Thursday, May 20, 2010

How to survive a family vacation at Disneyland…

1) First things first, there will be plenty of onlookers who will pass judgment on you, no matter what. It doesn’t matter if you’re pulling off the best Supermom act of the century or if you’re having to face the fact that you will not be winning any awards for Mother of the Year…again.

There will be people who rudely stare at you as they deem you the most evil parent in the world. They won’t say it out loud, of course…but you’ll be able to see the accusation in their eyes.

But, my friends, they don’t know your situation.

They have no clue that merely 5 minutes prior to them witnessing your meltdown in the middle of Main Street that your 3-year old refused to sit in the stroller because he wanted you to hold him for another hour or that your 5-year old screamed at you for not letting her ride Indiana Jones, even though you explained over and over again that you don’t make the rules.

"Mickey Mouse makes the rules, not me…deal with it," you might have yelled back at her.

Also, when other parents gasp loudly as your husband tilts the stroller forward to get down from a curb and your toddlers spill out onto the ground, your expected response should be to gasp in horror along with those other people….not cackle as if you just heard the best joke of the century.

However, if your husband laughs right along with you, then it was obviously funny…either that, or you’ve both lost touch with reality.

More than likely, the latter.

2) Disneyland is only the happiest place on earth for those people who added a whole lot of rum to the tiny amount of coke they’re sipping on.

And that’s a straight up fact, my friends. Plain and simple.

3) You and your adult travel partner(s) will be desperate to find some kind of humor in the day-to-day stuff. So it’s okay to engage in a little bit of inappropriate talk, such as….

“Hey sweetie, wanna touch my one-eyed monster?”

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…and after deciding that Buzz Lightyear looks more like an overly eager pedophile rather than every kid’s average superhero as your children approach him, saying in your best Buzz Lightyear impersonation...

“Hey little dude, you wanna know the quickest way to get me to infinity and beyond? Just grab onto my big Astro Blaster right here and pull the trigger a few times…yeah, just like that, little buddy. And tell your brother and sister that they can join in on the fun too…the more, the merrier I always say.”

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4) It’s essential to find like-minded parents who will appreciate your parenting style, as well as your humor.

While waiting in line for yet another ride, I saw a mom of 3 young boys looking like she was about to go ballistic on them. She rolled her eyes, looked at me and said, “I just got off the phone with my husband at home back in Alaska and he wanted to know how everything was going”.

I retorted, “How did he get so lucky to be able to avoid this chaos?”

She could barely maintain herself as she answered, “Well, I took the older kids and left him home with our 1-year old twins!”

We both laughed hysterically for a good 3 minutes…seriously, laughed with our mouths wide open and tears coming out of our eyes.

In a nutshell, we totally bonded right then...she and I.

You truly need another person with a similar parenting style to appreciate a sweet moment like that.

5) You should continue to use the same nicknames for your children which you use at home…even if someone stops you mid-sentence and asks, “Excuse me, but did you REALLY just refer to your children as “the spawn”?”

Remember, consistency is key. You don’t want to start confusing your kids in the middle of a crowded theme park where there are a million and one Bella’s running around.

6) Do realize that some of life’s most important lessons will come back to haunt you.

Take, for instance, lying.

We tell our children all the time that honesty is to be valued and lying is just plain wrong. So don’t act all surprised when they realize you just lied to the person at the front gate about the age of your youngest children so you could avoid paying for them.

It doesn’t matter if you have a valid point…so what if your kids just turned 3 years old 2 months ago…you still lied. It’s a fact.

And your kids caught you in that lie. Thank goodness, though, that the spawn can be easily bought off, usually with a bag of candy or the promise of staying up past their bedtime.

7) If you’re driving to your destination, do yourself a favor and take the time to stop for a bathroom break.

Even if the kids insist they don’t have to go potty, threaten them with their lives if they don’t at least try.

Trust me…you don’t want to be stuck on the freeway in downtown Los Angeles in bumper-to-bumper traffic at rush hour when your 5-year old son exclaims that his bladder is about to burst.

You may think that helping him try to pee into a paper cup is a good idea but, truly, it is not…especially when your husband is on a business call with a new client and your kids are screaming, “Eeeewww, some of his pee just splashed on my face!” and “Oh my God, he peed on the back of Daddy’s seat!”

8) For every couple traveling without kids who think that your kids are “absolutely precious”, like these sweet people…

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…there will be 3 more couples traveling without kids, like these Golden Girls…

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…who will be completely mortified that your children have been crying for 2 minutes straight because you refuse to buy them cotton candy. You might even catch one of them rolling her eyes, while the other one shakes her head.

It’s all good, though, because you’re almost positive they heard your daughter ask in her not-so-quiet manner, “Mommy, why are you taking a picture of those old ladies?”


10) Lastly, even though you’re pretty sure you just lost another 5 years off your life span, this is the reason why it was all worth it…

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Remember to bring these essentials...for you, not for the kids:

extra-strength tylenol, earplugs, numerous bottles of wine, your back-up bottle of Wellbutrin just in case YOU can't stop crying, those meditation tapes which keep you repeating "that which doesn't kill me makes me stronger", your amazing sense of humor and your love and passion for adventure...

60 comments:

singedwingangel said...

Bless your heart you are a braver soul then I am..I would have gone off on a condescending individual seriously..

Rebecca said...

OMG...we could totally vacation together...the pee in the face, laughing when a child fell out of the stroller, buzz the pedophile, one eyed monster...I get all of that! I love these stories and your travel tips...I'm totally going to use them this Fall!!!

Missy (Two Little Monkeys) said...

Too funny! I love your scenarios and rum in coke explains it all :)

Tylaine said...

