AKA. SURVIVING A DAY AT THE AMUSEMENT PARK
11. When climbing on the first ride of the day, a frontward-backwards loop-de-loop roller coaster with your son, it might be a good idea to take your cell phone out of your pocket so as not to lose it on the upside down portion of the ride. It might NOT, however, be a good idea to take it out of your pocket while you are simultaneously boarding the coaster, otherwise a person -—not a coordinated person like me, of course, but a person-- might drop the phone between the car and the railing, causing it to fall thirty feet to the platform below. That could POSSIBLY happen. To an uncoordinated person. Not like me. PS. If you happened to call me on Thursday and leave a message on my cell phone, you might want to call back, as apparently being dropped a distance of thirty feet will knock the battery off and erase all messages. Not that I would know or anything.
12. Make sure your travel companions have all eaten breakfast before arriving at the park, otherwise someone, just say, for example, your sister or somebody like that, might try and use the “Are you kidding?? I can’t ride those wild kinds of rides on an empty stomach” excuse, and you’ll be stuck braving the MindBender seven times in a row with your oldest nephew.
13. Remember that no part of your body is as young as it used to be, including both your stomach and your equilibrium, and that riding the tilt-a-whirl three times in a row is no where near the thrilling, madcap adventure it was in the past. Now, more than once on a ride that spins around like that, and it’s a sure-fire recipe for nausea and headache, causing you to exclaim in wonderment to the other adults in your party, “I don’t understand; when I was younger I could ride these things all day long!”
14. The suggestion for keeping your feet dry on the log ride by raising them slightly in the air (while riding in the log) is not only ineffectual, but will in fact result in nothing more than an unseemly cramp in your hip, which you will be unable to do anything about for the duration of the ride, due to the “No standing while ride is in motion” rule.
15. In the event the children do not get wet enough on the log ride, be prepared to ride the river rapid ride as many times as it takes until every person in the inner-tube boat is completely soaked. One single, solitary dry inch of skin or clothing is cause to ride again. Afterwards, be prepared to referee animated discussion amongst children about who is “the most soakeder!”
16. Be aware that, for whatever reason, all rides from your youth have been re-named. The Tilt-A-Whirl is now the Tornado (perhaps a nod to our Oklahoma weather heritage?); the Mexican Hat ride is now the Casino; and the Scrambler is now the Sidewinder. Not sure exactly why these changes have been made, but they can cause great confusion between the adults about where the group is to meet later.
17. The most definite way possible to vault yourself into “Favorite Aunt” status is to ride the Mexican Hat ride Casino with your four-year old nephew twice in a row, since his
18. Be prepared to take out a bank loan in order to pay for lunch. Apparently it requires the equivalent of the national debt to buy three hot dog baskets and soft drinks.
19. A ratio of nine children to three adults looks easier on paper than it actually is.
20. Remind yourself that the happiness of your children is worth every wet ride, hip spasm, and nausea-inducing moment. The giggles, the shrieks of laughter, the joy of spending time with their cousins ...... and if nothing else, console yourself with the fact they will be exhausted by the end of the day and go to bed without any fuss. And really, isn’t that the ultimate parenting goal, not only on vacation, but all the days of our life????