Pants and Barbiturates: Unsolicited advice for a Disneyland visit
|April 12, 2011||Filled under Miscellaneous Prose, Motherhood|
Remember when a weekend of debauchery meant Vegas with the girls,evenly applied make-up, liquid meals, and the possibility of making out with a nameless guy at the dark end of a bar? (That’s the blog-friendly PG version at least.)
Fast forward to the infinity of parenthood where a weekend of debauchery means Disneyland with the kid, forgetting sunscreen, carb loading on 12 Euro slices of pizza, and the certainty of a dramatic toddler meltdown before sun down.
So we took our kid, B (4 minus 45 sleeps) to Disneyland Paris. Not because we feel like cultured and intellectual folk as ourselves must take our kids to sophisticated French amusement parks rather than those American tennis-shoe trodden versions, but because Paris is a 45 minute flight from us. We passed the Asterix and Obelix park on the highway noticing the road in that direction looked eerily vacant. Those French might think they’re clinging to their heritage like a drag queen to his wig, but they’re all paying to see our Mickey Mouse anyway. Suckers.
Of course he speaks French there. And the way he was bobbing around and talking about fairy lands, I’m pretty sure he was on the ol’ absinthe too. Other than that, Disneyland there is like Disneyland anywhere else: A highly optimized, efficient funneling system to encourage ridiculous amounts of cash spending for products made by small Chinese children who will never see a Disneyland in their life. Not that their lives are as such deprived. I’m pretty sure you can grow up emotionally balanced and healthy even if your parents didn’t buy you a set of Minnie ears, a princess hat, princess flipflops, princess hair brush, various t-shirts, pencils, magnets, schnickschnack and so on. We didn’t want to take the risk though, so we bought the princess dress too.
The best part about going to Disneyland as an adult is that there is ample opportunity to blatantly judge everyone around you. At any given moment you can turn your head and find obvious proof that you are in fact not the worst parent in the world, or that your kid is actually not a reincarnation of Attila the Hun. The kid that just threw his melted chocolate ice cream cone at his mom might be. That Italian that just smacked his daughter in the face, he definitely gets a prize too.
In an amusement park crammed full of over-sugared children and over-fed Irish (I’m starting to wonder if the recession really has hit them so hard), I made a list of wisdoms I thought some parents could make use of in the future:
1. Your sunburn is not to be worn as an accessoire. (I was going to offer you some sunscreen but, standing in line behind your pink, boiled neck made me wonder if you just got syphilis from one of the “cast” members, so I curbed my generosity.)
2. If you give your kid too much sugar, he will eventually come down and may throw himself in front of the Casey Jr. track in a suicidal rage. On top of the damaged child, you’ll have a 45 minute line of parents really pissed off at you for holding up the ride.
3. You are not Forever 21, even if you had your third kid by then. Please stop shopping there.
4. For the love of God, please wear pants that fit. I thought my kid would be scared of Goofy, but the rolls of exposed flesh bursting forth from denim in blatant display of meaty glory has left her forever emotionally scarred. (P.S. To the lady in the bus to whom my child blurted “Look at that big, fat lady!!” – I solemnly apologize for her insensitive, though accurate, observation. That was almost as embarrassing as when she laughed hysterically at the dwarf that was not part of the show. Also, thank you for wearing pants that fit. And for not bludgeoning my kid with your vanity case.)
5. You’re never too old to enjoy the Dumbo ride.
By the third day of paradise amongst over-sized Stitch replicas, B was ready to move in and Andreas and I were smuggling flasks through the entrance gate. They sell freakin’ EVERYTHING Disney at that place, you’d think at least Scrooge McDuck would have his own line of vodka. But nooooo, they only sell caffeinated drinks on the inside because they have to keep us all moving. Apparently drunk parents buy fewer light sabers. Or throw themselves in front of Casey Jr. after 45 minutes of waiting for a 1 minute ride. The thought crossed my mind on more than one occasion.