Monday, April 28, 2008

Our Trip to Disneyland, Part 2

So we took our pee-soaked daughter through the crowd and towards the bathrooms. My wife said we should get her cleaned up, get her something to eat, and then leave. Sounded like a plan. I didn’t mention that I wanted to go on Space Mountain. I was ready to sacrifice for the good of the family.

My wife disappeared into the bathroom. Some time went by. Soon she’d been gone for a very long time. I figured it would take a while to clean our daughter up and change her, especially with her being pregnant. More time went by. I got a churro. I came back. They were still not out. I was growing a little concerned. I was thinking of sending a “cast member” in to see if they were OK.

Suddenly I see my pregnant wife holding a flailing, screaming pile of limbs walking towards me. It looked like I was being approached by a big fat angry octopus. I looked at the guy next to me. “Man, I’m glad they’re not with me.” But too late. Before I could hide in the arcade, my wife had spotted me. Damn churro slowed me down!

Our daughter had pretty much lost it and was having a meltdown. My wife couldn’t calm her down. She had wanted to reach the sink herself, couldn’t, and didn’t want any help. A Catch-22 with only one obvious result. In other words, the toddler equivalent of Bruce Banner getting bathed in Gamma Radiation: She was Hulking Out.

I picked her up and tried to “remove her from the situation” which is what you’re supposed to do in case of a tantrum. It’s supposed to help calm them down. Does it work? Of course not. “Removing them from the situation” is a buzzphrase for people to use that really means “Please get your screaming child away from me.”

She was screaming and screaming and I could not calm her down. We were by that big ball fountain in Tomorrowland and there weren’t that many people around. But she would NOT snap out of it. Then I noticed we were not alone. When I looked up, I had somehow planted her screaming little body right in front of a guy videotaping the fountain ball. I know he was a Disney videographer. Here’s how I know: Try, just try, to set a video camera and a tripod up somewhere in a Disney park and see what happens. The red light was on and this jerk had no intention of stopping shooting. All I was thinking was how quickly this “bad daddy” video would be up on YouTube.

Finally I just brought her back to my wife. We each took a hand. We had to drag her out of Tomorrowland and down Mainstreet. People looked at us like we were the worst parents ever, like we were doing something wrong. All we really did was overstimulate our child.

We didn’t know what to do to snap her out of the tantrum. Nothing was working, and thanks to new Disney security rules they won’t let you bring in rags soaked in ether anymore.

We tried everything. Milk, juice, water, toys, snacks, monetary bribes, etc. Nothing was working. Finally we just got something to eat and drink ourselves and that FINALLY did it. She wanted what we were eating and drinking. And like a politician’s conscience, she shut off. She ate her snack and drank her juice as if nothing had happened. It was like a little toddler blackout.

We were able to get out of the park safely and quietly. We got on the tram and I carried her to the car. The second she hit the car seat she was asleep. She crashed.

We had pushed it and paid the price. Because I wanted to go on the submarines you could almost say it was my fault. But I don’t know if I would go that far. Anyway, the important thing is if you learn from your experiences. We did. We went back to Disney and this time we left right when we know she was about done. She was an angel, we all had a blast, and not one YouTube video was posted.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Our Trip to Disneyland, part one

Our daughter, Bella, loves Disneyland. She’s three and she talks about it all the time. She talks about the rides she can go on and the rides she is too little for.
“Can I go on Splash Mountain?”
“No , you’re too little.”
“How about now?”
“No! You have to grow three more inches and that will take at least two weeks. Plus, the movie it’s based on is in moratorium and will never be released because the Disney executives think it is too racist.”
“… ”
“Honey, don’t confuse our daughter.”

She just loves rides and Disneyland. You’d think if she loves it that much, what could possibly go wrong? Cut to:

We get there and the guy at the booth waves us in for free parking. Cool! Off to a good start. It’s not too crowded and we get our tickets for the Magic Kingdom.

