The best laid plans.. well, you know how that old saw goes. Summer “fun”so rarely lives up to the elaborately constructed picture in our heads. In an effort to save you some sun-soaked trauma this summer, here are a few activities you might want to side-step.
The Amusement Park
Expectation: Your parents NEVER brought you to an amusement park, you ROCK! Best. Parent. EVER!
Reality: Wait… tickets are HOW much?!? Well, that explains why your parents never took you. If you’d known a slice of pizza was going to be $20, you’d have smuggled granola in your cargo pants. Too late now! When did roller coasters become so painful? It feels like the fillings are going to pop out of your teeth! The kids will either refuse all rides except the merry-go-round which they can ride FOR FREE at the local park, OR drag you on every vertebrate-realigning, vomit-inducing, system-shocker on the premises. At least one person will vomit; high-fives if it’s not you.
The Road Trip
Expectation: Let’s be honest here, we don’t love this idea, but flights for the entire family are expensive! Maybe we can turn this into a something fun and save a few bucks along the way. We can play all of those fun car games! What are those … Something about license plates? And punching people? Maybe skip that one.
Reality: Oh, there will be punching and the car games are of the She’s looking at me again! and He’s on my side! variety. “Lunch”will consist of Slurpees, McNuggets and candy in a desperate bribe for five minutes of peace but will result in…you guessed it! Vomit.
Expectation: Lounging in the sun, reading a magazine while children frolic in the surf and collect shells and rocks so they can create an elaborate mosaic later on that will keep them occupied until bedtime.
Reality: You’ll pull a groin muscle while shuffling around the beach for 40 minutes looking for a spot far away from the stinky piles of seaweed and the sand fleas lurking within. It only takes one well-timed kick to coat every item of food you’ve brought in a layer of sand. You think you’ve brushed it all off, but you will almost break a tooth on a sand-crusted slice of cheese. If you have girls, I have two words: Sandbag crotch. Otherwise, expect a litany of It’s too cold! It’s too hot! It’s too windy! The seagulls are going for my eyes! Let’s just get the hell out of here!
Expectation: Communing with nature, s’mores, hot dogs over a campfire, sing-a-longs!
Reality: Nature is full of bugs. And snakes. Explaining the concept of a bear-bag to your children will result in them shooting upright, wide-eyed and rigid at every little sound outside the tent at night. Bring extra hot dogs because at least three will end up in the fire. Don’t forget to bear-bag the charred remains! The s’mores WILL be delicious and your daughter’s snarled marshmallow/dirt morning hairdo will almost be worth it. Girls will refuse to enter the outhouse and boys will mark the perimeter of your campground like wild dogs. It will rain if you left any clothing out to dry. You know who’s up even earlier than children? Birds. And they are freakin’ loud!