Dizzy Castle

We have been in the Portland area for two weeks. Other than: staring at the umpteen boxes we have yet to unpack, rolling around on a deflating air mattress, and taking two trips to the complex indoor pool, we haven’t done much and, yesterday, I realized if I didn’t take the kids out to burn some energy off they might internally combust.

So, I took to the internet and discovered many area moms raving about a local indoor playground called Dizzy Castle. I decided this would be an inexpensive way to calm them. We packed up early and headed out.

We arrived completely underprepared. Both my husband and I were wearing flip-flops and did not realize that we not only needed socks but workout fatigues and an hourlong warm-up beforehand. We settled for purchasing some chintzy, too small “socks” from the counter and headed in.

The plan was to eat at the little food court prior to heading into battle, but my son had another idea. He ripped off his shoes and headed in. Thankfully, he was a little overwhelmed by the colors, swinging punching bags and sweaty children that he stuck close by. I quickly ran and ordered some food and sat back thinking I would relax, watch him run himself ragged and head home.

Wrong.

I was able to put off the inevitable by haranguing said two year old back to the table with a pirate ship filled with grilled cheese and potato chips. After a few bites, he was off again with potato chip in hand. This time, his fuel gauge was full and he was much more brazen. Considering most of the children were much older than him, I decided to follow him in. We played with some foam balls for a considerable amount of time before I saw his poop face. I tried to keep his public display a little more private, but he stood directly in front of the entrance with a purple vein throbbing in his forehead while he worked out his #2. I quickly shuffled him back to Dad for a run to the men’s room and took my daughter into the toddler area. We sat quietly while she crawled around with sweet little babies and we all cooed and laughed jovially while relaxing on the bright red mats.

Before my inevitable demise.

About a half an hour later, my husband and son returned. My husband looked like he just completed an entire month of P90X and my son looked crazed like he was hopped up on jungle gym. Between gasps for air my husband said, “I just went down the slide 11 times. It’s your turn.”

Being the show-off I am, I thought: How dramatic. 

I was so wrong.

I quickly learned that the slide entrance wasn’t merely a set of stairs. The first step to get to the top was army crawling up a set of foam logs. Mind you, I have never army crawled in my life. As children piled up behind me waiting for me to lug my frame up the logs, I felt horrified. Thankfully, my toddler wasn’t quite that quick either. At the top of the logs, you needed to squeeze through a two-foot by two-foot hole. Not only was I horrified that I might not fit through this hole, I also felt claustrophobia clutching my insides. Since there were about forty sweaty children behind me, there was no turning back. I pushed my breasts in and wedged through the hole. Much to my dismay, there was another whole set of Logs of Death. I was more motivated this time as I could see the top. I could see the end in sight and was looking forward to feeling like I wasn’t in a coffin. However, once I flopped on the platform, I realized the ceiling was only two-feet tall.

This was where I stopped breathing.

My son was unfazed. He leapt on the slide and soared to the bottom. I took the next track of a slide to quickly follow him down. Due to the fact that I was wearing yoga pants, I sizzled down the slide. I started breathing for a few quick gasps, until I saw my oblivious child jump into my track. Quickly, I tried to grab the sides to stop my body from careening into my offspring. Other than getting plastic burn on my palms, nothing happened. I rocketed off the bottom of the slide, bear-hugging his little body in hopes that this wasn’t an episode of Rescue 911.

Not only was he alive. He was hysterical with happiness.

I, on the other hand, had sweat soaked through my pits, my hair was matted and I had a Charlie Horse. He still wanted to race back up the logs, but I lured him out of the building with promises of cookies and Mickey Mouse.

Next time, I will be prepared.

Grab the Wheel and Point it West

Where have I been?

Here. In Smalltown, USA. Two babies, a house, a husband, a little dog and my own business.

Same town I grew up in with the same people I grew up with. This little comfortable bubble that has cocooned me from chasing my dreams and lulled me into a sedated lethargy for three years. It took a full year for me to even notice I am not writing. I take that back, I was writing the newsletter for the Crivitz Area Woman’s Club which has a readership of around forty. Around here, that’s kind of a big deal.

But, I think my Fairy Godmother woke me up a couple months ago with a wakeup call. Why am I not writing? What am I waiting for? Why don’t I even FEEL like writing? What the hell is happening to me?

So, that night I woke up and hopped online and started applying for dream writing jobs. And based on my blog and award-winning personality (I kid) I landed an interview at Amazon for a humor writer position. Yes, THAT Amazon. As in, fly me halfway across the country and present to a board. Suddenly I was awake. Colors returned. I was so motivated to win these big wigs over that I forgot that it haven’t written so much as a Christmas card in the past twelve months.

Ugh.

I went. I sat like Ellie Mae Clampett in the waiting room watching hipster after hipster enter into Amazon HQ. I was alive. I was dreaming. I knew I could never go back to what used to be.

While I didn’t get the position due to the fact that I have been off the writing grid for a while, I am now a changed woman. Being in Seattle, I knew the West Coast was for me. So, I got a job in Portland and in two days I drive me, my husband, two kids, dog, two cats and a UHaul halfway across the USA.

This fire burning in my heart is a welcomed friend I haven’t seen in a long time. I can’t wait to see what we accomplish together.