If you have children, odds are fairly in favour of finding yourself at a waterpark at some stage in their lives. You might love them, you might hate them, but either way, you’re going anyway so you might as well make the most of it. Let me share with you my top tips to get the very best out of your visit. Forewarned is forearmed, after all.
1. Take care of those sideburns
Maybe its Christmas holidays, maybe its been a particularly bad Spring and the Easter break has crept up on you. Your mind has not been focused on wearing a swim suit. Avoid those awkward questions or little pointing fingers by taking care of that overflow in advance of the big day.
2. Your children will be fearless…until they’re not
Know that your children have courage in spades when it comes to flinging themselves down tubes filled with rapidly moving water. You might be able to taste your heart in your mouth but they’re laughing their holes off. Don’t let this over confidence blind you when they try to convince you that they’ll be grand going down the certified 18s slide. You will be the one being tutted at when they emerge at the other end bawling crying and the spotty teenage lifeguard is blowing their whistle at you so everyone can see you for the reckless irresponsible parent that you are. Take the hit for the team and test it out yourself first, so at least you know what they’re in for. And while you’re at it…
3. Don’t flail
When careening down waterslides, don’t flail about no matter how much you’re shitting yourself and just want to make it stop. Flailing will lead to injury. Like this Australia shaped bruise.
Flailing can also lead to skinning your elbow and bleeding all over the place, like I’ve never done. Nor have I required a trip to First Aid to be patched up and sent back out like a war hero.
Just cross your arms over your chest, and lie back and watch your life flash in front of your eyes. Remember, no one can see (a) your tears, because you’re already in water or (b) a small amount of terror-induced wee trickle down your leg, because – again – you’re already in water.
4. There will be snot
Accept the inevitability that at some stage during the day each of your children will have snot running down their faces when you’re as far away from a tissue as you can possibly be. Also accept that you’ll just have to remove it yourself with your hand. Otherwise the other parents will be looking at you in disgust while pretending that they didn’t just have the same experience five minutes ago. It’s going to happen. Just get on board.
5. Sound an exit klaxon
Leaving the waterpark is an exercise that has to be planned hours in advance. Know that when you announce that it is time to leave, another 55 minutes will be required to actually get everyone out of the water.
6. Pack the snacks
For the love of all that is holy, do not under any circumstances forget to have snacks in your bag once the water has been vacated. Your children don’t know it yet but they have the worst hanger of their lives. Most likely caused by the inevitability of point number 5 above. Before they have the opportunity to fling things at you in starvation, or commence the super whine, hit them off at the pass and shove something straight into their gobs. Do not, I repeat, do not rely on fully operational vending machines or the speed of food preparation in catering facilities at the establishment you’re in. Unless you are a fool.
Happy water parking!