach. The white sand is homemade cheese bread, the starfish is apple, the hibiscus are pear and the water is a blue fruit roll-up. The roll-up feels like a bit of a cheat, but it ended up being all he talked about. "You know what I really liked, daddy? The water. It was really good. Maybe you could put some more in my lunch tomorrow. You said it's fruit, right? So it's really good for me. We should eat a lot of things that are good for us." And so on. He was active and passive in his requests, plaintive and demanding. We were close enough to leaving town that I just rode it out.

We went to an indoor water playground here in town yesterday to meet up with some cousins who were in town. The kids had a blast, which was no surprise. What was surprising was how much fun I had how, well, infernal the place was. The roar of water echoing off cinderblock was, literally, deafening. I read somewhere that if you have to shout to be heard, you're damaging your hearing. I pretty much always have to shout for my kids to hear me, but when we left I felt like I should be wearing an AC/DC t-shirt and reeking of at least two kinds of smoke. Okay, maybe not AC/DC - I didn't have to read lips for the rest of the night. Let's call it Poison with special guests Ratt. (Or you can call it the Ratt Poison tour. They did, after all. I called it the first time I ever won concert tickets from the radio, but that was just the first thing that made me feel like a winner about that concert.)

Also, it was hot. Not just warm enough to play in water, but hot enough to need to hydrate. If I had been blindfolded, you could have told me I had been chosen to repair a ruptured boiler in the dark.
The chlorine would have given it away, though.

Have you seen the vinyl decals on cars and trucks that show silhouettes of waterfowl among the text "if it flies, it dies"? I could see, in my mind's eye, emblazoned on the glass sliding doors of the waterpark, the phrase "If chlorine can kill it, it's dead." My mind-eye didn't discern any silhouettes, but I'm sure that, at the very least, dogs that fit in purses would have been among them. I should mention that I was doing all this visualization because my regular eyes had been stung by thousands of angry hornets upon entering the pool area. So, between heat, a deafening roar and eye-pain, I'm recommitting to "infernal" as an appropriate adjective. My task, even more overtly Sisyphean than most: watch my 2-year-old on the "kiddie" waterslides.

Hyperbole aside, these things were dangerous to him. He's not overly cautious. Every surface leading to the slides was slippery, and the slides were disproportionately fast for their length and pitch. He needed monitoring, and I'm used to it. Specifically slide duty.

I did it for Primo before him, and I still don't know the best way. Both of them want to go on the highest slide possible. Twisty is good, especially twisty enough to spin you around backwards or turn sliding into head-over-heels tumbling. But sometimes straight and fast - fast enough to make it hard to land on your feet at the end - is the way to go. Regardless, there's a big, tall climb to the top. So, do I climb with them to make sure they're safe on the way up, or watch from the mouth of the slide to make sure they're safe on the way down? Is it more nerve-wracking to see them climbing flight after flight of stairs alone, or watching, fingers crossed, as they slip away, sometimes not to be seen again until they emerge at the bottom?

I guess I could climb up and go down the slides with them. It would be good practice for when I take the training wheels off their 2-seater bikes, and for their 25th birthdays, when I finally disengage the passenger-side steering wheels in their cars.

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