However, since we don't have a boat (and, yes, they have a courtesy dock, so we could theoretically kayak down there, but I'd have to call an Uber home, most likely), we had to drive. It's a bit more than 4 miles to drive to that side of the lake.
The whole time I was messing with installing the app, Mal was telling me that he didn't want to go to the park; he just wanted to look at it from the car. I got him out of the car with the promise that I would carry him. HE IS HEAVY.
When we got down the hill to the entry, I was speaking with the entrance booth attendant as Mal tried twice to go back to the car... by walking straight into the road, since the entrance booth is only 5 feet off of the street. The second time, I did yell at him about NOT RUNNING OUT INTO THE STREET. So he started crying and begging to leave. I assured the nice high school girl who was trying to help us that he'd love it once we got in. She put a wrist band on me, but Mal wouldn't cooperate, so she put it around his ankle. His response: "GET THAT OFF OF ME!"
Finally, we were set up to go in, and Mal just wanted to stand in the grass with the picnic tables. Okay, good. Take in the view. Gradually, he calmed down enough to try to go check out the kiddie pool. It was maximum 1 foot deep and had a pirate ship.
He liked climbing aboard the ship and exploring. We were the first people to arrive for the day, and had the area to ourselves for about half an hour. I slid down the small slide a couple of times, trying to get Mal to go after me. He declined. At one point, I'd walked away because I thought Mal was going back down the stairs. Next thing I knew, he was standing at the top of the slide saying, "I don't want to do it! I'm not interested!"
I laughed SO hard, because literally no one was inviting him to slide anymore. He was fighting with himself.
More kids arrived, and we ended up playing and having a snack. After an hour, Mal said he was ready to go. I asked if we could walk down closer to the beach, and Mal was very excited to see a boring old swimming pool.
At Volente Beach, the water used in the features is lake water, used and returned to the lake. Thus the swimming pool wasn't pristine. It was clean, but it was lake water. We had a lot of fun in the pool, and got to watch a bunch of people slide. Mal is tall enough for all of the slides, but hadn't the least bit interest in going on them.
Looking at that picture, I can see: Mal is at the top end of what his life jacket can support! He needs to learn how to swim already!
Anyway, we ended up staying a couple of hours, and it was very nice. I'll be excited to have something so close by when he decides it might be fun to slide, and that getting one's face wet on occasion isn't the worst thing that can happen.
We got home and had a very late lunch, then Mal was kind enough to play Cars mostly on his own so I could doze for a few moments.
When it was time to make dinner, he went into the kitchen with me and climbed up onto the bar to chat. I was peeling an onion, and he wanted to try. After we got the peel pulled off, I started to chop it, and Mal apparently just scooted all the way back so that his rear went off the side of the bar and he lost his balance, flipping backward into the floor.
I definitely screamed. Before I got to the other side of the bar, one of the very heavy wrought-iron stools fell over, as well. I picked Mal up and he was crying, but it was almost instantly a "I should be crying because that was scary and I might be hurt" cry and not an actual "I'm severely injured!" cry. The first thing he said after we'd sat down and I was rubbing around on his head to feel for bumps was, "Mommy, I forgot to catch myself!" That's when I knew he was fine. But his little heart was beating like crazy.
We decided that if he wanted to sit on the bar while I cooked, he could sit on the lower part with his back against the high bar. Good grief, that could have gone a whole other way, and we could have spent our evening at the ER.
I was so exhausted by the end of the day that when Mal went to sleep just after 10, I did, too. I realized today that he had not used his computer at all yesterday, and he only got online about 15 minutes today while I was at the store and he was hanging out with James.
Parents who never let their kids use any tech at all must 1) have more energy than I do; 2) have an easier/less needing of input/more independent kid than I do; 3) have more than one kid around; or 4) just be better parents than I am. I cherish those fleeting moments of his distraction so I can make a phone call or do something online from start to finish!
And that brings us to another topic that's going to have to be another blog post, because it's just about bedtime for me this evening. 'Night, all!