Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Most Horrifying Place On Earth, Part III

Why do Jeff and I do this to ourselves?

During a moment of what could have only been total intoxication, we decided to take our children to Disney World this week. Not sure what my thought process was here: I know! What better way to celebrate my 30th week of pregnancy than to shlep our two young children around in the blazing-hot sun, weaving in and out of families who have a.) the personal bubble of a cheap suit, b.) three of their own kids, one of whom just dropped his chocolate-coverd Mickey bar on the sizzling sidewalk and is now having a DEFCON 2 meltdown, and c.) just purchased a fifteen-dollar princess balloon and are trudging along in front of us, their balloon banging us in the face and taunting our own daughter into thinking that if she screams loudly enough maybe we will buy her one, too.

In all seriousness folks, it really wasn't that bad. I mean, it could have been much worse. As I walked around, soaking in the antics of other people's children, it made me incredibly grateful that right now the most annoying thing my own kids have been doing lately is stopping to save worms whenever we see them on the sidewalk, even if they have already shriveled into earthy little french fries. That and since I've been wearing skirts a lot more lately, Elsa finds great hilarity in trying to lift them up when we're in public. Lovely.

And if it sounds like I'm high and mighty and judgmental of other parents, that's fine. I've got no problem admitting that I judge other people's parenting skills. Just like I have no problem admitting that when Jeff's already sleeping in the evenings I sometimes switch the TV over from How It's Made to Supernanny, just so I can REALLY feel grateful about my own kids.

Which is kind of what this trip was to me. An episode of Supernanny. In HD. Without the charming British accent. (Side note: somehow Supernanny can get away with telling the parents they completely suck and their kids have a better shot at life if wolves were rearing them because she delivers this news with a Cockney lilt. I think I will try that next time I tell Jeff that instead of staying home and helping him put the kids to bed, my girlfriends invited me to dinner and a movie. So sorry, Love. Gonna take in a show wif me mates, then off ta Olive Garden for a bit-a me dinnah. Be back by ten, ol' chap. Hol' down the flat till then, yeah? Cherrio!)

The Post-Disney Crash
Not that I can really blame parents for their children's behavior at The Happiest Place On Earth. Disney World is like a drug for kids. When kids are at Disney World, they stay up for days at a time, they don't want to stop and eat, they talk excitedly and giggle, they see animals talking to them, grown adults sporting petticoats and top-hats and tap dancing in the street. And then they get overwhelmed and upset and have emotional meltdowns, their bodies become cooked noodles and they have to be dragged away, strapped into strollers and quickly carted off before they hurt themselves or someone they love. And then they pass out.

Bring on the singing, disembodied heads!
For parents, Disney World is a place to test our survival skills. We're hot, tired, hungry (or have just eaten some terrible, Mickey-shaped pizza and are battling a raging case of indigestion), and have just waited in a ninety-minute line to float above a psychedelic Neverland for five seconds, comforting our terrified daughter all the while that the crocodile was not about to leap into our rickety pirate ship and bite her little head off. We will do anything to make it all as bearable as possible. We will fork over obscene amounts of money for souveniers, crappy food, liquid sugar in cups that light up, sing, glow in the dark and probably leak toxic chemicals onto your hands, we will ride Small World as many times as it takes to erase the memory of The Haunted Mansion from our children's impressionable minds. We do it all in the name of happiness and harmony, and in the name of If You Promise Not To Whine And Paw At Me Anymore I Promise I Will Get You A Pirate Makeover, Complete With Man-Liner, Dreadlocks And A Winona Forever Tattoo. Yo-Ho!

A white skirt was not the best fashion choice
Not that this makes us bad parents. Or good parents. Just human parents whose decision-making skills have been severely damaged by the central Florida sun, making it seem perfectly reasonable to drop ninety dollars on a buffet meal so our children can cling to us in horror when a giant Goofy in a chef's hat gets way too close to our table in an attempt to high-five their maple-syrup covered hands. Call it an expensive social experiment. Or a form of self-inflicted torture. Or a life lesson to Jeff and me that we should take the kids to visit Nana and Pop-Pop next vacation; going on a treasure hunt for doubloons and old shopping cart wheels is suddenly very appealing.

Although I gotta admit, those chocolate Mickey bars sure are delicious. I think I too would burst into tears if I dropped mine on the sidewalk. Especially if it fell onto a worm and smothered him in vanilla goo. Which, now that I think about it, isn't really such a bad way to die.


  1. i understand how it feels when you take your kids to any amusement park, with all the rush its quite a difficult task to manage and control your kids. Also i agree that we should avoid eating too much of the crappy food that is sold there. Nice post by the way.

    Parenting Skills

  2. Better you than me! You are welcome to come to your (distant) second choice next vacation. Nana has mastered the art of the chronologically correct treasure hunt whereby the finds are in this order: topmost: modern coinage; next level: arrowheads;lowest stratum:fossils.

  3. Ok, I'm infertile now, thanks!