Our neighbours (home to Miss9-ish who Miss5 passively stalks from her bedroom window) moved a few weeks ago, and left with us some toys their kids had outgrown, and also a wind shade / sun shade / ginormous parachute-like object. Only we didn't know it was ginormous until we took it out of its deceptively compact bag, and we certainly didn't know of it's aerodynamic parachute type qualities until it was too late.
Thinking we would outsmart that bitch Mother Nature and her sandblasting, we grabbed the nice little bag that housed the sun shade thingamy. Off we trudged to the beach. #1 Hubby and I with steely looks of determination - determined to get in and out as quickly as possible, and determined nobody would suffer sandblast rash this time. Because we were all still red-raw from the previous day's beachside fun and frivolity.
Miss5 and Miss2 bolted for the water. Mstr2 puffed out his chest, and pranced around on his tippy toes screeching at his sadistic parents for taking him to the evil place (the beach with the waves that come up to get him every minute or so).
#1 Hubby and I jointly release The Beast. I think the Martians on Mars are Googling Ikea to see if they can get their hands on one of these ginormous sun shades, because there is no doubt they could see it from up there. The Beast flew immediately into the water, clocking Miss2 squarely on the head. She laughed and took it as a challenge, and started pummelling the crap out of it.
We got it back on the sand, and used Mstr2 to weigh it down. We figured that, should it take off again, we would be able to locate it by way of using his incessant screeching as a locator.
This thing was huge. It came in a bag that was about as big as a child's backpack. What came out of it was about as big as a school bus full of children wearing backpack's.
|Expecting something like this What we got was more like this|
When we weren't running after it, we were swearing at it and trying to weigh it down. On the plus side, the kids all thought it was hilarious, the funniest thing we'd ever done solely for their entertainment. They were so enthralled by it, that Miss2 stopped eating sand, Mstr2 didn't notice the waves lapping around him, and Miss5 stopped trying to 'Mermaid' (still don't know what that is).
We lasted about 40 minutes before we trudged off back to our chalet. Kids deliriously happy and high on the comedic performance we'd just put on for them. Parents shitty and hot and sweaty from spending their time at the beach sprinting up and down the sand, not once getting in the water past our ankles.
The kids found the sprinklers attached to the front of our verandah, and so they chose to stand in front of those instead of utilising the beach we were situated on. That is some very expensive sprinkler time, let me tell you. At $200 a night I could've just gone to Bunnings and bought a few fancy shmancy sprinklers to gaffa tape to my own walls at home, had I known that's all they required for some cooling fun in the stifling heat.
While they were distracted by the sprinklers, #1 Hubby and I attempted to cage The Beast. There were no instructions, and it was one of those shades that have to fold into themselves in a certain way, in order to fit back into their bag. If you can't get it to work, you're screwed - it stays up permanently, like it's OD'ed on Viagra.
We struggled with the bastard thing for OVER AN HOUR. A couple of times we thought we were close, and our excitement, joy and relief was akin to that magical time of the day when all kids are about to go to bed. But, alas, it was not to be. So after much swearing and cursing, we gave up.
Only, we couldn't give up. The stupid fucking thing took up over half of our sizeable verandah, and nothing would weight it down adequately, and we were forever bolting outside as we saw it start to take flight off the verandah and make a bid for freedom in the big blue sea.
|Almost to scale, The Beast would've dwarfed a ship, had we let it become airborne over the ocean|
At one point we placed all 3 kids inside it with icy poles, figuring it would give us at least 10 minutes of peace to eat our lunch. We're talking around 50Kg of weight in there (well...I'm guessing...because I'm a crap mother who has never ever weighed her kids beyond their first Paediatric check up post birth). But still, there was lift off. The Beast could not be tamed.
So #1 Hubby stomped outside and shoved it underneath our Chalet. This is why I love him so. He totally comes through when I'm about to lose it.
Later that arvo, while the kids are napping and we are channelling normal humans /regular sane adults, a little dog comes past and wee's on The Beast. Decision made. We are not taking the bastard thing home with us. Partially because we can't get it down to a small enough size to fit in the car, mostly because it is possessed and we hate it and it could be the end of our marriage if we continue to persevere (picture a married couple trying to assemble a household full of Ikea furniture without instructions or an Allen key - scary, right? That was our stress level on account of this fucking parachute material bastard possessed sun shade).
The following morning, a staff member comes to turn on the sprinklers, and helpfully hands me the shade. #1 Hubby is watching from inside, smirking, because now we can't just dump the bloody thing and run - now they know it's ours. And also because I'm probably making close personal contact with dog wee from the day before. Most unhappy.
We gave it one last shot, before we grabbed the sticky tape to attach it to the roof before taking it to the rubbish dump. As is usually the way with these things, it magically folded together for us like we were the world's foremost origami experts.
Don't ask us how, we couldn't tell you. It just happened. In a matter of seconds.
|There was a lot of Vodka consumed in celebration of our victory over The Beast|
More joy and elation. And, of course, now we had to take it home. So, now it sits in the garage, with the exercise bike, the weight bench, the fishing rods and all other things that will never again see the light of day.
After 3 kids, I can't believe we were almost beaten by a piece of bloody parachute material.
The Beast has been tamed.
Tomorrow, it's Family Holiday : Part 5 - Giving back to the ocean, and we're out of here