I’ll take “Things I’ll Never Again Do With My Children for $1,000” please, Alec.
Answer: What is go mini-golfing?
Why you might ask? Why would I choose to forever abandon this time-honored family friendly activity? I answer your query while I sit on the couch icing my feet. Yep, icing. Feet. That’s both of ’em.
Of course, it was partly my fault. Come June, I wear sandals of some sort every day I possibly can. Even when it’s in the mid-50s and I’m wearing jeans, a long sleeve t-shirt, and a water resistant jacket to ward off the rain. Yep, mini-golf in the rain. Ok, fine. In the drizzle. In the rain sounds better though, doesn’t it?
Let’s commence the list of reasons I will not be mini-golfing again with the wee ones:
1) Do you remember when you’re a kid and you do something that drives your parents batty and they tell you to just wait until you have kids of your own? Yeah. It’s payback time. It’s possible that when I was ohhh fourteen or so, I was banned by my parents from ever again playing mini-golf. It might have something to do with me being mildly competitive and rotten at anything remotely golf related.
2) The wee ones had an issue with the concept of multiple holes. As soon as they (finally) got a ball in the hole, they would promptly drop the club and ball and run ahead. I eventually left the clubs and balls behind and began to tee myself up. They did eventually start remembering to keep their stuff with them. Otherwise, they finally realized there was no more golf for them.
3) I had to threaten to take them home. At hole two. And three. Where I explained that if they set foot off the sidewalk or golf green again, that was it. This was in response to them running all over the place exploring the oh so cool waterfalls and ponds and climbing on the rocks that they don’t usually see and generally acting like three and five year olds — unfortunately in a place not designed for three and five year olds.
4) I made the mistake of standing too close to Little Miss while watching my husband hit the ball. She swung her club around like a baton. It managed to connect with my knuckles on a direct hit. Ow. OW.
5) I made the mistake of standing within four feet of Little Miss and thinking that was far enough away while I watched my husband putt. She was standing on some steps and was higher than me. She then dropped her club. It landed right on the joint between my toes and my foot. It’s now swollen and bruised around two of my toes. This is why my right foot is being iced.
6) I made the mistake (are we sensing a theme here?) of using my foot to point out where on the green Mister Man should tee off. He had started almost on the sidewalk, which would not have boded well for getting the ball into the hole in under 20 strokes. While my foot was pointing out the correct spot, he placed his ball on the correct spot. Hard. Yep, right on the joint between my big toe and my foot. It’s also bruised now, and my left foot also has an ice pack sitting on it.
7) I made the mistake (yet another one) of trying to teach the wee ones how to hit the ball by themselves rather than just helping them hold the club. There was a hole where you had to hit the ball hard enough to go up a pretty significant hill. I explained, gave him a few practice swings with me holding the club to give him an idea of how it felt, and then I stepped away. But not far enough away. Yep, that club cracked me in the wrist pretty hard. On the plus side, no bruising or ice pack needed so far.
8) Being the parents who foster independence, we tried to let the wee ones hit their own balls but also teach them the correct way to hold the clubs and stand. Let’s just say that the wee ones have no careers ahead of them in the world of golf. And possibly nowhere in athletics. It didn’t sink in no matter how many times we demonstrated and moved them into position, etc. And unfortunately, if you stand cock-eyed and have the club facing sideways, it’s going to take a long time to get the ball into the hole. Which brings us to number nine….
9) We were at the mini-golf place when other people were also there. In fact, people who knew how to play the game and didn’t have small children were behind us. Repeatedly. Trying to explain to the wee ones that they had to hurry to get through a hole but then had to sit on a bench while we waited for other people to play the hole we’d just finished and then the next hole, well, let’s just say that wasn’t easy. And one poor group played the first hole, saw us at the second hole and just moved to the alternate course. Sorry, people — I tried to be considerate at least!
On the plus side, I really have only nine reasons. Sorta like the back nine of a golf course? Ok, so that’s a stretch, but it’s still funny in my head.
So why on earth would I put myself through this torture, you ask? Well, I was kind of obligated to do so. My husband is a coach, and the team and their parents wanted to thank the whole family for all he did this year and for us giving him up so many days and nights and weekends. They took us to dinner at Steak & Shake and mini-golf was the next stop. I tried to beg off, but they wouldn’t let me.
And with the team being so grateful, how could we not try it at least?
There was one small silver lining, however. I did beat my husband by two strokes. Oh, and I got to see him “help” the wee ones at one hole where a median with a sharp point separated two tracks. Both the wee ones managed to hit the corner and not make it really down either path. My husband somehow managed to hit the corner head on and have his ball bounce back past the tee and off the green. Oops. Me? Yeah, that was my single hole in one on the course!
I’m still done with mini-golf though. At least until my feet heal.