Ah, the splash pad. The perfect place to have some water fun and let your kids burn through some of their energy without having to put on a swimsuit yourself (and thank god for that.) The splash pad provides plenty of entertainment — not just for your littles — but for you, too. When all those people get together under the scorching sun, things are bound to get interesting. Here are just a few of the cast of characters you’re sure to meet at the splash pad this summer.
1. The wild child
While all the other kids are having a blast, this kid’s idea of fun is shooting the water cannon directly into the faces of everyone around him. While your kids are sobbing, they’re living it up wreaking havoc on everyone else’s good time. You remind yourself that the splash pad is for everyone while herding your kids far, far away from them. The entire time you’re wondering if the whole “it takes a village” concept gives you an excuse to tell this kid to knock it off.
2. The sunscreen mom
Your own kids act like you’re slathering them with acid instead of SPF anytime you try to put sunscreen on them. But this mom is a sun blocking ninja the way she effortlessly winds her way around her kids, coating them so fast and efficiently they barely seem to notice. Later that night you’ll go home and practice how she wields a spray can in one hand while flipping the lid closed on a tube at the same time.
3. The mean mom
These moms didn’t get the message that the public splash pad is, in fact, open to everyone. They set up their towels and snacks in the same corner every day and let their children hog the best water slide and fountains without ever reminding them to share. Someone really needs to tell them their behavior is #notfetch.
4. The child that belongs to no one
You’re 99% positive this toddler didn’t drive to the splash pad by themselves, and yet there doesn’t seem to be an adult around to stop them from putting their eyeball directly on the sprayer spout. And come snack time, there’s an extra pair of little hands looking for an orange slice in your cooler. Whose kid is this and why are they clinging to you?
5. The Mary Poppins mom
You love the splash pad because unlike the pool, you’re not required to get wet with your kids. But there’s always the mom who’s all in when it comes to her kids’ fun, so she’s right in there with them, dripping wet and dodging the jumping streams. Which, of course, makes your own kids beg you to join them, too. Great, looks like you washed your hair for nothing.
6. The fun mom
This group of moms always seems to be laughing at some inside joke, and you have a sneaking suspicion that those daiquiris they’re sharing aren’t virgin. They don’t freak out when a kid slips and falls and seem to genuinely enjoy being at splash pad instead of seeing it as a way to kill time before dinner. Every day you sneak your towel just a tiny bit closer to their group, in hopes that they’re looking for new recruits.
7. The family with the good snacks
You’re proud of yourself for remembering to toss both cookies and some crackers into your bag this morning. But, all that supermom swag drains from your body when you see kids walking around with fruit cut into aquatic animal shapes and fresh popped popcorn.
8. The kid who poops on the slide
There’s always one. Here’s hoping it’s not one of yours.
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This piece was originally published by Megan Zander on Mommy Nearest. Megan Zander is a mom to twin three-year-olds who loves running and buttercream frosting in equal measure. Her work has appeared on SheKnows, Yahoo Parenting, Romper, The Stir, Scary Mommy and more.