Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Worst. Park. Day. EVER!

What was supposed to be a super fun Tour de West Side Parks with my friend, Emily, and her kiddos, was by far, my least enjoyable day so far. Well, let me back up. The entire day wasn't exactly a bust. It did make for a fun story and we do love spending time with our friends.

But, have I mentioned before that I have a strong dislike for heat and humidity? It's really more along the lines of complete loathing. I realize that I am not exactly the most sweet-natured person to begin with, but I can usually at least keep myself under control in public. The heat seriously turns me into a fire-breathing beast (that sweats like a pig). Ugh. I hate being hot!!

Grier was asleep in the car and actually stayed in there, with the AC blasting, the entire time we were at this park.

The morning started out pretty funny actually. By the time we met up by the sign at Memorial Park, it was already in the 90s. We spent 20 minutes or so enjoying the playground.

Later in the day, it would turn out that I had forgotten several important items (i.e. swim diapers and an essential piece of my swim attire), but I did at least remember to bring water bottles for the kids and Fletcher thinks his is like the greatest thing ever.

Next, we loaded up the minivans and headed to Bakker Park.

Trey and Bo were the only ones brave enough to leave the small circle of shade this tree provided and try out the playground. I guess I followed to try to get a few photos, but I quickly retreated back to the shade.

Emily says this is one of their favorite parks because it has a good playground and lots of room to run, but it's easier to keep track of the kids here than it is at some of the bigger parks, like Sertoma.

At least we can always count on Emily to provide treats. If it wasn't for the Chips Ahoy! we might not have been at Bakker Park for more than 5 minutes. As it was, the cookies provided about ten minutes of activity.

Mmmm...Chocolate chips.

The cookies also provided Porter's only reason to leave the comfort of their air-conditioned van. He made a quick dash over to Emily to grab a cookie and then headed straight back to the van. He and I would definitely make great summertime buddies.

Next stop: Emily's air-conditioned house for lunch. This was easily the most enjoyable part of the day for me. Emily and I were able to chat while the kids played. Did I mention her house was air-conditioned? Aaahhhh...It was nice.

But alas, the pleasant lunch hour came to an end. Ever since Grier and Ryker were born last fall, Emily and I have texted or called each other frequently to share our "it's horrible in the moment, but we know we'll laugh someday" stories that come with having so many kids. When we're together, we frequently look at the crew of 8 kids between us and just laugh. There are a lot of kids and there are definitely a lot of "we'll laugh about this later" moments. Monday afternoon at Kuehn Pool was definitely one of those times for me.

First of all, the thermometers in the minivans said it was more than 100 degrees outside. And standing on that glaring concrete, with the reflection off the water, it was awful. I forgot the shorts that I usually wear over my swimsuit bottom if I haven't had time to shave. So, I couldn't get in the water for the first 30 minutes we were there, until my sister arrived with a pair of athletic shorts for me to borrow. Poor Grier, while I was dripping with sweat by this point, that poor girl was just turning red, even as we stood in the little bit of shade I could find. Lindsey arrived approximately 30 seconds before 10-minute break was called, so I changed shorts as quickly as I could and dipped Grier and myself in the pool so we could at least be wet during the break. It barely helped. We stood in the shade. We were miserable.

When the break was finally over at 2pm, Leah and Bo kept asking me to watch them go under the water or doggy paddle. I had to pretend that I was watching because my eyes were having some kind of reaction to the pool chemicals or something. I seriously couldn't open them for as long as I was in the pool. I was wearing my sunglasses, so I don't think they realized my eyes were closed. : ) Poor Grier kept rubbing her eyes too. Hers even stayed red for several hours after we left the pool.

By 2:10, I couldn't take it anymore. The sun was beating down, Grier was fussy because her eyes hurt and she was completely ready for a nap, my eyes were stinging and watering. I know it probably doesn't seem like anything that awful to a normal person, but even thinking about it now, I feel like I might lose my mind again. I finally just told Auntie Lindsey she could keep the big kids in the pool for about ten more minutes while Grier and I got the car (and more importantly, the air conditioning) started.

There are no pictures to commemorate our time at Kuehn, but I'm still checking it off the list. I tried. And sometimes that's just all you can do. Well, sometimes that's all I can do.

Even Emily had to leave by the time Lindsey and the kids came out to the van. Ryker was ready for a nap and I had ditched out on what was supposed to be a super fun day and left her at the pool with no adult company. Now I'm just banking on the fact that Emily is the truly sweet-natured one in our friendship, so I'm hoping she'll forgive me and we can have a do-over with more west side parks and another try at Kuehn Pool. But Emily, can we please try it on a day when the mercury is below 100?

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