I had seen the fliers touting the park day thing for weeks and true to form it wasn't until the day off that I actually went to the website to prepare thyself with information. Instantly I was aghast at the complex map and meticulous schedule of times. It seemed this park shindig thing in my neighborhood was only for the highly intelligent and they were going to do their darndest to keep the stupid people out. But. They advertised free bouncy houses and by golly I am a sucker for free bouncy houses. So I got out the ruler and compass and plotted out a course. Carefully reading the instructions and writing down the times. There were like fifty eight events and it seemed each event was at a different time and all staggered out so that for the over enterprising one could attend all the sheer insanity in one day if one so desired. I knew we would be napping for much of it so I tried to figure out what was closest too us and off I went. Of course. Without the map and schedule. I forgot to mention they called this thing "pocket park" day and I'm fairly certain the definition of pocket park is IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND. It's like when you were in college and your friends wanted to go clubbing only they wanted to be all nontraditional and not go to the sleezy club that was designed like a warehouse and instead hop from one hole and a wall place to the next. Those kind of nights end up with a young girl walking, lost, down a dark street, alone, and scary theme music in the background. We were all park hopping, apparently, but to the little hole-in-the-wall parks that no one ever finds except for when they're lost.
The first one I picked was the easiest to find, as it was only tucked behind a school and not through the woods and over the hills. I arrived and saw a group set up around a game that looked suspiciously like soccer. Telling Kaiya to go join them I turned my attention to CJ who was getting coughed all over by a little devilish co-hort. Oh great. Well, we are do for a cold, after all it's been two weeks of pure health in our abode. Eventually the boy child and I wandered over to plop down and have a snack while we watched Kaiya. It seriously took me like five minutes to realize she was at a soccer practice. Oops. We had just barged in on a soccer practice. Though I was too mesmerized by the Pied Piper of soccer coaches to care much. Sure enough as the practice wound down I saw the park people arriving to set up the much-touted bouncy houses. Wha-hoo. We were only an hour early. I stuck around to introduce myself to the coach as the air machines whirred to life to make some inflatable goodness in the world. "Hi, I'm Clueless." Really. That was my introduction. She handed me the registration sheets and I tucked them away as Kaiya came running with her new jersey. Again. Oops. Guess daddy will be sooooo excited! After the requisite time of bouncing was over with and Kaiya's hair spray-painted yellow and blue and the kids had their free snacks (yes, I was white-trash and went back and grabbed a second helping of free snacks... I did mention FREE did I not??) off we headed for home and nap time. Which. For once was gloriously long.
We missed like forty-eight of the events. I decided to try for one more event and so off we went again. This time I laid out the map and it would have been absolutely fantastic if that map had sprouted legs and walked itself to my car but alas it remained on the kitchen counter. Figuring I had found my first park, albeit getting the time wrong, I smugly set out to find my second only to be smacked down. This second park was clearly not only over the hills and through the woods I think it may have actually been IN a hill. Perhaps only those in the neighborhood with houses over 350K have keys to a secret garden tunnel or something. Yeah. I'll go with that. Instead I went to our usual duck pond, but of course having left the duck bread and the nets at home. I watched in a brief serene moment as a father and son sat calmly feeding ducks. Then my head was turned to my two dears who were assaulting the ducks with rocks. Sheesh.
In case you're wondering I'm not the serene, beautiful mom who has Norman Rockwell moments at the lake. I'm the one with my pony-tail all mussed and covered in snot and goldfish crackers. But on the way home from the wrong park we drove by Kaiya's soon-to-be school and saw that the kindergarden round-up day was in three days. I started to berate myself for having almost missed something as important as preparing ourselves for our oldest child's start of schooling but realized. Heck. It's in three days. And if I hadn't gotten lost and gone to the wrong park than we would have never known anyway, so, there's that!
Park Day tally:
potential bouncy houses annihilated = millions.
total bouncy houses annihilated = two.
potential flimsy crafts retrieved = millions.
total flimsy crafts actually retrieved = two.
potential free snacks consumed = billions.
actual free snacks consumed = fifteen.
accidental discoveries from being lost = two; Kaiya's new soccer practice and her get-ready-for-school day. And really. They bounced enough at the one event we did make it to so maybe park day wasn't such a fail after all it was just, modified. For idiots. I'm still waiting for that HOA letter politely informing me I'm too stupid to live here.