Wednesday, December 14, 2011


The family in front of the fire at the Great Wolf Lodge

Last year we surprised the kids and took them to the Great Wolf Lodge on Sambo's birthday. When Buddy and I were waiting in line for one of the waterslides, Buddy said, "If you ever want to surprise me again, do this."  I kept that in mind and decided to plan another surprise.  We went again on Sambo's birthday this year and invited my parents, G's parents who were in town for Buddy's baptism, and my brother and his family.  Obviously, it was a rip roarin' good time.

Buddy has been eating like a champ for a year hoping he'd grow tall enough to ride the biggest slide.  When the nurse measured him at 48 inches at his pediatrician check-up a few weeks ago he shouted, "YES!  I can ride the Tornado at Great Wolf Lodge!!!!!"  The nurse said he wasn't the first kid to be excited to arrive at 48 inches tall.

However, when the girl at the entrance at GWL measured him, he was probably 1/2 inch too short by their measuring stick.  Thank goodness the girl had mercy on him and gave him the "all clear."  I have never been so relieved and Buddy was completely overjoyed.  We never would have heard the end of the weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth had she stuck to the sign's warning that they make "no exceptions" for not meeting height requirements.

Buddy spent the next two days riding slides without stopping.  The Lodge was practically empty since we were there on a Monday and Tuesday, which meant there was no waiting in any lines for the slides.  Which then meant Buddy climbed the steps repeatedly without stopping the entire time.  We all tried to estimate how many steps he climbed or how many slides he rid, but it was too many to count.  It was totally unreal how excited he was -- and his stamina for the climbing and the slides was mind-boggling.  (Literally.  We all got super dizzy trying to keep up with him.)  I probably did 25 slides with him and that was plenty.  G and his dad and my brother each probably did twice that each.  And my dad probably did 3 times that with him.  I really regret not putting a pedometer on him.  That kid is crazy, I tell you.

A few interesting experiences.  G had the whistle blown at him at least 10 times and I had it blown at me once.  Then one time Buddy was swimming in the wave pool and the lifeguard thought he was struggling in the water (he wasn't) and jumped in to rescue him.  The supervising lifeguard filled out an "incident report" about the whole ordeal.  Buddy was mortified and was really shaken up about it.  The lifeguards reassured him "they jump in after kids all the time."  Then the next day Buddy slipped while running and cracked his head on the ground pretty bad.  My brother did a check on him for a concussion and the lifeguards all gathered around with worried looks and ice packs.  He turned out to be fine, despite a pretty big lump and bruise.  By some miracle, they didn't write another incident report.  Thank goodness because I don't think Buddy would have recovered from the humiliation and I don't think I would have recovered from the anxiety of having such a crazy kid.

Sambo taking a little snooze.  

Sambo also had a ball.  He could only go on the smaller two slides, but he had fun doing those and playing in the wave pool and the kiddie area.  He loves playing in the water, so he was in heaven too.  And unlike his brother, he actually got tired and fell asleep at one point in G's arms.  And he didn't do anything to warrant any incident reports.

It was really fun being there with family and we decided that going with friends or family is the only way to go.  There is no way G and I could have kept up with Buddy alone.  As for me, I finally got up the courage to ride the Tornado with Buddy.  He had been begging me since last year and I finally sucked it up in exchange for him returning to the wave pool (the location of the embarrassing "save" from the lifeguard).  I was terrified, but I decided to go twice in a row to try to really overcome my fear.  It didn't work!  In fact, when we got done Buddy asked me, "Where you really crying, mom?"  No I wasn't, but almost.  I don't need to fall off cliffs in an inner-tube to give myself that rush everybody likes.  I have enough anxiety, stress, and adrenaline in my life.  Thank you very much.


Myndi said...

Buddy will be glad you saved these "mortifying" stories so he can retell them when he is less embarrassed. So funny, so cute, so awesome.

We wish we were there. Finn has NO fear of the water and you should see him in the bath--he stands up and then jumps back down and tries to climb up the side to jump in...he would be out of control (but in a good way) at a place like that.

Maybe Sambo can teach Hip how to swim.

And geesh, Dad, you been doing some P90X?

R said...

It was as good a time as stated. And Buddy was at least as energetic as described. He never ran down. I've never seen a kid so excited about something as he was about riding the big slides!

And Myndi, no P90X here but I think I need to...and get some serious sun, too!

Robison Fam. said...

So glad you guys had fun! We are debating taking our boys to GWL up here in February..this may have convinced me to do it!