Today I face one of my mommy nightmares. No, not the one where I lose my child in Disneyland and find them an hour later riding It's a Small World repeatedly.* We were invited to a birthday party where they are renting one of those behemoth inflatable slides. If this party were for a lesser friend, we would pull the old "drop the present and run" exercise and appease the kids with candy, puppies, and fireworks instead because that behemoth inflatable slide desperately makes me want to bail.
|Sure, it looks all soft and bouncy and innocent.|
This is my kid's dream entertainment, which is my first clue that it is actually a death trap. The climbing ramp on the left usually has handles or some rope for the kids to grab to help them climb up. Here is where my crazy mom brain kicks in and tells me to wrap my children in my arms and run away with them. As I look at that ramp I picture one kid getting almost all the way to the top, falling backward, knocking all the kids behind him down like bowling pins, and breaking his neck on the way down in the process. (I am also positive it would be one of my kids.)
Here is where my husband calls a psychiatrist for me because he is convinced that I am neurotic and should not be trusted to care for children. That's OK though because at the same time I'm calling CPS on him because he is considering letting all of our children enter the slide of doom.
This paralyzing vision is the one I have when a slide like this is at one of our local bounce house places on level ground and is completely dry. Now, put it in someone's uneven backyard, soak the slide with water, and have wet kids drip all over the up ramp. My panic rises exponentially.
The scene at today's party will be slippery wet kids charging up a wet inclined plane and sliding down another. I will let my kids participate, but I will also be the helicopter mom who brought her swim suit and is following behind my children as they climb up the slide ensuring I am the human cushion who will break their fall in case they plummet to their death. Thankfully, everyone there will probably just think I am the really fun mom spending quality time with her kids at a great party.
I will let them think this. I will spend all day climbing up and down that slide. And I will pretend this is exactly how I dreamed of spending my afternoon.
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Thank you also for sticking around long enough to find out about the asterisk. *This actually happened to my brother at Disney World back the 1970s. Mom says they closed the park down and did not let anyone in or out of the park until my brother was found, an hour later, riding It's a Small World.