For those of you who are here because you really want to know how to make a water slide, you’ve come to the wrong place. Turn back now. Do not try this at home.
Not that I want to jinx myself by saying this, but my son hasn’t gotten into any shenanigans lately. So, I thought I’d share a story from a couple weeks ago. It probably won’t be as much fun to read since I’ve calmed down since then, but I’m sure you’ll understand how I felt at the time.
My children have permission to use the swing set at the neighbor’s house whenever they want. Our yard is just too small for one and they are never home over there any way. I’ve told them both repeatedly that they have to ask my permission first, need to stay on or around the swing set, not go any where else, and be in sight if I happen to come outside looking for them.
As usual, when I went to check on them, they were not where they were supposed to be. I called. No one answered. I called again. Still nothing. “One!”, I shouted. “Coming!”, I hear from around the neighbors house. (Not bad, didn’t even have to get to two.) I hear Princess yelling to Fast Boy that I am calling and that he needs to come too. I eventually see them, but instead of coming home, they climb back on the swings. I called them again. As they approached, I explained that they have broken the rules and need to come home. I then noticed that they didn’t have their shoes on and sent them back to get their shoes. I went back inside and waited…
Back outside I went to find that they were still on the swings. I repeated that they had broken the rules and have to come home. “Bring your shoes.” I was beginning to feel frustrated and went back inside.
I was sitting at my desk trying to get back into my work when one of them came in the house. I knew immediately that something was not right. “What on Earth is that smell??? OMG! What did he do this time?” (Yes, I immediately blame my son. Shame on me.) I thought it was gasoline. It had that type of smell. I completely lost it!!
Fuming, I followed my wet little Princess back to the swing set to investigate. Fast Boy was just as wet and smelly and had that I-know-I’m-in-big-trouble look on his face. I found an open can of WD-40 and an almost empty gallon jug of… wait for it… chainsaw oil!
Both of my children, the slide and the ground were drenched in chainsaw oil!
Then I got quiet. (When I get quiet, it is a very bad thing.) I felt unbelievably helpless. I calmly had them return the containers to where they found them. They had gotten them from the back of the neighbor’s patio. I also found their water spout turned on full blast and had Fast Boy turn that off. I marched them home, had them strip naked, drop their clothes in the middle of the kitchen floor, and put them both in the bath tub as I called the crisis line for the mental health professional we have been working with. I was afraid I was going to snap and I didn’t know what to do with it all.
For the next five minutes, Princess and Fast Boy giggled in the tub. They don’t bathe together any more, so they thought it was fun. The more they smirked, the more my blood pressure went up. I wouldn’t even try to wash them. I thought it best if I didn’t even touch them at that point. I called my husband and started to cry.
By the time the mental health worker showed up, the kids were clean and dressed and I was on the phone with the fire department inquiring on how to clean up WD-40 and chainsaw oil. It was about that time that I connected the slide, the oil and the water spout. We had been to a birthday party just a few days earlier where they played on an inflatable water slide. My clever little darlings had tried to make their own water slide.
In case you’re wondering, WD-40 and chainsaw oil clean off of plastic slides with degreaser, and off of wood, marble tile and children with soap and water. The smell takes a long time to go away. After three wash cycles of hot water, I threw their clothes in the trash. I went out for a few beers with a friend when my husband got home.
The children had to tell the neighbors what they did and had to help Daddy clean up the swing set. I asked the neighbors to give the children some lawn work to do in addition, but they never made a request. In the meantime, they are not allowed to play at the neighbor’s house with the explanation that if they can’t respect someone else’s property, then they can’t use it. I set no time limit. I was hoping the neighbor’s would have some feedback, but we haven’t had any further conversation about it since it happened. (Any advice?)