Saturday, May 17, 2008

Amusement Park Mania!

This weekend, we took Mateo to an amusement park for the first time ever. We went to a mini-theme park in CT called Lake Compounce. Keep in mind, this is no Six Flags or Bush Gardens, but it was still pretty cool. We totally rocked out on the Dumbo Ride.

The main reason Mateo had as much fun as he did was because we kept him hopped up on Sierra Mist all day. I know, I know, most of you think I'm a horrible Mom (as if you didn't already). Usually I would say to wait till your kid is at least 3 to start rotting their teeth, but this was an emergency. We had a kid running on no nap, I forgot to pack the juice, and fountain soda was free all day with the purchase of the admission ticket. So, in an act of desperation, we put some watered down Sierra Mist in his sippy cup. I felt so unholy holding that little smiling choo-choo train cup under the fountain of liquid sugar. But, I did what I had to do to get through the day. We spent an un-Godly amount in gas to get there and we were going to have fun, dang it!

Once Mateo got the taste of the stuff, he was like a celebrity on their first day out of rehab. Yes, my not-even-two-year-old went on a 5 hour soda binge. And he was the happiest kid on the planet! And so compliant, all we had to do was keep the fountain flowing. By the end of the day, he looked like he was pregnant with a basketball and my husband and I started wondering if a child could actually pop from drinking too much. Even so, we had to cut him off. He was starting to foam at the mouth every time we walked by a soda machine.

Even scarier than a toddler with the shakes waiting for his next fix was the singing and dancing Safari Show. These two fun-loving explorers used their imagination to take us on a musical adventure that makes Robin Williams look understated. The two performers (one guy, one girl), looking an awful lot like former Idol contestants, were so enthusiastic about jungle animals I thought they would start ripping off their clothes at any moment while singing passionately about the Crocodile Rock. Or that could be from the bottle of caffeine pills I saw them popping in back before the show. Either way, the kids were completely hypnotized by this manic form of children's entertainment. Mateo, who would normally be running up and down the aisles, trying to get on the stage, and showing off his mad dancing skills, was sitting quietly in his stroller watching the pill popping duo belt out a bad imitation of a song from The Lion King. This was not because he was tranfixed with this type of entertainment like the others (please, he is my kid afterall). It was because 1) he literally could not even sit up on his own due to the basketball under his shirt 2) he was starting to come down off the high and 3) he would've sat through a Celine Dion concert if we offered him more soda.

The only melt down happened on the train ride across the park. Mateo loves trains with a passion. "Choo-choo", as he so adorably calls it. I thought this would be the highlight of our day. Turns out I was wrong. After we all got settled (with our stroller folded up and everything) onto the train, the "conductor" apparently lost the keys. So, as we waited for the back-up keys to be brought over by a morose teenager who apparently had better things to do and so walked as slowly as possible, another kid came around to make sure everyone was sitting properly on the ride and to bother the hell out of me. He tells me that Mateo cannot sit on my lap but must sit by himself on the seat...for safety. For safety? Now, I should explain, there are no seat belts, lap systems, or safety gates on this train. The sides are completely open. And it's not like there's a whole lot of room on these seats....it is a kiddy train, and my butt ain't so "kiddy" anymore. Here is the conversation that transpired.

"You want me to do what?"

"He has to sit in his own seat for safety."

"So you think it's safer for my squirmy toddler to sit on the edge of this seat, with no gate or seat belt, than on my lap where I can hold him securely?" I was not about to let a pimply 10th grader tell me what's best for my kid. Not to mention, my kid is not the most coordinated tot in playgroup. You could put him in an empty room with no obstacles and he would trip over a piece of fuzz.

"It's what we have to do. It's part of the regulations."

"He can't sit in the seat by himself! He'll jump off!" I was getting a bit snappy. And Mateo was getting hungry, hot, and tired, and as you know, a bad combination for a toddler.

"Please, can you just put him on the seat next to you?"

"This is the dumbest thing I've ever heard." At this point he started reaching for his radio to call for an escort. "Fine, but if he falls off, I'm sueing you!"

So that was my big melt-down. But in my defense, I was hungry, hot, and tired!






Seriously, how cute are they?

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