Disneyland Done Right
Last Tuesday, my husband and I pulled a fast one on our 7 year old. As we were walking out the door to go to school, I said (as prearranged with my husband) to our son, “Hey, instead of going to school today, why don’t we go to Disneyland?”
It should be noted that at this point, my son (who has never been to Disneyland even though we live less than an hour away) looked at me blankly, then twisted his face into a “you’re messing with me” glare. (We aren’t real pranksters around here but I guess it’s worth noting for his future therapy that we’ve evidently thrown enough sarcasm and hyperbole at him that his first reaction was not to say, “Yippee! Let’s go!” It was more like, “Yeah, right. You guys are jerks.”) Anyway, once we finally convinced him of our sincerity, we took off.
Now, I think I should say right off the bat that my parents would more likely have had angels fly out of their arses than surprise me thus when I was a child so I can admit to having a certain expectation, if you will, that he would be giddy, thrilled, grateful, unendingly pleasant and, I don’t know, perhaps tell us how cool we were for taking him out of school to go to The Happiest Place on Earth. Uh … no, not like that. He wanted to know if he could bring his iTouch and then whined, Veruca Salt-style, when we said no. Hmmm … interesting start.
Aside from the fact that he thought the drive was long (40 minutes), the tram ride was dumb, the tickets were expensive (that would be modeling ME… you’re welcome, kid), the rides made his stomach “defy gravity,” he didn’t get to buy everything he wanted, the lines were long (we never waited longer than 20 minutes for anything!), the Matterhorn was closed and it rained, it was a fabulous day. Witness the misery:
One of my favorite parts of parenting is seeing myself in my child. Aside from checking my bitching about the cost of things based on his shocked expression at the price to get into Disneyland, I think I should take a little look-see at how I focus on the negative… and how I talk too much. As an example, when he got off Space Mountain for the second time, he said loudly (and I’m paraphrasing … but not much), “I didn’t like two-thirds of that ride and it was too dark. It was scary and going over the bumps makes my stomach feel weird. It would have been better if it hadn’t gone in so many circles. I liked the music, though.”
Whatever, negative Nelly.
All in all, the day was a monster success. We rode everything we wanted to (some things 3 or 4 times), we ate, we walked, we saw the life-sized incarnations of Mickey, Minnie, Pooh, Tigger and Snow White, we said “yes” more than we said “no,” we ate ice cream and candy at 10 pm on our way out of the park, my husband and I reminisced about our courting days when we had yearly passes and did a lot of talking and smooching while waiting in line for rides and, best of all, we got to see the Disneyland of our youth, re-imagined through our son’s eyes.
The next morning, my son lingered by the door before going to school, then, when I shooed him out, he looked crestfallen and said, “I was hoping you were going to say it again.”
Seriously, no one gets out of Disneyland without having a good time… at least part of the time.