Now that my sister no longer has toddlers around the house, I figure it's wise to seek activities outside the home for Connor to do, lest he unleash his destructive forces on her nice suburban home. For this visit, I planned to go to Worlds of Fun and the Kansas City Zoo. Unfortunately, when we got off the plane it was SNOWING. (Did I mention when we got ON the plane in DC it was 70?) As we landed, Connor told me that he was going to build a giant snowman in front of Aunt Linda's house. Then, he corrected himself and told me "Actually, Mommy, I am going to build an ENORMOUS snowman!" As it turns out, the snowman wouldn't even happen because the snow was melting as soon as it hit the ground. But, it was cold enough that outdoor activities would not be on the agenda.
Obviously, my sister knows a thing or two about toddlers and their destructive powers, because she had a back-up plan involving leaving her home both days we were there. On day 1, we went to a place called Zonkers, which is a place definitely intended to drive adults to the loony bin. Connor, naturally, was smitten at first sight. And, lucky for me his cousin Anna was willing to play the role of "parent" and accompany him on the rides until he was comfortable on his own. Connor asked me to ride, but I reminded him that my bottom was too big for the seats and it might get stuck. I think Connor rode this little train about 25 times and these planes another 15. He even rode the "big kid" roller coaster and it was really sweet that his other cousin, Emily, was willing to go on this because between the two girls, Connor was nicely wedged into the seat. The roller coaster appeared a bit scary and I thought he wouldn't enjoy it, but he was game for a few rides.
On day 2, my sister took us to an enormous indoor swimming area complete with "beach entry", buckets of water dropping, a "lazy river", and the object pictured below that is intended for children to flip little gates and watch water move at different paces. Never one to be far from the action, Connor decided to climb onto the metal structure and really get into the fun. I presumed one of the very vigilant 12 year old lifeguards would tell Connor to get off, but they did not. Eventually my heart gave out one too many times as I envisioned a trip to the ER not just to visit Connor's Uncle Bill but to get treatment, so I told him he had to get down - but not before snapping a few photos. That's me in the background, averting my eyes from the danger and Helen reminding me that she wanted no part of the water.
It was great for me that my parents met us there, because that meant I had some extra eyes to watch Connor attempt to kill himself in any number of ways at the pool - or so I thought. At one point, Connor came up to me and asked if he could go on the lazy river. I presumed he meant with my dad, but in fact, he and Anna had decided they could go alone. I looked up to see Anna holding him high enough that he wasn't drowning, but it definitely seemed unsafe to me so I walked over to where they were and my sister noticed about the same time and created the "no lazy river without a life jacket" rule, which was a good thing. My dad? He was probably wondering where Anna and Connor had gone. The lesson for me? Ask for more details when my very excited toddler asks to do something. To her credit, Anna did steer him through the river safely.
Ahhh...two days in KC. Next up? My parent's home.