Sunday, June 12, 2016

E(xcellent) coli

A couple weeks ago, I dug out our biggest whiteboard and gathered the children round.  The purpose of this congress was to write down all the things we wanted to do this summer vacation:  Places we wanted to visit, activities and crafts to be done, etc.  Summer tends to whiz by so fast that I didn't want to hit August 1st and panic, realizing I've squandered our time together.

Now, just because I wrote it down doesn't mean it's guaranteed to happen, as I explained to the children.  Some things I refused to even waste the dry-erase pigment upon.  "Go to Disney World," "Make a for-real weapons arsenal," "Eat at Burger King," being three such examples.

One of the very first things they wanted me to write down was "Visit Big Creek."  This one was no problem-o.  It's close, it's free, the swimming area is shallow enough I don't have to constantly watch for possible child drowning.

So, last Friday, we went.  Check one off the whiteboard, make the kids happy, collect my Super Awesome Mom badge.



But then, Saturday morning, the internet greets me with this headline:

Apparently there are elevated levels of bacteria present at Big Creek, although the article did note that these go up after heavy rainfall, so it was worse Saturday morning, after Friday's nights showers; in other words, our trip Friday afternoon was safe.  Well, safeish.  Also according to the article, there were signs up at the entrances to the park warning good parents who do things like look for warning signs.  I saw no signs, and have made my peace with having my shiny Super Awesome Mom badge revoked.  

The silver lining?  I'm thinking of adding "Expose offspring to E. coli" to the whiteboard, just because I like checking things off of lists.  Is there an "'A' for Effort" parenting badge?  Maybe a "Whoops! My bad!"  Because I've earned a ton of those.

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