Sunday, March 18, 2007

So What? Your Kid Is Crying, So Is Ours. It’s All-Good.


We had some friends and their ‘youngin’s’ visit from the far away country of San Antonio, Texas this week. We like these people, we’ve known them for years and I think they think we’re cool because we’ve been to the Alamo once.

As with most visitors, we spent some time down at Disneyland (aka, ‘the tantrum capital of the world’) I’m not exactly sure what it is about the place, but I’ve seen more kids crying there than any History Channel show on child labor of the 1800’s.
In retrospect, the place can be too much for toddlers – the waiting in lines, the $14 “spinning lights” that you don’t buy them, the $8 chicken strips they wanted then don’t eat, the kid wanting out of the stroller to run into crowds... It’s enough to make any parent break down.
The friends’ 16-month old and our 20-month old were in peril mid-day. These kids needed naps before they turned into nukes. So the other dad and I did what most fathers do when it’s our turn to mind the kids when they sleep while the women were out hunting for game (or shopping.) We headed for the nearby hotel bar (at the Grand Californian) and relaxed outside in a quiet area, on rocking chairs, talking about Football (Ha! Just kidding.) Actually I think he’s the only dude in Texas that doesn’t watch Football.

Later in the day, the kids were at it again. The whining, the screaming, the crying, but something was different – strangers don’t even twitch when a kid is in breakdown mode, which is something we’re not entirely use to. It was practically expected there.
Usually while out some childless couple, single, or empty nester always shoot us some kind of “stink-eye” as if saying “Can’t you control your kid!!” if the kid breaks down in public. Like in some restaurant, we go into panic mode where we make some impulsive emergency exit plan (“you finish eating, I’ll take her outside, I’ll be back in 2 minutes, pay the bill, GO! GO! GO!!)
Parents would make great CIA agents because we’re trained on sensing circumstances and making quick decisions that produce immediate results (or people will die!!)

Being among that crowd with the freedom to relax almost makes the price of admission worth it. Almost.


EXTRA! Some Disneyland tips we found for those like us traveling with young kids:
1. If the kid needs a nap in a quiet place, park the stroller inside (or outside in the garden) at the Grand Californian Hotel. There are rocking chairs outside and nice comfy sofa’s inside and the waitresses will even serve you booze!
2. If you can, do the Fantasyland rides first thing in the morning or after 8pm (if the kid hasn’t fallen asleep yet.)
3. The parks have this place called a Baby Center where you can pretty much nurse, feed, or escape.
4. If the kid is into it, do the Princess lunch at Ariel’s grotto (make reservations.) The girls loved it and surprisingly it wasn’t expensive ($20 for salad, entrĂ©e, dessert and drink) and toddlers under 3 eat for free (they’ll make you some special little plate at no charge.) Oh, and the most important part - the Princesses are pretty easy on the eyes (which always makes it more enjoyable for us dads.)

23 comments:

Phil said...

We were at Disneyland last week... Five days of total Disney immersion. My kids did great. I was the one whining after a couple of days. All that walking... I wasn't ready for it after this lazy winter.

Oh yeah, who knew that Belle was hot?!

MamaLee said...

We are off to DisneyWorld (driving from Connecticut over 2 days, and yes, we do this every year) in a few weeks. Sigh. You reminded me of all the things I can looking forward to.

And I really thought Jasmine was the hot one. LMAO

radioactive girl said...

The CIA agent thing is so true! We are going to go to Disney World in the fall. My kids and husband went while I was pregnant but I was unable to go because I was on bedrest (the trip was planned before we knew I was going to be pregnant!) Hopefully it won't be too overwhelming with all four kids!

Jenster said...

Ah, yes. The joy of Disneyland with wee tots. Been there, done that. In fact, I was a wee tot there when I got all the A tickets and my older sisters got all the E tickets.

It was fun taking the kids to Disneyland when they were small, but it just gets better and better as they get older. In fact, next summer we'll probably go and let them go do their own thing! Then it will be The Man and me, just like it used to be when we were dating. Niiiiiice.

Redneck Mommy said...

Disneyland is a special kind of hell on earth reserved just for those with children...

We haven't attempted it yet. I'm still scared...

kittenpie said...

Is that a princess? She looks like a drag queen! How bizarre...

Personally, I think I've given up caring about the stink-eye, although my kid luckily doesn't break down in public much, so maybe I'm just being cavalier!

Whit said...

Drag queen? What? She looks hot.

