I almost died today.
So, in my efforts to be the fun, cool mom (while my husband gruffly mumbled “I’m not getting wet), I quickly agreed to go ride a big water slide with my nine year old. Surely it couldn’t be that bad if she was tall enough to get on.
Famous last words.
It wasn’t the actually ride that was that terrible. What I remember of it (through my delirium) was enjoyable. But that could be the carbon dioxide poisoning status post hyperventilation.
So, I read the rules for the ride before boarding. Yes, I’m that person. It said a lot of stuff about weight requirements and how many per tube, but no where did I see the requirements stated to have completed an Iron Man competition. In reality, they should have posted one of those warnings like you see on roller coasters, something warning pregnant women, individuals with heart conditions, or middle aged women who haven’t exercised since Bush was in office (which one? Your choice).
I do know what the 9 feet tall sign of rules/warnings did not state. No where did it inform you that if you’ve had multiple children birthed vaginally that your uterus may pop out halfway to the top. It forgot to mention that you’d be lugging a 62 pound float up sixteen flights of stairs, and that the higher you went the more the air resembled that at the peak of Everest, or that a strange gravitational pull drew our planet closer to the sun as you ascended.
Before we got on they were kind enough to weigh you individually in front of the waiting crowd. The purpose I guess was to ensure you weren’t so light that you sailed off the top of the ride when it was tilted at a ninety degree angle, or so heavy that you dropped like a dead weight at the peak height of that same vertical, slippery thrill. In retrospect, I think it would have been more appropriate to have you bench press no less than 1 small smart car prior to ascension to prove your worthiness. But instead they approved my 5’ 4” 115 pound self to partner with my beanpole child who falls faint at the weight of her dirty clothes from the floor to the waiting laundry basket.
I’m thinking you shouldn’t have to spend money to ride this one, because your true payment is in blood, sweat, and tears as you tote an elephant sized float, weighted down with a lifetime supply of sand (or perhaps steel), again, I’m assuming to keep you from shooting off the top after reaching Mach 5 speed, up the stairway to Heaven.
It helps to have a small child on the back end “helping” by pulling down on her end while gasping, “I can’t Mom. It’s too heavy.”
It also helps to have young, vibrant teenagers coming up quickly on your six in a cloud of eye-rolls and poorly veiled sighs.
Y’all, when I finally reached the light at the end of the tunnel (cause that’s all I was seeing, lights and stars), I was greeted by a fourteen year old in a Baywatch swimsuit smirking at me.
“You alright,” she asked with a raised eyebrow.
“I’m fine,” I whistle/exhaled like a fifty year smoker after running a triathlon.
I walked cautiously to my awaiting, steel trap of death that I had carried to my own watery grave, trying not to stagger like Cooter Brown, though my poison wasn’t moonshine, but rather hypoxia. As I straddled the swaying, yellow coffin I was hit with a wave of nausea like that of a thousand morning sicknesses, though no first trimester queasiness could match the feeling that overcame me. If nausea was a dude, I imagined he’d be wearing a studded jacket and leather gloves as he punched one fist into his awaiting palm in warning of the beating that awaited me.
I kinda remember the five seconds of waterslide fun that followed my personal episode of American Ninja Warrior. For one brief second, in between the reels of my life flashing before my eyes, I thought, “this isn’t that bad.”
I was going to think, “this is kinda fun,” but that was about the time we dropped straight down from the striped funnel of folly, and my already bulging gorge threatened to expel the minuscule contents of my spasming stomach.
After it was over I rolled out of the two-ton raft like a hungover sailor just hitting dry land after a week at sea. I alternated between still trying to slow my labored breathing and gulping down the wave of acid that threatened to leave my body through my pursed, purple lips. I side-stepped (or rather struggled/stumbled) to the nearest vacant beach chair, plopping down violently, the blackness closing in. I tried to look normal, gain my composure, for fear another cast of Thirteen Reasons Why in lifeguard garb would come and ask the elderly woman if she needed them to call 9-1-1.
What you should not do at this point, if you ever find yourself in the same predicament, is to shamble in a trance over to the wave pool with your un-phased child. It’s just not a good idea to put battery acid in a washing machine, but that’s a post for another day. Just take my word for it and bring along pallbearers to carry your tube if you plan on riding KareKare Curl at Aquatica Orlando. #datfloattooheavy #forrealtho
A Concerned, Middle Age Mom (Who may or may not have lost her cookies in the bathroom when no one was looking)