I am a big huge wuss. I attempted to do a ropes course and failed. It wasn't even a real ropes course, in my opinion; it was a $5 add-on (per person) at an indoor water park. And I still couldn't do it.
In my defense, I might have been able to complete a real ropes course out in the woods with trained professionals. Here's what happened:
I was sick of the water park because I am really a low-energy person and I had a long day at the park already, but it wasn't bedtime yet and there was nothing on TV and I had spent enough money in the arcade teaching them to play slots - err, win tickets. So we did the ropes course.
The first problem was attire. They boys were allowed to wear crocs (good, because that's all they had) but I only had flip flops and a sundress - not proper ropes course attire. I wore my pajamas proudly in college girl (+ 20 years) style and my mother's sandals which had the requisite heel strap. They were only a little too big, but I figured I had the skill to keep them from falling off onto a swimmer below. I might not have ropes skills, but I totally have sandals skills.
There I am in my Sofia Vergara K-Mart PJ bottoms (so awesome and affordable) with a coordinating tank top. The pants are really super long so I tucked them into my sandals so they wouldn't get wet. I am stylin'. My outfit is so fabulous that I embarrassed my 5 year old. Yes, really.
I try to pay, only to be told I have to go to the food place to buy my tickets, which means we have to eat dinner first in order to save $2 off a person. Don't ask - that's just how water parks work. They prefer you to be full to maximum capacity on greasy, salty food when you are strapped into a body harness suspended above their other guests.
We walk all the way to the food court and all the way back so I can next fill out all the "I understand I may die and I promise not to sue you forms." These are generally not a huge deal to me, except I was signing them for my children…my precious, sweet, fragile little children, one of which isn't even four feet tall.
But I am sure these people totally know what they are doing and totally follow all the safety rules, right? Oh wait, these are the same people who did not have a life guard at the bottom of the water slide where my mother nearly drowned that morning.
Yes, you read that right, my mother got trapped at the bottom of a water slide, and with no lifeguard in the vicinity had to be rescued by me and a strange man who thankfully was walking by. When I asked why there wasn't a lifeguard there, they said they didn't think it was necessary. Apparently they were wrong about that.
So I am contemplating how much I trust their safety protocol while ascending the course with the kids which is not really the proper time to contemplate such things. We get to the top, where I assume Tiny Pants will do what he always does and refuse to go any farther. He is scared of heights, and my ticket off this ride. Except he likes it.
That brave little tiger goes across the bridge, so I have to follow him. I cross three evil, horrible obstacles behind my two kids before I realize there is no way I am going to go any farther. They keep going with out me. They leave me clinging to the pole on the tiny platform which is high-but-not-really-that-high above the concrete and is swaying slightly.
They climb to the next level. My seven and five year olds are now a full story above my head and two full stories above the water park. I think I should probably not have a hysterical fit as it will scar/embarrass my children for life. I also probably should not puke on the people milling around below me. Probably.
I look at that kind teenage boy with the harelip who has taken my tiny precious sons up far away to traverse rickety bridges and balance beams without me and I demand that he bring them back. He tells me they are fine and that I should close my eyes.
There is no way some teenage punk is taking my children up on rickety bridges to fall to their deaths while I am not looking. If they die, they die with me watching. And why did I let them wear last year's crocs? They look slippery! And let's not forget how my own mother nearly drowned this morning! And who tests the carabiners?
And they lived. They did their little monkey thing and I had to follow them back across the three bridges to get to the stairs. They didn't even think it was that big of a deal. They weren't even that proud of themselves. I resolved NEVER to go on a ropes course again. EVER.
**I was going to insert a picture of the actual ropes course, but didn't want to give them free publicity. I was going to try and do a better drawing, but thought the stick figures and wiggly lines exuded more terror.