Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Amusement Park? I use the term Amusement loosely

If you have ever experienced the joy of taking your children to an amusement park, you will understand when I say, for parents, it can be anything but amusing. In February, we were blessed with the opportunity to stay in California for a total of just about 6 weeks. During the coldest part of winter in Colorado, California weather is a blessing. We even were fortunate enough to rent a house in a privately gated community on the beach just 15 miles from Anaheim, better known as Disneyland central.

We drove. Straight through, 18 hours. While the kids slept the majority of the drive and did relatively well.....hubby thought he was manly enough to do all the driving himself. Five bottles of energy drinks seemed to do the trick...however, he suffered once we got to my Mom's house. And by suffer, I mean five days stomach flu on top of basically diuretics in the form of those energy drinks...almost killed him. Jelly had the tummy flu right before we left, and I was praying to whatever deity might exist that no one puked in the car. At least, we were fortunate enough that hubby avoided the death plague until we got to California. Cookie came down with it the day we moved to our beach house, puking all over a local restaurant before we even got our food....we ran out, hubby throwing two twenties on the table and we never went back. "oops, sorry about the puke, gotta go".

So, after dealing with a sick Jelly, 18 hour car drive, sick hubby, sick Cookie....I was left to just suffer a yucky tummy, but darn it if I was going to puke and not take my kids to Disneyland. So, while hubby was stuck working during the day, I spent six weeks taking the kids to the Long Beach Aquarium, the beach, and Disneyland all alone. If you want to learn your tolerance level for your children and fellow man/woman, take your kids solo to an amusement park.

February in California can be warm, cause, well, it's California. My first solo mission to Disneyland scared me. But, I was going to do it. We bought season passes, and I was going to get my money's worth darn it. While the day started off okay, it soon became apparent that I was not really in the mood to deal with the public. Let's just say, waiting in line for 3 hours to see princesses with and impatient almost 4 year old and active 18 month old is not for the faint of heart. It was close to 80 degrees, I was in a pair of yoga pants (no pockets...what was I thinking) and I was sweating carrying my 20 pd baby, a backpack full of kid crap, and wrangling a hot and cranky 3 1/2 year old. And of course the "Mommy I have to potty" just as you are getting to the front might make you want to strangle your lovely child. Or the claim that they are absolutely not hungry, even though you know they are, and the tantrum they are throwing makes you want to shake them and force the fried food you just bought at inflated prices down their throat to prove how wrong they are and to shut their lovely mouths is just a small part of the amusement park experience. Every. Single. Time.

However, none of those moments compare to what went down in the bathroom at Disneyland. After my very long morning and afternoon at "The Happiest place on Earth," I realized I had yet to change Jelly's diaper all morning. I dislike the changing stations at Disneyland. First, they are sized for infants, not any child over the age of one. Second, they dwell in a spot that receives very little light. And finally, Disney, for our convenience, provide toilet paper at the stations on dispenser rolls right at a child's hand or foot level. Having wrestled with Jelly on a previous day at the changing station, I really really did not want to use them.

As we are leaving the park, I inform Cookie that we will be making one last trip to the restroom to go pee and change Jelly's diaper. Cookie, being the stubborn mule that she is, exclaims, "I don't have to go" and begins balking at the entrance. Me, "the rule is you try. I have to go, so we are all going." Cookie, "I don't want to." Me, "I don't care." Jelly, in stroller, "Out Out, " as she strains against the straps and starts pulling out her arms. I am now dragging screaming Cookie, pushing stroller with screaming toddler, avoiding running into other people and notice that the handicapped bathroom is taken, the changing station is being used, so I go to a stall at the very back. Because, I have two children, one in a stroller, and not all three of us, let alone two of us will fit in a regular stall, I am going to have to go w/ the door open. And then discover, I have started my period. Fanfrickentastic!

Toddler is making a break for it, bad mouthed 3 1/2 year old I have decided is so not making it to her next birthday, and I am bleeding. I struggle for my backpack, which I am praying holds my Diva Cup ( I love my Feminine Cup...). Child, whom may or may not make it to four, is now very interested in what I am doing. "Mommy, what are you putting in your bottom?" I so don't want to have to explain this now. Me, "Nothing Cookie." Yep, I had promised myself that I would always try and be honest with the girls about that stuff, and here I was, pretending it didn't exist. But, really, I was in a Disneyland bathroom, with the door open, and I was tired. I then tried distraction, "Can you check and see if sissy is still strapped in?" It worked! Discussion about being a woman and periods and sex and bleeding avoided...this month.

I finished my business, gathered my stuff, my children and headed to the changing table..when another mom swooped in and took it! I was done. Put a fork in me done. I sighed and in my oh so passive aggressive way, say to Cookie, "We'll just Change Sissy at the car, I hate the changing tables in here, they are too small." And then it happened. The other Mom who must have been just as tired, just as done as me, turns to me and yells as I am leaving, "Aren't you a Bitch having a bad day. It's not too small. Get over yourself." Me, in complete shock, "my child dislikes them." and I continue out the door but not before another woman, I can only assume her friend, chimes in "Fuck You". I grew up in S. California. I taught in the Los Angeles Unified School District. I have had gang members in my classroom. I have been threatened. I have had students with guns and knives. I am not easily intimidated. And if I did not have my children, if I was not so shocked that another woman could say such things in front of her children I might have responded, instead I took my darling daughter by the hand and we left Disneyland. Of course she did ask, "Why was she so mad Mommy?" I responded, "because we all have bad days sweetie."

And yet, here we are, back in California for two weeks, and I am back at Disneyland...where this World's Worst Mom, dragged her hungry child out of Disneyland kicking and screaming from all the way from the middle of the park, on the bus, and to the car. "I want it and I want it now" demands just do not fly with this Mom. "Amusement" far from it. But it is all worth it when your princess meets here favorite princess for the first time. Or your baby points to Dumbo and yells "Dumbo". Oh I hate you Disney...you are a marketing genius.