Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Worst Mother Ever?

I feel like an all-around slacker. Since returning from vacation, I haven't really posted anything other than meals. That's because we haven't really done much of anything other than eat! Lots of sitting around, screen time, games, lazy summer stuff than none of us have been able to do since summer started!

I do have one entry for the "worst mother ever" contest. Here goes:

Since C. was little, I've belonged to an informal playgroup that developed from our La Leche League group. Now that most of the kids are older, we only meet (for the most part) in the summer, alternating parks. We pack lunches and bring something to share (yum!) and the kids play and the moms talk and it's wonderful. So this last Friday we met at a park on my side of town and on Lake Michigan. Only three families made it, but we had a blast. The kids played on the playground equipment and we had lunch, and then changed into swimsuits and trekked down to the lake. We could hear waves crashing on the beach as we walked down and the Southwesterly winds had made some substantial waves, indeed! The older kids had a blast on the "boogie boards" and innertubes, being tossed around on the waves and tipped over. It was such a contrast to our calm wading day at Lake Superior that my kids were thrilled! The smaller kids dug deep holes and made sand castles and had tons of fun, too. The moms watched carefully, chatted, and caught some sun. It was a fantastic day! After awhile on the beach, one of the younger kids needed to use the bathroom and her mom went in search of one. On their way back, this mom stopped at a sign posted on the beach and read it. Then she re-read it and re-read it. When she made her way back, she told the rest of us that it was a posting stating that the e. coli levels in the water were elevated and that people should swim "at their own risk". Furthermore, we were warned to wash hands with soap before touching food.

OMG... The waves had crashed over the big kids and I know that each of them got significant water in their mouths. The kids had been finishing their lunches while sitting on the beach. The moms looked at each other in horror. We packed up the kids as quickly as we could and ran up to the bathroom and scrubbed as best as we could with soap. Visions of hospitals kept reappearing in my head. It had NEVER crossed my mind to even look to see what the e. coli levels were. I grew up on Lake Superior where the water was never tainted!

I arrived home and G. asked how the trip was. I explained everything, including the e. coli advisory. He quickly looked it up on the web and found that it must have been an old posting, as the beach was listed as "open" for the day we were there. I love my practical husband.

And now it's 5 days after our trip and no one (knock wood) shows any signs of infection. I still feel like we just barely dodged a bullet and I don't know if I'll be able to take the kids back there or not. So sad...


sewingsuzee said...

THAT's your Worst Mother Ever story?

You're just going to have to work harder than that.

LOL about the lazy summer days. That's what it's been about here, too. Relaxing like crazy.

amy said...

lol, you do NOT win the contest.

But that is scary stuff! e coli, yipes.

Terri D. said...

Eh. If you had mixed up a batch of Koolaid with lake water because you were out of Evian--that would make you a bad mother. Welcome back from vacation, and keep those meal menus coming!