Where's MY Stunt Double? - Part Four
Gah - this vacation recap is taking forever to write. Hang in there, I'm going to blast the rest of the vacation out in two entries or less. This is one of those times when I'm trying to make up for the fact that I don't scrapbook.
So, where were we... Ah yes. Monday morning. The Hurricane. Riiiiiight.
Before bed on Sunday, we made plans to attack the Animal Kingdom park in the morning. We parked the rental van and started to walk into the park, when the skies opened up. We were drenched before we cleared the gate. Nice. Rather than complain about it, I figured this rain would pass as rapidly as the day before. We would dry off eventually. Right? RIGHT?
*insert sounds of Florida Weather Gods laughing*
Rain, rain, mofo rain. We brought plastic ponchos for the kids, but ended up buying the Disney ponchos for myself, my sister and my husband. Now, we were soaked to the skin, with tennis shoes full of water, but we were sealed in plastic, presumably to keep us moist, since dry wasn't going to be happening. Heh.
The Animal Kingdom park was beautiful, and we enjoyed the lush greenery and themed landscaping as we made our way into the park.
Holy Dinosaur Mecca. As the skies continued to dump buckets of rain, we split up and my husband and I took the boy-boy on Dinosaur. We all enjoyed it. Well, at least my husband and I enjoyed it. My son kept his eyes tightly shut the entire ride. After the ride, we hooked back up with my sister and the girls, and switched.
At one point, the skies opened up so fiercely that we couldn't see across the street. We huddled in a giftshop doorway, and sniveled about the weather. I felt like I could just brazen it out, but the kids were cold and wet and cranky.
Right there, in the wet, windy doorway, I came face to face with the lousy parenting job I've been doing all along, because my son had a howling, terrible tantrum because I wouldn't buy him every souvenir he had his heart set on. He wanted all the dinos. All of them. The whole damn store's worth. And I wasn't buying.
I was okay for the first few minutes. I held tough. "No," I said, firmly. "No, no. no." He howled and gnashed his teeth and threw himself around. "Let's get some lunch, okay?"
More wailing and dire declarations from my kid. Gah. I stood there, mortified, and then decided we needed to go home and see if we could get him down for a nap. MInd you we had purchased two large dinosaurs for the child from the gift shop - these were NOT ENOUGH. He pulled his crap all the way home, wailing and going limp, and in general being a spoiled brat.
See, we're totally at fault for this - although in recent months we've tried to knock it off, there is rarely a target trip that doesn't end with a trip to the dollar aisle for a little goody for each kid. No trip to the grocery store without a little junky toy from the end-aisle. Rather than be standup, responsible parents, my husband and I tend to cave, or just flat out spoil our kids. This has got to change, judging from the hellcat response my son displays when you tell him no. Granted, my kid wasn't the only one in total meltdown, and he was coming down with a cold, but still.
Mommy and Daddy need to stop with the spoiling. And that means more saying no. And already, every other word is no. I will have a one word vocabulary for a few months! (I know that getting tough means that I've got a long six-months or so, but eventually, they will get it. Right? Right?)
Face to face with my own horrid parenting, I was relieved to be leaving the park. We had only spent about three hours at Animal Kingdom - and we vowed to return another day to experience more than Dinosaur Mecca. We headed home for lunch and naps- then my sister took charge.
See, as children, when we vacationed somewhere like Disneyland, it was a rare, and precious holiday. My parents would plan out our route around the park to make sure that we saw everything we could see, and got the whole experience. And on the last day, right before leaving the park for the final time, my parents would allow us each to select one special souvenir. Genetically, I should have this skill, but from The Lazy or whatever, my husband and I tend to toodle around the park, seeing whatever grabs our eye and not really making a plan. Combine that with my son's love of shopping and you have a recipe for Not Getting Very Far.
I'll admit the weather had thown me off my game, but my sister was ready to see something other than the inside of giftshops. We headed back the The Magic Kingdom for the evening. The rain came off and on, but for the most part, it was a beautiful evening.
We attacked the park from the left, hitting every ride as we went. My sister was awesome in her ability to keep the show on the road. You can get away with the toodling approach with toddlers, but when it comes to school-aged kids, which I currently have (who knew?) you better have an agenda. My sister mapped out our path around the park, made notes of must-see and maybes, and we saw everything and more. We enjoyed ourselves immensely. Just look at her - wouldn't YOU follow her agenda?
I seriously don't know why we love the round and round and up and down rides so much, but we rode more of these things than anything else. And I whooped and wheeee'd the whole time. So much excitement. In a circle. I need to get out more, I think.
