It’s hot and you have kids. Most likely you’ve taken them to a splash pad or at least heard of them (I hope). If you’ve never been, drop what you’re doing, shove your kids in their swim gear and find one ASAP. These aquatic playgrounds are a win-win for everyone involved. For kids, they get to play in water – enough said. For parents, it’s a much more relaxing, laid-back experience than the pool or the beach.
Our kids can run around like idiots, burning off their never-ending tanks of energy. Parents, there’s no need to get wet or submerge yourself into any large bodies of water. No need to watch our littles like a hawk afraid they’re going to drown at a moment’s notice. You don’t have to bring all that crap – pool toys, floaties, noodles, goggles – and whatever else to entertain your kids as if the playing in the water isn’t enough. Oh, and don’t get me started on my hatred for sand.
As you can probably guess, I frequent the splash pad scene quite often. Here are some of the typical kids you will witness upon your visit:
1.) The kid covered from head to toe. His parents somehow managed to find a swimsuit modeled after long john pajamas. While wearing an oversized hat and sunglasses, any ounce of skin that may be showing is covered in streaks of white sunblock.
2.) Alternatively, there’s the kid with no clothes on. Maybe a diaper, but that’s about it. Oh, and it’s not a water diaper. It’s a regular diaper that now is so swollen beyond its limit the adhesive straps holding this poor thing together are showing signs of breaking just waiting to explode at any moment.
3.) The kid in their everyday attire. They’re sopping wet in the same shirt, shorts and maybe even socks they’ve been wearing all day prior to their visit to this water paradise. I gather the parents made this stop out of spontaneity when driving through the area. Although, jealous of their impulsive nature, I don’t envy how uncomfortable their kid looks running around in wet jeans.
4.) The kid just letting the action come to him. I applaud his lazy nature. Why waste energy when you can stay in one place waiting to be splashed? Whether it’s sitting under a waterfall or under those buckets waiting to fill up and spillover onto his head, this kid has the right idea.
5.) Then there’s the kid squatting in the middle of the entire park. While children are running around them, they are bent over in deep concentration trying to drop a deuce. When ya gotta go, ya gotta go!
6.) The kid sitting on top of a water spout or sprinkler. Based on his facial expression, he is thoroughly enjoying the feeling of water shooting up his shorts. Eventually the water trapped underneath his clothing will start to spray out of any opening it can find. He now has become a human sprinkler.
7.) The kid who enjoys the idea of playing in the water but hates to get wet. They can be found smiling and laughing from the sidelines hesitant to step foot in any area touching water. They may eventually entertain the idea of getting their feet wet or running their hands underneath a small stream, but they won’t dare position themselves anywhere near spraying water, let alone run through it.
8.) The kid who is running around like a maniac. Regardless of the ‘no running’ signs and sandwich boards posted everywhere, this rebel is sprinting full speed into every form of water spraying from the ground or any other equipment. He can’t get enough and every time his body touches the liquid gold, it fuels him to keep going.
9.) The kid lying face down relaxing as the water streams down their body. At first glance you may think they’re taking a mid-day siesta, but they’re simply enjoying the feeling of running water rushing over them and being semi-submersed. You might even catch them slurping up the water as it flows past their mouths.
10.) Alas, there’s that kid who ruins it for everyone. They’ve crapped themselves and somehow the shit trapped in their diaper has been seeping out all over the park. Little droplet of poo can be found sprinkled throughout the pad. Employees are now shuffling everyone off the area and closing up shop so they can clean it up and (hopefully) disinfect. This is most likely from kid #2 or #5.
(This post originally appeared on Bless This Beautiful Mess)
About the author: Ashleigh Wilkening is a SAHM of three children under the age of four who spends most of her days on a never-ending quest for a lost toy. She is a lover of caffeine, naps and a generously poured glass of cabernet. On the rare occasion she gets free time, she contemplates taking a nap in the family van, but finds herself exercising as it’s a more legitimate excuse to escape the house. She writes at Bless This Beautiful Mess and can be found on Twitter and Facebook.