Friday was the last day of summer vacation around here. Kids start back to school tomorrow. So Friday, Nina and I loaded up all the young ones, packed snack bags and juice boxes and headed to the park. Yeah. It takes two vehicles. Five car seats.
But anyway, so we get to the park and unload everyone and the fun begins. Actually it wasn’t that bad with the older ones (Landon, his friend Tyler, Emma, Ava, Paisley) because they don’t need someone to push them on the swings. And even Aiden and Ivy played super well together. No fights. No pouting. A lot of “Iby! Ballo me!” from Aiden and “A – come hera naw!” We’re pretty sure Ivy gets that Cajun accent from her PawPaw David who spent part of his childhood in Cajun country. Of course David doesn’t speak with a Cajun accent and Ivy doesn’t watch Swamp People so who knows.
At one point Aiden grabs my hand and excitedly tells me to come watch. He leads me to the BIG slide. You know the one three stories high encased in a bending, twisting tube? Yeah, that one. Of course my natural thought is that he’s going to slide and I’m going to have a heart attack. But noooo. He climbs up on the end of it and climbs up the slide like a monkey, disappearing inside the tube thingy and then popping out at the top. Yeah. I might have clapped. I’m not sure. You lose thought processing ability after holding your breath so long.
So, this playground is massive and steel grid-like walkways connect one play station to another. Of course because of the angle of the slides, the walkways angle upwards—slightly. Our poor little Ireland must have thought it was something like 180 degree angle because she was terrified to walk on them. She held onto the handrail until her pudgy little knuckles were white. Bright white. While holding on to the handrail with a death grip, she shuffled her little feet along at a pace similar to a snail’s. Only slower. She was, however, very happy grounded so her day at the park wasn’t a total traumatizing event.
Back to the grid-like walkways. Remember, this playground is massive. There are three walkways that intersect and the center actually forms a triangle. You’re not supposed to play in the triangle. I mean, I didn’t see a sign or anything saying “Stay Out” and apparently neither did Casey.
So I’m trying to inch Ireland along on the walkway and look over and Casey’s in the center of the triangle. And won’t come out. Nina’s on the side trying to coax him over to the side where she can grab him. He’s having fun running in circles. Nina’s running alongside the outside yelling for him to come to her. He’s running around having fun. I think, I’m not sure, Nina may have dropped to her hands and knees and tried wedging herself under the walkway like her son did. I’m kinda laughing. Okay, I’m about to pee in my hands. And then…I think Nina and I spotted it at the same time…the empty, shriveled up CapriSun on the ground. With the straw sticking out. With random germs all over it.
Imagine those old slow motion videos where people move at about the same pace as Ireland on an elevated walkway. The outstretched hand, mouth slowly opening shouting “NOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooo”
Casey had his mouth washed out with soap before he can even talk.