We took the kids on a twilight Jungle Cruise. Our boat driver person spoke in a clearly rote monotone, but the kids howled at her jokes. Let's remember that my kids can't tell a joke to save their own lives, so maybe it's a kindred thing. Look how much fun they are having:
They were mezermized by the 'animals' and the 'waterfall' and even the 'savages.'
Despite being soaked to the skin for most of the day, my son couldn't resist running away from the spitting tikis. He got nailed every time.
The little kids and my husband caught the parade, while my sister, oldest daughter and I tackled Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain a few times - with less than a five minute wait to get on - we couldn't pass up the chance for quick thrills.
We headed into a restaurant to grab a bite to eat, and my youngest did her Stager grandma proud by rearranging every chair in the place, creating a more open floor plan and inviting feel.
We made our way out of the park, exhausted but happy. Surely the skies would be clear the next day. Surely.
Tuesday looked promising - the skies were clear, the temperature in the 90s as we pulled into the parking lot of the Disney MGM park. The security guards cheerfully informed us that this was the most crowded the park had been in weeks. Great! We love hearing that!
We had a big talk with all three kids about no shopping and no gimme gimme behavior, and then we pushed our way into the park. We were already in a state of confusion, so we grabbed the first Fast Passes we came across (For the Indiana Jones Stunt Show) and kept wandering down the path. Ah! Star Tours! Excellent!
My sister, husband and two older kids got in line, while I collapsed into a chair on a patio with the sleeping three-year-old.
Goddamn rain. Five minutes after they left to get on the ride, the skies clouded over and I barely got a poncho on and another one over the stroller before all hell broke loose.
The water was ankle deep in spots, and I decided to slosh over to the exit of the ride with everyone else's ponchos. There were quite a few of us waiting for Star Tours riders, and we all looked longingly at the one guy who was smart enough to be holding a beer under the brim of his sodden goofy hat. We were bidding on the beer when the skies cleared just as suddenly as they had clouded. I was soaked, the stroller with the sleeping kid in it was covered in puddles, and my son had to get off the ride by walking through a ding-dang gift shop.
Mercifully, the fast pass time had arrived. We made our way back to the theatre, and took our seats. My son had handled the gift shop well, but was declaring himself unhappy. I tried the whole "fake it until you make it" happy routine with him, and he responded by laying his head down in my lap and sawing logs through the entire show. Poor kid was spiking a fever of about 101 degrees at that point.
You can see that I'd totally given up on makeup at that point. And brushing my hair. Lovely.
The Indiana Jones show was entertaining, and left me pondering why I don't have a stunt double. I really should have one. Just think of the practical applications!
My three-year-old, refreshed from her nappy-poo and overstimulated from the Stunt Show, decided to take matters into her own hands and get us over to Playhouse Disney.
We paused for a brief photo under the giant Mickey hat. Is Mickey giving us the finger?
My son was awake, but still feeling lousy, so we decided to eat a good lunch before attempting any more fun. Heh.
We had a great lunch at The Brown Derby. The kids loved the light pager, and passed a very peaceful 15 minutes wedged into an armchair in the lobby.
Playhouse Disney Live rocked the kids' socks off. Do you see the smile on my sick, tired, cranky son? He loved it.
Meeting Jo-jo and June was the highlight of the day for my little starstruck girl.
We were standing in line, and she could barely contain her excitement. She kept hugging herself and saying "Hi, June! Hi, June!"
When we joined the line, the character was Quincy - he left on a break, and when June stepped out of the trailer, I thought my girl would burst from joy.
This. This is a mother's worst nightmare.
When I couldn't take the Shrunken Ant Farm of Doom anymore, I herded the kids out into the backlot streets of the park. Oh, they didn't like that. No, not one bit. Welcome to Tantrum City. I'm apparently the mayor. I was convinced that the kids were truly getting sick at this point, because they were all completely irrational and wailing like a bunch of drama-kings and queens. Mercy. We made a break for the gate, and headed home in time for dinner.
Back at home, we enjoyed swimming and a quiet dinner, before turning in early. We were all feeling pretty drained.
a quickr pickr post
I have to say that I did like what I saw of the Disney-MGM park - it had intriguing things around every corner. It seems to me that they took the E-ticket rides from Disneyland and California Adventure and spread them out to the four parks at Disney World. We were moving at such a slow pace, and with people who don't enjoy thrill rides, that it was impossible to see everything that the parks had to offer, yet we really didn't feel like we missed out on much.