I had checked the website for times and ticket prices. I had sunscreen, towels, a packed lunch. I even had back-up, my swell sister and brother. What I hasn't anticipated was the downright snooty ticket booth girl who informed me there was no way we could enter the water park until noon. It elicited comments from me like: "So I just have to go home?! We are all ready, the girls are so excited to be here" and "What if I bought a year pass, could my brother and sister have discounted tickets? Could my girls go in?" And "So we can either leave or wait here two hours?!" Also, "I can't believe this, how rude you are. Look how sad you are making my little girls!"

Three years ago this kind of behavior from my own mother would have embarrassed me. This didn't escape my fresh-off-the-mish brother, who mentioned I had 'changed.' Absolutely I have, I am a mother now. I understand my own mom's pushiness in years past. Its because you're desperate. Because you spend all day at home with small children, and when you finally get out (and you have help!) come hell or high water, you are not going home till you've had some fun. Because trying to explain to your darling, blue-eyed beauty in her Minnie Mouse bathing suit why she can't run into the park like every other little kid there is not something you wanted to do. Because nothing is easy with several little children - just getting in the car, bathing suits, sunscreen, food - its all hard work. Because you're willing to do just about anything for your little ones' happiness, even if it means being pushy, holding up the line trying to barter your way into the water park because you're girls are just DYING to play there.

In the end we had to drag three crying girls back to the car. "I want to play on the slides, mama!" It broke my heart. Thankfully, my mother both remembers what its like to do what I'm doing, and is both near and dear enough to save the day. We used our ticket money to buy some magnetic fish and fishing rods, and had fun in her 'backyard pool.' The girls forgot about the slides.

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