Yesterday, my hubs and I took Kid1, Kid2, and Kid1's BFF to an amusement park/water park.
It was EXHAUSTING. It was hot. It was expensive.
It was fun!
But the important thing to remember: always ALWAYS bring the kids' friends. I need to make sure we have a buddy for Kid2 next time. It's SO much easier! They chatter to each other all day long. They share fries. They giggle over melting ice cream. They clutch their stomachs after roller coaster rides.
I will happily be the pack mule on each and every trip to the amusement park from now on. I rode SOME of the coasters, SOME of the water slides, SOME of the time in the wave pool. But it wasn't vital that I was there the entire time. And that, parent friends, is the key. I stayed behind them, giving them enough space to feel all independent and daring, but being close enough to stop them from doing anything truly awful.
(Except for that ONE TIME I told them to meet us back at the bridge after we (the adults) went on the "Lazy River" ride and they (the kids) went on the tall, tall waterslide with tubes. And they didn't see us right away, therefore they started wandering around in a panic. And then they found us. With the help of a security guard. Sigh.)
But really. It was good. And I suspect I FINALLY put enough sunscreen on the kids and myself (and did it often enough) that I have not done their future wrinkles any help.