Posted by: Modern Mom | July 18, 2014

Our Attempt at Family Activities

My husband and I are full of good intentions. We like to take our kids to do fun things. We just aren’t very good at the execution part of it.

It started a couple of years ago. We decided to take the kids to a cool community center pool with a water slide. We’re such awesome parents. We told the kids our plan.


The kids were really jazzed. We talked up this place the whole 20 minute car ride over there. Then we walked into the center and told them we wanted to swim. Then the horrible snarky lady behind the desk said this…


and crushed our hopes and dreams of having fun family swim time. Wait. Full? How is that possible? How can the swimming pool be “full”? The public swim started exactly three seconds ago. We were the first in line!

Snarky Lady explained to us that most parents (I don’t like the way she said that. Like she insinuated that we are bad parents because we didn’t do this?) showed up an hour in advance to purchase tickets for the public swim time. Seriously? We have to buy tickets? What do these fabulous parents do with their children while they’re waiting this whole hour – which is, like, three weeks in kid time – to swim? They probably pack them snacks, coloring books, games, and entertain them. Psh. I suck at that kind of stuff.

We tried to break the news gently, but it still resulted in this…


Tears. Lots of tears. “WHY can’t we go swimming? Why? But I WANT to go swimming!” All the while we were trying to explain adult rules and social standards to toddlers. Both of us getting a little peeved at those obnoxious parents who show up an hour ahead and take up all the spots in the swimming pool before it’s even open. The nerve!

But we still didn’t wise up. We attempted to swim several more times with the same result. We eventually gave up on that center in favor of other things. Like car shows.

Boys love cars. My husband and I thought we’d take them to a classic car show. We both love classic cars. There was a classic car show in town. Cool. We’d go to that!

It started much the same way. “Hey kids! Wanna go to a car show? We can see lots of pretty cars, like your Hotwheels, only bigger!” They were pumped. Jackpot. Hubby and I exchanged confident glances. Oh yes. We were the awesome parents we’d always dreamed we’d be.

We drove downtown to where the car show was….. supposed to be. What the heck? Where are all the cars? This can’t be right. I’m sure it was supposed to be downtown. (The “downtown” is only 3 blocks long, so it would be hard to miss a bunch of cars.) We asked a business owner. “The car show was last night.”


We did it again. And it resulted in the same level of tears and bewilderment.

Worst part is, we continue to have this kind of luck. It seems to have kept confined to swimming and car shows. So we have been avoiding telling our kids if we think we are going to either of these activities. Even if we think we are going, we may have missed the boat entirely by the time we get there. We still haven’t given up, though. We will continue to try to take them to these fun family activities, we just won’t tell them beforehand.

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