So, I have to say– I never in a million years thought I would be that mom who goes to Disney World and experiences that cliched sense of magic upon entering the park with her kids, but we took Nora and Sophie a couple months ago and as it turns out, guys, I was absofuckinglutely right.
From a young age (because I was
crotchety wise beyond my years), I swore up and down that once I became a mom, there would be ONE AND ONLY ONE trip to Disney World with my kids, and it would happen when all my children (back then I thought I’d have 4 or 5, because I was very stupid) reached an age where they would actually remember and appreciate the trip.
This would serve two purposes: 1) not blowing a crapload of money on something that wouldn’t even be long-term remembered, and 2) me not having to do that shit twice.
I know I sound like a complete grouch and definitely in the running for non-mom of the year, but guys I’m an introvert and it’s fucking DISNEY WORLD. It’s chaos and noise and the kind of go-go-go energy that makes me want to find the nearest bunker and bury myself beneath a mountain of ammo and canned goods.
So guess who couldn’t fucking WAIT to go?
At some point when I was not around, which is truly when he does his best work, Eric promised Nora that we could do a “quick, easy trip” (no such thing) to Disney World during our 2-week winter vacation in Florida (my parents have a house in Palm Beach. Because we’re basic). I came home one night to Nora spastic-leaping into my arms, psyched as fuck, yelling, “DADDY SAID WE CAN GO TO DISNEY WORLD!!!!!”
I pulled Eric aside for the “I really wish you had consulted with me first” whisper-lecture, the venom in my words masked by a wide, fake smile and sugar-sweet tone, so as not to tip Nora off to the fact that I was going to indeed murder her father in his sleep that night.
But the damage was done. Disney was promised, Nora was beside herself with glee, and I was surely not going to be the grinch who stole Magic Kingdom. I put Eric in charge of all the logistics and planning, and basically took myself out of the entire equation other than promising I would show up (my basic approach to motherhood in general), and I would do it with a smile on my face, no matter how many extra anti-depressants I had to stash in my Minnie Mouse fanny pack.
I bitched about the trip for the entire 2-3 months leading up to it, to anyone who would listen, but it was always met with the same pat response from my friends: “I know, it’s SO expensive and it’s a LOT, but I’m telling you, when you see the look on Nora’s face, it will all be worth it.”
Actual footage of the look on Nora’s face:
And I know what you’re thinking…ok, that’s one photo, you caught her in a bad moment, it’s a long day at the park, etc etc etc let’s defend that innocent little lavender-bespectacled cutie.
No guys. She was cranky as fuck almost the entire time we were there. Here is more actual footage of her “enjoying” the huge parade that, thanks to our “amazing timing, Nora!” started as soon as we entered the park. Literally all her favorite characters up close and in one place.
And that, my friends, is the look of someone who has never been more giddily excited to see anything EVER. But next to Eric is a freaked-out, totally overwhelmed little girl who doesn’t understand what the hell is happening, and wants to cry tears of confusion and overstimulation (which, don’t worry, she promptly did! I harnessed my own tears into a silent, internal soul-weeping, though, because maturity.)
No amount of parental hyping could sway her mood. We tried ice cream (worked for the entire 2 minutes she spent eating it, then immediately backfired in both her mood and pants), we tried stickers (mayhem when they lost their stick– thanks for nothing, Science), we tried reminding her how fortunate she was to live this life she gets to live (weird she wasn’t capable of that perspective, which I gained at approximately age 32).
Nothing worked. This kid was NOT having it.
At some point we came up with the brilliant idea of having her put on her Elsa costume, certain that a little princess flair would cause the tides of rage to turn.
No. But at least we now know what Elsa would look like in a mug shot, still tightly clutching her murder weapon.
I want to say things perked up in time for a festive dinner in the park, but here we are at 4:45pm “happy hour…”
The good news is that when we got to our hotel room, and encountered the awesome bunk beds that Nora specifically INSISTED we pay extra for, she was too scared to sleep in them and instead shared the king bed with Eric, while Sophie and I slept on the couch.
Anyway listen, guys, this post isn’t meant to be an “I told you so” to Eric (I already did that to his face. Repeatedly). I don’t actually relish being right in this situation. I am in fact very fortunate to be married to a man who is generally optimistic, is a total doer, and is
ordered to happy to put in the planning and logistical work to make awesome experiences for our kids. If not for him, we’d end up doing way too much of my preferred activities (sitting; laying).
And at the end of the day, I can only look back and smile. I’m not sure we made the happiest memories, but Disney World turned out to be the location of Nora and Sophie’s first-ever communal nap, which is arguably its own kind of magic.