Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My second-worst idea ever

I’ve had some bad ideas, but the one I had last week was really bad. I mean it wasn’t my worst idea ever (taking Q to the beach by myself was my worst idea ever), but this idea was a very close second.

The older kids get, the bigger the toys get. In the not-so-distant future, Quinn will have a bike, and probably a scooter, and probably a skateboard, and – if Hubs and I have our way – probably a snowboard, too. Where are we going to put all that crap?

We’re having cement poured in our side yard so we can put a shed out there and have extra storage. While we’re at it, we’re adding a concrete path from the side yard so Quinn can ride his bike to and from the shed. (This is not the bad idea. This is a genius idea, full credit for which goes to my Hubs.)

Work in progress

Hubs hired contractors, and the project began last week. We figured it would be pretty loud and distracting with all those workers in our yard, power tools going off, and lots of banging things around. So I decided to take Q on an outing to get him away from all that chaos.  

This is where the bad idea starts.

The first day of the project was a rainy day, so I needed an indoor activity that was far enough away for Q to nap in the car. I decided on the aquarium. We went there before with our friends and again on a family vacation, so I knew Q would enjoy it.

It occurred to me that last week was spring break and the aquarium might be crowded with kids and parents also looking for a rainy day activity. But I decided not to let a little thing like other people stop me from having a fun day out with Q.

Unfortunately, I had forgotten something very important. I don’t like other people.

When we arrived at the aquarium, it was a madhouse. We went in through the members-only entrance (thanks to my mother-in-law and her guest passes), and we still waited in a long line to get in. When we finally got in, I couldn’t get over how loud it was. I’ve been to the aquarium many times, and I have never seen it that crowded.

By now, it was time for Quinn’s lunch, so we headed over to the small café, the only place to eat in the entire aquarium. My jaw dropped when I saw the line. It went on forever! The hostess said that the wait would be about an hour. An hour!

 I wasn’t about to stand in line for an hour with a hungry baby. So we found an empty spot on the end of a bench in the common area, which was swarming with people, and I started feeding Quinn the lunch I packed for him. A family of four next to me had the same idea, and the parents started passing out bananas and trail mix to the kids.

The “aquarium police” were on us in seconds.

We were told there was to be no food or drink anywhere inside the aquarium except in the café. He said since we were just having a “small snack,” he’d “let it slide it – FOR NOW.” (Yes, he emphasized “for now.”) Then he said, and I quote, “but if this turns into a full-on picnic, you’re going to have to go outside.”

The other mom asked if there was covered seating outside. The aquarium worker replied that there was not and walked away.

Okay, first, RUDE! Second, our choices were to wait in the café line for an hour or eat outside in the pouring rain with no shelter. So not cool. The other mom and I shared an eye roll and kept feeding our little ones right there on the bench. This little encounter pretty much set the tone for the rest of the day – stepped on toes, crowded elevators, long bathroom lines, packed exhibits and more rude people.

Going to the aquarium on a rainy day during spring break had turned out to be a Very. Bad. Idea.

I called the Hubs to see how the cement project was coming along. I told him about the rude aquarium worker and the insane number of people crammed into what I had thought was a large aquarium. He then told me the bad news.

The contractors didn’t even show up. They were supposed to be there at 8:00, but then they said they’d be there at 10:00. Then they said they’d be there at 1:00. Then they said they weren’t coming until the next day.


So Q and I braved the aquarium for no reason at all, and Hubs and I are less than pleased with the professionalism of this crew we hired.

It’s amazing that I didn’t Lose. My. Shit. 

Does it seem weird to anyone else that they just tossed this level into our baby Japanese maple?