It takes all the same prep as a day at the beach - sunscreen, cooler full of drinks and snacks, towels, beach hats and chairs minus the sand and the large natural body of water.
Deaglan started to love it yesterday. The first few times we've gone he didn't really know what to think as he stood on the sidelines watching the bigger kids squeal and splash through the jumping shoots of water. But yesterday we encouraged him a little (read Shaune and I carried him into the midst of the streams and let him see that it was fun not scary) and after about twenty minutes of scurrying in and out of the smaller misty sprays on his own, he got braver and braver and eventually when it was time to leave we had to carry a screaming crying toddler to the car because there was no way he was leaving on his own volition.
Today my friend Erin spent the day with Deaglan and me and we went back to the same splashpad we were at yesterday. It was packed with parents and small kids. It must seem odd to someone without children yet (Erin and Wes have two cats and a puppy on the way) to be in this scene. To the left of us a little girl a few months older than Deaglan threw a full on crying fit because her mother would not allow her to take her diaper off and run through the water naked. This was no soft whimpering either - we're talking crying with tears at a steady high-pitched screetch. While this was nothing alarming to me, I could see the concern on Erin's face. I remember before I had kids how when I would see parents just "allowing" their kids to cry and throw tantrums, I would wonder what was wrong with them and why they didn't just make their kids stop. I know better now and I just looked at the mother of the screaming girl with sympathy and understanding.
The picture posted here is at the splashpad yesterday. Shaune's discovered the world of Photoshop.