July 3, 2012

Water + Slides =My Toddler's Paradise

In his two-plus years, Colton has developed quite the personality, complete with the things he likes, the things he really likes, and of course the things he doesn't. A couple of the items on that really likes list would most certainly be water (as in baths, pools, ocean, etc) and slides. So, when I was creating our summer bucket list I figured a trip to the water park would probably be something right up his alley.
I don't know which one of us...me or Colton...was more excited about this trip. It's not that I'm necessarily that big of a fan of the water park...actually, my most recent memories of Ocean Breeze (the Virginia Beach water park) were that of a rundown, dirty place.** But I really thought Colton would enjoy the day at the water park...and the thought of seeing him enjoy something so much got me really excited to take him. For his part, Colton was really excited too. I made the mistake of mentioning the water park to him the weekend before our scheduled Wednesday trip. Let's just say for the next 3 days all I heard was "wa park, wa park, wa park." Finally, on Tuesday night, I told him that when he woke up in the morning we would actually be going to the water park.
Colton woke up Wednesday morning, jumping on his bed, chanting "wa park." I don't really think he had any concept of where he was going...I think he just was excited about the whole park part of it...but he was most definitely excited.
And then we got there...and he HATED it!!!
Colton is really timid when it comes to trying new things, so I had kind of expected he may be a bit slow to get the hang of the water park. We had even invited his friend Savannah to come with us in hopes that he would see her having fun and want to join in. But none of it was working. Savannah was off playing; Colton was crying on the edges of the pool. I reasoned that if I showed him how much fun it was to go down a slide, he would realize he loved it. He didn't. I tried it again...this time with him crying/screaming/kicking all the way down (yep, I was that mom). He still hated it. I put him in a tube in the lazy river and he cried the whole way around the kiddie-size path (mother of the year I tell you). I was so frustrated...not only had my dreams of such a fun day been shattered, but we had also spent a pretty penny to get in the park only to be wasted.
As a last ditch effort, we decided to get some lunch. Well, after devouring a hot dog and some french fries, we hit the slides again. Colton was hesitant at first, but as we started sliding down (he was on my lap), he got a huge smile on his face. And when we hit the pool at the end of the slide, the first word out of his mouth was..."more!" Aahh...music to my ears.
 Needless to say, Colton had quickly converted to a water park lover! And those slides...well, we went down them about a bajillion times that day (luckily my sister had come with us, so she joined him half the time and I did the others).

Colton also went back to the lazy river, and was noticeably much more content this time around.

He even hit the big kid wave pool before leaving for the day! In the end, it was just the kind of day I had hoped it would be...one of those days I know I'll always remember because I got to see his little face light up in such sheer joy. I look forward to taking him (and his brother, who stayed home with Nene for this trip considering it was literally almost 100 degrees) over the next few years and creating even more memories!

** I should probably clarify now those memories dated back about 10 years when I used to take the swim team I coached...the park has actually been cleaned up and improved upon significantly since then. With that being said, though, if you are visiting the area and are looking to head to a water park, I would still recommend taking the hourish drive to Williamsburg and hitting up Water Country USA. Because I wasn't really sure how my tot would handle the park, it wasn't worth it to tack on an hour drive to the adventure so we just went to Ocean Breeze.

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