Despite the fact that our children are thieving little dictators who believe the sun rises and sets on their social schedules, we thought it a swell idea to take them to Disney World over this past winter break. Because we apparently hate ourselves. I think I have just now recovered from the trauma of the trip to actually sit and revisit it.
And gosh. Hate is such a strong word. I don’t hate Disney. I just don’t have a lot of fond memories from said trip.
It’s not Disney’s fault that Dallas and I thought a road trip would be a good idea versus a quick two-hour flight. The venture to Disney wasn’t that bad, even driving twenty-two straight hours. Listen. When you have four kids (and a mother-in-law) in the backseat, you buckle them seat belts and bust a move while they get some shut eye in the back. And it went fine. Well, until we ran out of gas and I had to run 2.6 miles round trip (halfway with a full gas can) in an unknown Florida town but that story is basically every day crap I live with so it’s really nothing to write home about.
It was the trip from Disney that had me a raving lunatic. We had some business to handle on the way home so driving straight through wasn’t an option. Silly us thought it would be okay, that our kids were old enough to handle eight hours in the van together for three days. Besides, we had new movies for the DVD player, new forms of entertainment, new snacks, new everything to conquer this adventure.
We are so naïve. Were. We were so naïve. Because that will never happen again.
They fought. They cried. They complained. And they slept very little.
By the time we were driving through the Bronx with a tail light out, our already-thin-as-paper patience was gone. To top it off, our gas light was on and one child had to pee “REALLY, REALLY BAD.” <— (And if that one child doesn’t go into theater as a profession, he is certainly wasting talent because oh.my.gah the DRAMA.)
While searching for a filling station, we passed an empty water bottle back for drama queen to relieve himself. No big deal. We have done that a million times in our travels. Except the Bronx has a lot of bumps on their roads which can cause one to have a spill. Or, in our case, create a sprinkler. I now have a little bit of my third child all over my van. So there’s that.
It’s also not Disney’s fault that my darling children only want to be dribbling a ball or swinging a bat to have fun which could have been done FOR NONE OF MY DOLLARS. Sure, they loved the thrill rides that we waited for-freaking-ever in line to experience sixty seconds of terror. But, more than the rides, they loved the eccentric food that only Disney can offer such as the roasted turkey legs or the Mickey Mouse ice cream treats. Being the tightwad that I am, I had to take a deep breath each time I handed over an Andrew Jackson for a single ONE item. Because when you have four children and they all eat like it’s their final meal, those Jacksons go as fast as the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.
To make matters worse, we had the added nuisance of “I’m sorry, ma’am but your child is half an inch too short for this ride” on many desired attractions so one of the adults would have to sit out with my youngest. Many times, it worked out where he wanted to nap in his stroller anyway so we would find a rare, unoccupied spot in the shade for him to crash. (And, yes, I said he wanted to – homeboy is a handful-and-a-half but you don’t mess with his naps).
One particular time, I drew the short straw – no pun intended – and stayed behind with him. Like a champ, he fell into a deep sleep in approximately seventeen seconds. However, my iPhone had also decided to conk out on me so I literally had nothing to do. The wait for the ride that the family had gone on was nearly two hours and, since I knew I probably couldn’t stretch out on the bench and take a nap myself without being accosted, I had to find something to do while the baby slept. People watching was an option – and there were billions of them from every country on the planet – but let's be real. As a mom of four, you don’t get a whole lot of alone time with the exception of bathroom breaks which I still don't always get without a person or two barging in. If I couldn’t waste my life on Pinterest, I wanted to try and make good use of the hundred-and-twenty minutes.
With Minnie Mouse pen in hand on the back of a Starlight Café receipt, I began working on the most exciting thing, the process to fulfilling a longtime dream. And it seems only fitting that this would take place in the land WHERE DREAMS COME TRUE...