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About 4 months ago, my daughter Dylan’s Brownie Troop announced that they were going to do a sleepover at a local aquarium.

“How cute! What fun mother/daughter time!” I thought, somehow ignoring the fact that I would be almost 7 months pregnant.

The cost for my daughter and me to attend was $120 which I assumed meant we would get to pick our own lobsters out of one of their tanks. This proved not to be accurate although I did get to pick my own pizza slice.

They lock you in the place for 16 hours. I mean, you get to enjoy the aquarium for 16 hours!

At first things went well. My daughter was having a lot of fun making fossils, running relay races and playing with her friends.

And then she fell into the stingray/ shark tank.

This is the tank…

maritime sharks 1

maritime sharks 2

Now I didn’t see her fall in because I was doing something very important like feeding a baby seal or maybe just talking to my friend Emily (the details aren’t important) but a friend of Dylan’s quickly found me.

By the time I got to the tank, Dylan was out and very shaken.

Apparently she had leaned over the tank to pet a stingray (whose stingy things are removed) and she slipped and fell in. Her entire body was submerged except for her boots. She scrambled out of there and was totally unhurt but just very embarrassed, scared and cold.

We changed her clothes and I promised her that “swimming with stingrays and sharks” was not something everyone gets to experience and this was a real bonus on the night.  She recovered…

maritime dylan

Then it came time to sleep.

I highly recommend sleeping at an aquarium with tons of young kids if you like to sleep on hard floors, with a lot of light and constant noise. I had brought sleeping bags and mats but I (who do not complain much about being pregnant) was beyond uncomfortable.

And other moms (who are obviously far more brilliant than me) brought these gigantic blow up mattresses, sheets and comforters. And wine. And I can only assume their own personal masseuses although I didn’t actually witness that.

Anyway, we slept by the jellyfish tank for about 5 hours, got up in the morning refreshed and energized and then saw the IMAX movie, “Born To Be Wild” which is beyond cute. It’s impossible to watch a baby elephant drink milk from an enormous baby bottle and not leave the theater a little happier.

So if you ever have the opportunity to do something like this, here are my tips…

1. Don’t be pregnant

2. Bring your own Queen or King Size mattress

3. Bring an eye mask and ear plugs

4. Bring a box of wine

5. Don’t let your child swim with sharks

6. Bring a change of clothes in case she does

7. Enjoy!

13 Responses to girl scouts outing: swimming with the sharks (not joking)

  • Susan Kintner says:

    This was definitely “on the wild side”. Glad you and Dylan survived your Amazon-like journey. love, Mom

  • Steph says:

    Wow. You are such a trooper. And poor Dylan, falling into the shark tank. You two deserve a medal for enduring that night! Please, from this point forward use your pregnancy to say “NO” to any and all requests that do not originate from your children (well sometimes even their requests, too). p.s. did the mamas with their mattresses even offer to let you join them:)

  • My stepdaughter’s troop did a sleepover at the mall.

    These things always sound so much more fun than they actually are.

    We grabbed this awesome spot by the video games.

    Which other troops thought would be super-fun to play once “quiet time” was declared.

    My troop was full of such proactive problem-solvers, though, that they found the power outlet and unplugged all those games.

  • neal says:

    Every kid needs a story like that. I wonder what the legal forms looked like.

    “Aquarium will not be held responsible in the event that your child is eaten by a shark. Please enjoy your stay.”

  • Franny says:

    WOW Dylan! You are quite an adventurer! I snorkeled once with sting rays and sharks too! I feel pretty proud of myself for that, and so should you! Yeah Kelsey for the spare clothes!! You are a ” prepared” scout!!

  • Lanie says:

    When my Girl Scout troop went “camping” (in a hotel), I apparently was found in the hall sleep walking. Good thing my troop did not go to the aquarium . . .

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kelcey kintner