We try to avoid Disney’s California Adventure because let’s face it: It’s simply an abomination. A California Theme Park in the middle of California. That’s like building a moon themed park… on the moon. There is only one ride that is worth going on, and that’s called a “dark” ride where you get in a car and slowly circle a brightly colored coffin. That’s right you just ride around and listen to Walt Disney turn over in his grave. Let’s see in a few years if Pixar can save that, too.

My wife was pregnant so that left me to take Bella on most of the rides. Which was fine, because, well, I like rides. Dumbo was first, the slowest moving line ever. Still, Bella was being good already and I only had to chase her like three times during the entire wait.

She was now tall enough to go on the Matterhorn and we went on. Halfway though I hear “I want it to stop.” We made it through without a cryburst (mixture of crying and an outburst of screaming) so I knew she wasn’t that freaked out. Then after we got off she wanted to go on it again. But we had other things to go on.

So the day progressed wonderfully. We went on Tom Sawyer Island that is now pirate Island and she saw some pirates. There was a huge line to take pictures with a guy dressed like Jack Sparrow. And there weren’t any kids in it. We then went on the Jungle Cruise, Buzz Lightyear, and Alice in Wonderland. We were all having a blast. But it was getting late. Maybe we should start heading home.

Home? Not yet. Oh, no. There was one more ride I wanted to go on. So it’s getting late but I REALLY wanted to go on the finding Nemo submarine ride. The 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride in Florida was my favorite as a kid, and it was incredibly nostalgic for me to get to go on it again. We asked Bella if she wanted to go and she said yes. Tick Tick Tick… We waited in line. Bella was being really good. Tick tick tick tick….

We got in the submarine and she really seemed to like it. We floated around and looked through the porthole. Halfway through the ride there is a really loud noise and the lights go out. I knew this was going to be trouble, but Bella was OK. Then My wife leaned over and said, ”she just peed all over herself.” I couldn’t believe it.
“Are you sure?” I said it like I thought she was lying, which wasn’t appreciated.
“Of course I am! She’s soaked!” Our little one was indeed soaked. And the ride seemed like it had a lot more to go. So now I couldn’t really concentrate on the rest of the ride. I’m sure that’s exactly what my wife was thinking too.

As the ride finally ended, after another 4 minutes that felt a lot like 2 hours, we were wondering if we could just wipe the seat with a baby wipe and get out of there. No deal. The lights came on and revealed a rather large puddle right under Bella’s seat. Okay so now we had to tell someone. Great. We got out of the sub and I said to the girl, “My daughter just peed all over your nice new submarine.” The girl, or “cast member” as they are called looked at me like she was not surprised, but not really happy either. She called someone to clean the sub, and the three of us skulked away to lose ourselves in the crowd. Luckily, at Disneyland, there is always a crowd so it wasn’t hard. Hey, how many fathers get to say, ”My daughter peed all over a submarine.” But it didn’t end there. Oh, no the best was yet to come. Stay tuned for part 2 of “The happiest place on earth made me cry. My daughter too.”

Thursday, April 17, 2008

So this is blogging

I knew blogging was catching on when I visited my father, who doesn't own a computer, and he asked me "what's a blog?"

I responded that it's the latest way to waste time on the internet. It's short for Web Log and it's a way for people who don't have the patience for things like journalism or forming coherent thoughts to get published and read by at least six people.

So what the hell? I thought I'd try it. I have a beautiful daughter, Isabella, who is now a little over three years old. I have another child on the way, a boy, who will get here in July. We have yet to name him. We said if it was a girl we would name her Trinity but if it was a boy I wanted to name him Triumvirate. No deal. Apparently my wife was just humoring me because we both thought it was going to be a girl. So the search continues.

So that's what this Blog will be about. A humourous (hopefully) look at being a father and a husband. Some advice, some tips, and many stories on what NOT to do. Learn from my experiences. Please. Someone should.

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