A few weeks ago, the tae kwon do school my family attends announced a trip to Sea World. Everyone would meet there, get the group discount, then go on their merry way to enjoy the park. At the time I thought, "Pshaw! Yeah, right! As if I would take my boys to Sea World by myself!" The day before the trip, though, I reconsidered. Some friends were going to a bounce house place in Lakeland and I had been invited and I knew my kids would like it, but...Sea World beckoned. Truth be told, I wanted to take them somewhere by myself. Most of the time I spend with my kids is what I call "maintenance." You know - feeding, bathing, changing, correcting, driving, etc. Play dates are fabulous, but I don't get time with my children. My kids play with others and I talk to the moms. Which is great, don't get me wrong, I just wanted to do something special with my boys. So I decided to go to Sea World.
We met at the tkd school and drove over in a caravan. On the way, the boys and I talked about what we would see there. I started a song, "Sea World, Sea World! We're going to Sea World! We get to see pen-guins! We get to see ott-ers!" Ethan took up the song, "And Sham-pooooo!" I suppressed a giggle. When we got to the park, I pushed Micah in the stroller and Ethan walked along with us, stopping every few steps to gaze at the roller coaster above us. We saw the penguins, we went into the Shark Encounter, we stopped to change a diaper and have a snack. We then went to the Shamu (Shampoo) show. Each time the whales dove underwater, Micah held up his hands and looked around as if to say, "Where'd they go?" We ate lunch under a pavilion - strawberries, turkey sandwiches, chips and salsa, with plenty of Sprite for Ethan and milk for Micah - their favorites. We caught the Elmo & Abby show, where both boys danced and Ethan figured out one of the mysteries before the characters did.
Then we went to the playground. If you've never been to the Sea World playground, let me tell you about it. It's awesome - steps lead up to a labyrinth of tunnels and nets. By this time Micah was asleep so I told Ethan, "I'm going to sit right here on this bench. Go ahead up and play." I didn't see him again for 30 minutes. I walked all over, pushing the stroller, then carrying Micah once he woke up. I even tramped up the steps, but I couldn't go in the tunnels or climb the nets holding the baby, so I went back down in a panic. Fortunately, there were lots of people in the park I know from tkd, so I called my friend Melany. She came right away and I climbed up, over, and through (getting an excellent workout, by the way), finally finding Ethan, who was none the wiser to my anguish. I bribed him to come down with a promise to ride the kiddie roller coaster. Melany was gracious enough to keep Micah while Ethan and I did this ("Did you like it?" "No! It was bumpy!"), then we decided to head home.
Halfway out of the park, it started raining. No, pouring. No, teeming rain. Melany was also leaving with her family, so she carried Micah while I convinced Ethan it was fun to stomp in puddles, like her son Logan was doing ahead of him. By the time we got to the car we were drenched. My dear friend helped me change the boys and we headed home in the storm. Micah and I "talked" about all we had seen while Ethan caught a short nap.
It was a great day!