My family and I are taking a trip to the Oregon coast this week.  (Note the deliberate avoidance of the word “vacation.”)  Right now I’m supposed to be packing.  Or something.  After a week of record-breaking temperatures (I’m guessing–I don’t know for sure that they were record-breaking, but they may as well have been), the Oregon rain is finally back.  I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see rain in my life.  And it’s supposed to rain all week while we’re at the coast–yay!  Oh, wait, that isn’t good.

Actually, I think it’s only supposed to be cold the first couple days.  I think by the time we leave it will be sunny.  It’s all good.  I don’t care.  I’m just along for the ride anyway.

On Saturday we went to the Big Satan’s company picnic.  We go to the Big Satan company picnic every year.  I don’t enjoy the Big Satan company picnic, but the children do, as does my husband, and if we planned our family activities according to what Madhousewife felt like doing, no one would have any fun, ever.  So we went to the company picnic, which featured over 70 different activities (according to the brochure).  Usually we spend the first part of the day hanging out by the inflatable bouncy things, then have lunch and…you know, everything after lunch is sort of a blur.  I just know it’s the longest day of the year for me.  Anyway, this year we didn’t get to the picnic until lunch was starting (folks-going-to-the-beach traffic), so we ate lunch first and then we went swimming.  I know!  We live dangerously, what can I say.

I have never participated in the water play at the Big Satan company picnic–mostly because I find the logistics of water-play participation constitute an unfavorable ratio of pain-in-the-neckiness to actual fun-ness.  I don’t like activities that involve me wearing a bathing suit–not because I don’t like the way I look in a bathing suit (because I actually think I look all right in one–at least now that I live in Oregon and am no longer in high school), but because the process of changing in and out of one in a public location just makes me tired.  The thought of it makes me tired, and then I do it and am exhausted afterward.  Last year I was holding a sleeping baby while the rest of the Madhousehold hydro-galavanted, but this year I pretty much had to join in because Girlfriend wasn’t about to do any sleeping while there was water fun to be had.

Fortunately for me, it was so effing un-freaking-believably hot this week that you couldn’t have paid me to stay out of the pool.  I thought I might stay in there all freaking day, but ’twas not to be.  Actually, Girlfriend turned out to be less interested in jumping into the pool first thing.  Probably–no, scratch that–definitely because she could sense how very much her mother wanted to be in that pool, and she was conflicted:  I want to go swimming, but if I go swimming, Mom will be happy–augh, my brain is exploding! We spent what seemed like an hour but was probably only a half-hour (time crawls when your skin is melting) just hanging out by the beverage table.  Thank goodness for free diet Coke.  Anyway, eventually Girlfriend agreed to put on her swim trunks (long story), and we went in the pool, and it was the best feeling in the whole wide world.  I don’t understand why all 7,000 people (or however many BSCP attendees there were) weren’t in that pool, but I’m grateful there was room for me.

Unfortunately, I have a low tolerance for chlorinated water.  It kind of makes me sick, and also, once it gets in my eyes, my mellow is considerably harshed.  Do you know that it is very difficult to manage a non-swimming two-year-old in a swimming pool unless you keep your eyes open?  Well, it’s true.  The gift of sight becomes very important when you add life-guarding duties to the mix.  That’s when I became conflicted:  My eyes are burning and I’m nauseated, but this water feels so cool…if I could just close my eyes forever and not end up drowning my child…crap, Mister Bubby, stop shooting that water cannon at my face!

Well, eventually we all got out of the pool because they were setting up the huge water slide on the side of the hill.  Girlfriend was not happy to be leaving the pool:  Mom wants to leave, so I must not want to leave–finally, the world makes sense again! But I dragged her out anyway, and we all stood in line for the big slide.  Sugar Daddy has long wanted to get me on this slide, probably because he knows I’m not a fan of water slides, and he considers it his duty to change my mind through intimidation.  Anyway, I knew I’d have no excuse for not going on the slide this year, and since it was still so bleeding hot and the water slide didn’t have any chlorine in it, I was okay with the whole thing.

So I went down the water slide twice, and I was all funned out.  No, it was a very fun water slide–because it just slides down a big steep hill and doesn’t lead to a pool of water that one plunges into and almost drowns in even though it’s only four feet deep because one is so disoriented from the act of sliding and plunging.  Not that I speak from personal experience.  Cough.  Anyway, it was a very fun water slide, but you know me, there’s only so much fun I can take before I start developing a rash–so I was all done and started thinking about how awesome it would be to go home soon.  Like immediately.

I think we stayed for another hour.  It felt like longer.  Maybe it was longer, I don’t know.  I didn’t have a watch, which was good because I might have gone crazy watching the minutes crawl by.  I drank some more diet Coke.  I lamented the fact that they’d run out of cookies.  (They’ve never run out of cookies before!  It was the one saving grace of the event, as far as I was concerned.)  I needed to do something to take my mind off the fact that I wasn’t anywhere near going home, so I ate a corn dog.  Well, I didn’t eat all of it because half-way through I thought, “This is just wrong,” and I went back to just sipping the free diet Coke.  (The corn dog was free, too, but that didn’t make it any tastier.)  I really could have gone for some cookies right about then.  Well, whatever.  Eventually we did leave, and that’s what’s important.

I was so tired.  I still haven’t quite recuperated.  And now I’m going on a trip.  To the ocean!  More water!  More bathing suits!  At least it won’t be hot, and there won’t be chlorine.  Or corn dogs.  I’m bringing my own damn cookies.

I’m going to pack now.  After I make the kids some lunch.  Phooey.