Today we met one of Reese's little friends from church at the ever-popular indoor play area full of inflatable moonwalks, obstacle courses, and other jumbo contraptions which all solidified the fact that I am OUT OF SHAPE! Reese's little friend headed straight for the largest obstacle course. The prize for working so diligently to get through it, is the 12 story high slide they get to come down at the end. A few minutes passed, and here came the little girl, all smiles, down the slide.
I turned my gaze towards the top of the slide expecting to see my own little offspring laughing and sliding down right after. Moments came and went. And then I heard it. The unmistakable wail of my eldest, deep in the crevices of this huge air-filled maze. After frantically scanning the premises for a phone booth in which to change into my SuperMom suit....I said "to heck with it" and doffed my shoes before scrambling in after her, leaving my youngest 2 in the care of the other mother we came with.
(Now, I'm not one of those "freak out" moms who come running to the sound of every cry that escapes their little ones' mouths, scooping them up into my arms at the slightest little bump or scrape. I'm the kind who claps for her children and say, "Yay!" in a singsong voice after they bonk their head on the entertainment center. Because we all know their pain level is directly proportionate to our reactions. Before you all turn me in to the authorities...OF COURSE, I scoop them up if they have blood gushing from any part of their anatomy or something of that serious nature.)
So, basically I ran in so quickly after Reese, not because I thought she had bumped her knee (duh, it's filled with AIR..remember?), but because my baby was scared and wanted her Mommy. My adrenaline, trying to reach her before this became a scarring moment she would forever keep tucked away in her brain, was what got me up and over the climbing wall and through the tunnel to where she was. Once she was successfully reassured that she was, indeed, going to make it through this thing alive, she agreed to finish it out with me.
Hello? Adrenaline? Where did you go? Now would have been a good time for you to return because without your magical push, my breathing became more and more labored as I hoisted Reese, and myself, up and over and through the obstacles. Finally, the end was in site. Unfortunately, to get to that 12 foot high slide, you were expected to climb a 12 foot high WALL first!! Tiny little footholds and straps on the sides were all the help that was given. No chicken exit. No pulley for us older folk to climb on.
I found myself wondering how this place had become licensed for us civilians. It felt more like something out of Military Boot Camp! Just so you won't think me a complete wimp, I probably could have scaled the wall no problem, had it not been for the 40 lb mass I had to propel in front of me. Well, you obviously know we made it out and aren't stuck at the foot of the wall, because I lived to blog about our harrowing tale. And it only took going through once with me, before Reese became a pro and could go through all by herself (thank you Omnipotent One).
We enjoyed the rest of our stay, and I probably lost about 10 pounds running around trying to keep track of my little brood, and helping Drue go through a smaller version of the obstacle course. Unlike Reese, Drue had NO FEAR whatsoever. Maybe she's not old enough to know better yet. I climbed up another huge slide with Drue and before I could turn around to reassure her that Mommy would hold her hand down the humongous plastic plunge, she was already halfway down by herself! So, I went ahead and let her climb the whole thing by herself from then on out. It was so funny to watch her little 2 year old body climb that huge ladder. She held up traffic behind her a few times while she paused to look back every couple rungs. Some of the kids learned to just shimmy on past her, which I didn't mind at all. They were pretty careful about it.
Towards the end of the morning, as we were getting ready to leave, I saw Reese over by the exit door as I was pushing Tate in his stroller. I quickly looked around trying to locate Drue, and my heart started racing a bit when I saw the exit door was open. "Where's Drue?!?" I asked, starting to panic. The other mother calmly said, "She's in your arms."
As funny as this was, I did the EXACT same thing 2 years ago when I had taken the girls to the animal farm near our house. I was pushing Drue in her stroller as we were leaving, and began searching for Reese like a crazy person, and screaming her name because I couldn't see her anywhere. This went on for a few seconds when I finally yelled, "REESE!! Where are you?".
I was so relieved when I heard her little pixie voice say, "Here my am". (She used to say my for I). My relief turned into a feeling of stupidty when I turned towards her voice...and there she was...in my arms.