Anyway, we've been taking Things 1 & 2, respectively, since the oldest was 6 months old and have yet to have a bad experience.

We almost always stay on property, even though we live close enough to drive home. It provides us with an escape for naps and deep breaths, and as you pointed out, booze.

There are a bunch of good tips for people with small children here
.

Pattie said...

Thanks for the tips. We are off to Disney World with our three next week. I am looking forward to it, yet dreading it, if that makes any sense. Although, if I can find a place that serves some booze like you did, I may make out alright ;-)

Maria said...

Boy howdy. I sat there for a few seconds thinking that the woman in the picture was your WIFE. I resolved not to mention that she must put her makeup on with a trowel....

I honestly tried to get a closeup of her eyelashes because I could not believe that someone with a baby would be able to get away with THAT much mascara and not have the baby clawing curiously at her face all day.

It FINALLY sank in that this was a disney character....!

Em said...

Ah, nothing says "quality family time" like tantrums, booze, and eye-balling the princesses. LOL

Dad Stuff said...

You are brave. It would be nice to go somewhere, where you don't get advice from the 'parent experts'. I've never been to Disney but it sounds fun. I'm sure my little 'princess' would love the Pirates of the Caribean. I think Mom would too if Johnny Depp was there.

Mama's Moon said...

Whoa! Was that 'Belle'? I had to look really close a few times (Hubby thought I'd completely lost it when he walked in on me holding the laptop to my nose!). The makeup looks amazing - she's like a mannequin!

Anyway, thanks for the tips. Good things to know for our next trip at the end of the year.

Undercover Agent Moon, peace out!

wayabetty said...

Our motto for eating out with the 3 kids is "chew and screw"!

Thanks for all the tips, but we'll wait for the 4th kid (he's still in the "oven") until 10 y/o before heading to Disney Land or any parks. That way, they can make their own money and save up for the trip.

Undercover Angel said...

We're going to DisneyLand next summer with all of the kids...I hope we can survive it...I'd better stock up on the Advil...

junebee said...

I don't care how much it costs. I wil pay someone to take my kids to Disneyworld.

That is, when the find out it exists, which won't be from me. The expense. The fakeness. The hordes of sweaty tourists. Ugh.

creative-type dad said...

kittenpie -- drag queen?? Say what!? Nah, she doesn't have facial hair or manly features. I agree with Whit on that one.

Maria said -- it was a wonder she didn't have kids grabbing at those things.

What - nice tips on that link

(un)relaxeddad said...

So what do you think the minimum ideal age would be? And you ca guarentee the princesses?

creative-type dad said...

(un)relaxeddad - my daughter is 20-months and she liked it. Our friends youngest 16-months found it interesting and their 6 year-old loved it.
I would say the ideal is somewhere around 3-6. As for the princesses, I think Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty are pretty much the 'norm'. Snow White, Jasmine, show up sometimes.

Darren a/k/a Clare's Dad said...

I agree that 3-6 is the magic age for Disney parks. Clare is now 5 and we've been going once a year...plus Disney cruises.

And isn't that Ariel in the pic? I'm guessing that because of the red hair. She's definitely hot.

Oh, The Joys said...

I think I'm going to buy a water gun for the stink eye of the childless.

InterstellarLass said...

Aaaah yes. The unpredictable toddler. It's not so much the 'your kid is having a breakdown, shut him up' thing. It's when the kid is having a breakdown and the parents are IGNORING THE CHILD like it's NOT HAPPENING. "If I pretend I can't hear him, maybe he'll stop." But the rest of us can hear. I left plenty a breakfast, lunch and dinner, half-eaten or in a box due to 'breakdown fever'.

Last weekend I was at Starbucks, enjoying coffee inside, working my Sudoku. Then I hear a piercing shriek from outside. There were a group of 4 men, smoking. And a woman, with a toddler under 2. This is 10:30 at night. And the kid is obviously exhausted. And also downwind of 4 smokers. After 15 minutes of shrieking, the woman took the kid to the car. That's too late for any kid, and not really the best environs.

Mitch McDad said...

Most of this post made me cringe thinking about whenever we make our first trek to Mecca. Then I came to the Princess lunch. I know my girls would lose their minds attending that, but sounds like I might actually want to be present too. Maybe this princess things isn't so bad, after all.

creative-type dad said...

InterstellarLass - that's sad. I would have probably said something loud like "poor kid! he's tired and his parents aren't doing anything about it.."

Oh, The Joys - ...and an eyepatch.

Clare's Dad - you know your princesses. And Yes, she is (was).