(Warning, this may start to sound like a "when-I-was-a-kid-I-had-to-hike-2-miles-to-school-in-the-snow-uphill-both-ways" kind of story).
When I was a kid, we didn't have these expensive ridiculously priced outdoor water toys. We didn't.
Maybe we did, but none of our parents bought them, I dunno. But the fact of the matter is, we didn't need them.
Because we had this magical thing called a HOSE that seemed to work just fine to keep us cool and happy in the summer.
For the past few years Sadira's had several variations of the small plastic wading pool in the backyard. Each year I consider getting a swim club membership, but with our busy schedule and Sadira's conservative attitude towards big girl swimming I just haven't found it to be appropriate for us yet.
But I knew she had outgrown the small baby pool.
So I wanted to find something that was a little more fun, interactive, and would actually cool ME off too.
What I wanted was a SPRINKLER!
But when I went to store to find one, it seemed they had all been replaced by plastic, overpriced crap.
Overpriced plastic crap:
But it's PRRRRIINCCCEEESSSS!!!!!
All I wanted was a freakin' sprinkler.
So I went up to a store associate and asked. "Excuse me, can you tell me where I can find a sprinkler?"
He walked me over to a shelf that contained (more) plastic crap and said, "here ya go."
Not exactly what I was looking for, so I said, "no I'm actually looking for the regular metal kind. You know what I'm talking about? Like a metal oscillating sprinkler?"
"Oh, I don't know if we sell metal ones for kids to play with. Probably too dangerous."
Oh these kids today....
Not willing to accept defeat, I asked, "alright, can you tell me where I could find sprinkler if I wanted to water my lawn?"
Suddenly he knew what I was talking about, and directed me to the lawn and garden section. All the way on the other side of the store. In the corner.
And there it was.
A metal oscillating sprinkler.
This sprinkler has provided so much fun for us this summer. And the best part is? It's not a piece of plastic crap so it'll last longer than one year.
Today "Thirty Favorite" item costs less than a Starbucks Venti Frappucino, but is worth five times that.
Regard the fun we had for $4.99...
And that's just a small sampling. Sadira has enjoyed that sprinkler at least twice a week since we bought it in June. Sean and Lillian have joined her in the fun. So have neighborhood kids. So has Sutton, and Lauren. So have I on almost every occasion.
It may just rank up there as the best purchase of the summer.
...and can probably be found on clearance in the lawn and garden section of some stores at this point in the year.
Moral of the story? Newer is not always better. Don't be fooled by fancy packaging with smiling children on the outside. Plastic crap is still plastic crap. And good ol' fashioned fun doesn't have to be expensive.