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.


Jason said...

Great fatherly advice. Personal insights,and a typical day at Disneyland. What more does a father need to know?

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