The Oldest Kidlet is a lot like me. Same drive, same short-temper (which I’ve learned to control). Same need to be the center of attention. He’s exhausting for that reason. Ever butt heads with a parent, only to wonder why because you’re so much alike? Sometimes it’s because you’re alike in the good and bad ways.
I honestly don’t remember what started it, but we were getting in the car yesterday after hitting up a coffee place on the way to Disneyland. I looked back at my boys and said, “You two are going to be the death of me.” He looked right back and said, “Don’t say that, Mommy.”
We went to Disneyland. TheBoy took some time off so that we could spend this weekend together, and realized that we could go to Disneyland during the day. So we went! Our big splurge was on annual passes this year since we don’t live too far from Anaheim (though I do miss our little apartment near Anaheim that we used to live in. You could hear the whistle from the Mark Twain sometimes, and see the fireworks). And it’s been a nice break from routine for us.
The Oldest Kidlet has been going to Disneyland fairly regularly since he was a baby. We had the nicest annual passes (the ones that let you go whenever you want- they weren’t so expensive 5 years ago), and it was free for him. My mom was watching him and used to take him once a week. It was a nice walk, and they both enjoyed it. He got bigger and bigger, and after his brother came along, we didn’t renew the passes. But he was a fearless kid who would try anything.
Of course, since we’d stopped going to Disneyland, he became more fearful. Crowded spaces, loud noises, unfamiliar terrain… he didn’t like any of it anymore. So we always worried about the Park, especially now that he’s getting into the height range of the “E-Ticket” attractions.
Not this trip, but the trip before… things started the way they usually do. We got on the train, by and large one of their favorite things to do. We got Fastpasses for Autopia, but the Oldest Kidlet just wasn’t understanding the concept. He refused to wait to go on the cars- unless it was in line. So we split up. I took the Little Kidlet on Buzz Lightyear (where he refused to shoot anything, and did not like a giant Zurg, but was all smiles about it), and TheBoy took the Oldest Kidlet on Autopia.
Afterwards, we met up and went off to go on the Casey Jr Circus Train (another favorite) and get some lunch from Village Haus (which has dedicated fryers for their fries, so I don’t have to worry about cross-contamination for the kidlet or I. And they have gluten-free buns for their burgers!). While we were there, the Oldest Kidlet mentioned that he saw the submarines and wanted to ride them. And I knew that disaster awaited us. I haven’t been able to get him on Haunted Mansion or Pirates of the Caribbean for the last two years. He sees the dark queues inside, puts on the brakes and insists he can’t go. I knew, deep in my heart, that the second the submarine went into the caverns… that he would freak out and be stuck on the submarine. So I explained that it would get dark. He said it was fine. I told him that he wouldn’t be able to get off once we left the dock. He promised he could wait.
So what happened? The second it got dark, he freaked out and I finished the ride holding his little brother on my lap (who was fine with the whole thing and appreciated the better view), with the Oldest Kidlet holding my other hand over his eyes, while I reassured him that it was all pretend. But I am proud of him. While it still scared him, and he admits this freely, he doesn’t regret going on it. He told both me and my mother in law, that now he can say he’s been on a submarine.
So why am I mentioning this? Yesterday’s trip to Disneyland had a lot of familiar visits. We went on Autopia, the Train, Casey Jr… and then we split up. The Little Kidlet and I were hungry, and so TheBoy took the Older Kidlet to ride the Mark Twain (they’d wanted to go on the Columbia, but just missed it). And passed Big Thunder Mountain. “It’s a train rollercoaster,” my son said. They discovered he was tall enough to go, but my son said no. We went on more rides- the Carrousel, played at the Pirates Lair on Tom Sawyer’s Island.
On the Island, my son became brave. He jumped on the pontoon bridge, ran through caves- and got lost. While in a cave, he decided that he wanted to go to the other cave we’d passed by, and turned a couple wrong ways. We found him… but it was one of the scariest moments of my life (though not quite as scary as when he cut his forehead and there was blood everywhere). As we were leaving the Island (angering the Little Kidlet, who decided he didn’t want to go in caves, but liked climbing on piles of treasure), the Oldest Kidlet announced that he wanted to ride the rollercoaster.
TheBoy got them Fastpasses, and they had their lunch while we waited (which in retrospect seems stupid since we didn’t know how he’d handle Big Thunder Mountain, but he was grumpy and hungry). And off the went. The Little Kidlet and I rode the sailing ship, and when we got off… they were waiting for us. They’d gone on! My brave little son was scared (both TheBoy and I had forgotten how noisy Big Thunder is), but didn’t completely freak out, and proudly told everyone that he’d ridden a real roller coaster- but he thought it went a little too fast for him.
We came home from Disneyland, and TheBoy and I packed up for a weekend away from the boys! As we were leaving, my son told me to have a great time. And to stay for three nights, but not four. Because he’d miss me too much if it were four.
I’m proud of my brave boy. Here’s to hoping he’s always willing to try something new. Maybe next time I can get him back on Pirates of the Caribbean.