Team Stimey’s outing today was probably ill-advised.
I had a doctor’s appointment and had told my kids that we were going to mini golf afterward. That was my first mistake—never tell your kids ahead of time that you’re going to do something until you are actually in the car doing the thing.
Related: Mistake Two—never take your kids to a doctor’s appointment with you.
I should have known that things were going to go badly when, after the doctor’s appointment, on the way to the pharmacy to drop off my prescription, Quinn started insisting that mini golf was actually called “poopy golf” and that every single person in the world knew it was called poopy golf and, “I don’t give a crap that you are screaming in protest at the top of your lungs and the high pitch of your range, Jack, I will continue to insist that mini golf is commonly referred to as poopy golf until Mom drives this car into an abutment.”
Or words to that effect.
See, Quinn doesn’t love mini golf and was not excited that I found this really exciting new adventure golf course in Virginia. (Mistake Three—adding a long drive to a non-preferred activity. Honestly, it’s like someone handed me these three kids yesterday. Such rookie mistakes.) This argument was raging as we waited in the drive-through pharmacy line, leading the pharmacy tech to raise her eyebrows and mutter, “Having fun?” when she opened the window to hear the cacophony outside.
The situation was not aided by Day Two of Braces, which was going less well than Day One. Sam’s teeth were hurting him, regardless of the pain meds I’d fed him earlier in the day. We stopped at a McDonald’s for lunch where Jack refused to sit at a table with Quinn at first and then Sam took six years to eat a cheeseburger that I had to rip into 16 tiny pieces for him.
Oh, we were a motherfucking scene.
Today was also the day that Sam learned that Jolly Ranchers are off the table for the next 15 to 18 months, triggering an extended rending of garments and shouting of, “WHY? WHHHHYYYY?!?! WHY DOES EVERYTHING I LOVE TURN TO SHIT?” or, again, words to that effect.
We were off to a great start. Onward to poopy golf.
Now, here’s the thing about the mini golf: Quinn often has fun at mini golf, even if he doesn’t make it all the way through the course, which is fine with me. Jack LOVES mini golf. Sam is amenable to pleased with mini golf. That is why I suggested this outing in the first place. I figured that once Quinn saw that this golf course was far more interesting than your typical mini golf course, that he would be totally excited.
The passports the cashier gave us to trade in for golf balls and clubs were promising, and the bamboo and prop-lined path that led us there was even better. Even though it was hot, I thought that we might get through this thing with smiles on our faces.
Sadly, right there at the golf ball pick-up station was a giant fake spider in a cage.
Quinn is mortally afraid of spiders. Even fake ones.
Follow that with more screaming. Add some flailing. Then maybe a touch of shrieking. Then a request for a green golf club, NOT a pink one, fuck you very much.
Honestly, Quinn probably could have handled any one of the following hurdles—(a) heat, (b) mini golf, or (c) giant plastic bugs—but there is no way on this planet that he was going to be able to handle all of them.
There were several things I could have worried about here. I could have thought about the $40 it had cost to get the four of us on this golf course (I did think about that a little). I could have thought about the groups on both sides of us that were staring (I didn’t think about that much at all). I could have thought about Sam and Jack and how excited they were to golf this course now that they’d seen it.
I did a lot of thinking about that.
It wouldn’t have been fair to yank them off the course and I couldn’t leave them alone, so Quinn and I tried to make the best of it. Once we got a couple of holes in, Quinn started to relax. Sam and Jack stayed ahead of us and warned me if there was anything coming up that might scare Quinn. (There were only a couple more things—some more spiders and these terrifying scarab-looking things spread all over a hissing box.)
Quinn calmed down and was even able to golf a little bit.
We never bother to take score and, unless it’s a hole-in-one, we don’t even count strokes. This is a good thing because Sam managed to hit his ball out of bounds on probably half of the holes.
Our lack of precision made our trip through all 18 holes pretty fast, which was good. I have already promised Quinn that we never, ever, ever have to go back, but I would highly recommend this golf course to anyone who lives near Herndon and isn’t completely phobic, which I am starting to understand that Quinn is.
Sam and Jack had a blast, except for when Jack made a tomb door slide closed and shut Sam inside. Sam was less delighted about that than anything else.
Regardless, we all arrived home safe and sound—and full of ice cream that I fed them to end our trip on a high note. I find that almost all of Team Stimey’s outings are better with ice cream at the end. Thank God that ice cream is still on Sam’s orthodontist-approved list.
After all of that (plus a trip to the hardware store and the pharmacy again), I let my kids sit and play video games for the rest of the day. I can only do so much. Hell, they can only do so much. Now I’m off to think of an outing for tomorrow. I think we might go to the pet store, where the furriest thing we see will not be a giant fake spider, but rather a kitten.
That might be just the thing.