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, entrée, 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.)