So hillarious! I love the toddler falling on the street...lol and the moment with the other mom....priceless!
and I will never look at Buzz lightyear the same now...ew! :)Adorable pictures at the end :)

Brooke said...

i had an old couple look at me judgmentally when my 6 yr old niece was chasing her 2 yr old brother around the restaurant. listen geezers - if you wanted peace and quiet you came to the wrong place! ditto for the two old bags at disney.

Valerie said...

Funny as always!

I think I might have dumped a child or two in my short span of 5 years of parenting!

Kim said...

I love the mental picture of you and Tim laughing hysterically as your children tumble from their stroller onto the hot pavement. Oh what I wouldn't give to be a passerby on your family vacation!

And you really nailed it with the pedophile Buzz Lightyear... super creepy! Hope you had some wine waiting at home too!

The Boob Nazi said...

"Mickey Mouse makes the rules" hahahaha genius!

Carly said...

Loved evey min of this post:) We will be going to Disney next April witha 6 year old a 2 year old and a 6 month old. I now know what I kinda have to look forward too:) P.S> I love the picture where Tim looks like he is your 5 child. lol

Natalie said...

Thank you for this list! I liked the dumping of the toddlers out of the stroller...sounds like something my hubby would do.

We're taking our son for the first time next month, and now I know what to expect...

WhisperingWriter said...

Ha, this made me want to go back to Disney. We went to DisneyWorld two years ago and my daughter really wants to go back.

The Step In Mom. . . said...

I remember going to Disney when I was a kid. My Mom had a big Ford Van, and we drove 19 hrs straight.... She also kept an old plastic coffee container in the back, so if you had to go you had to squat in the back of the van while she was rolling down the interstate, and hope a trucker didn't pull up behind you.

Jessica said...

Helene, you tell such a great story! I think we would have been better off at Disney last year with a few bottles of wine. My husband would have been laughing at the stroller incident along with you guys! LOL.

Another thing... it is hard enough making everyone happy in one family... if you happen to decide to go with another family you will add that much more to the chaos.

Cascia said...

This was great! I really needed to read this because we are planning a road trip down to Disney Land this summer. It looks like even through all the chaos you still had a wonderful time!

LucidLilith said...

I wanna go to Disney Land! *Disclaimer: Without kids*

Crossed Fingers said...

BWHAHAHAH OMG I love your writing, you had me cracking up. The things our parents do out of love huh? Best part was you and the other mom bonding and laughing.

Nezzy said...

Ya had me rollin' in the floor with this one girl. You are one brave woman, sister!!! We used to take a horde of Special Ed. kiddos on numerous field trips but baby we secured loads of help. You and hubby against four very intelligent scheming youngens in Disneyland ...well, let's just say my hat is off to you!

Ya'll have a terrifically blessed day sweetie!!!

Kim said...

We're planning a family vacay to Disneyland next year when the twins turn 5. I'll be sure to keep them away from Buzz.

shortmama said...

Im scared to even take my TWO kids...you are a good mama!

I hate people like those "old ladies" that act like we are the worst parents in the world because our kids cry.

Momlissa said...

Ok, so I did laugh out loud at the stroller and kid falling out on Main Street. Not because I am evil, but because I have so been there. When we went last time, I made the mistake of going into the fancy changing area they have, with all 3 kids by myself. While I was changing diapers, the other 2 were running around, turning on faucets, flusing toilets, going in garbage cans. People were giving me the stink eye. It was bad. When I came out, I was near tears and my husband and friend had to send me off for a "mommy time out" to regain myself. We go every year and are going again this July. I know it's going to be insanity, it always is. But man, their faces when they see the parade, the characters (other than the Evil witch in Sleeping Beauty who I'm fairly sure is a guy in drag, scared my daughter to death), the fireworks, the princesses, etc. it makes it all worth it. I think. lol

KrysTros said...

Ok, I would probably have laughed at the stroller thing too LOL. I know what you mean about the inappropriate talk, because my husband follows me around the fruit and veggie section at the store and whispers crazy talk in my ear as I pick out produce but hey, gotta keep the magic alive right?

Heather said...

I don't know how you did it with 4...we barely survived 2! I LOVE the last pix of the kids : ) They have grown up so much.

Debbie Moore said...

Love it!! We are planning a trip to Disney World in March. We will be taking our 5 year old, 3 year old twins, and 6 month old baby, all boys. I will bookmark this post to read before we go to refresh it in my head. Thanks for the laugh!

Christine said...

Oh good heavens Helene! You had me laughing to the point of tears. I was so like that last July at DisneyLand with a 7 yr old, a 4 yr old and a 10 month old.

My hubby would have used the one eyed monster comment, we would have laughed until we peed after dumping the kids on the road, and I'm seeing evil thoughts in Mr. Incredible.

Oh to vacation with a like minded family. LOL

Kimberly said...

HOLY funny stuff! I think much of the same things have happened to us.

I found myself laughing out loud because I can so relate!!!

Sadia said...

I love this! It's fantastic that you met your mothering soulmate, too. :)

We're planning to hit Disneyland next year. I'm bringing the mother-in-law.

Twins Squared said...

LOL! That was really funny! My favorite one was when you found the other mom to bond with. I LOVE those moments because we all need someone in our corner. And not a lot can understand what it is truly like for you.

And falling out of the stroller really made me laugh those I can see how that would be a problem. When the little girls were babies we would go on stroller/bike rides sometimes around the block. The big girls would bike and I would push the babies. My big girls are nearly 6 and have no end in sight to the training wheels. (Do you have that problem? Who has time to teach TWO to ride a bike?) Anyway, they are so slow on the bikes b/c they are in la la land looking about at everything and I keep having to stop and start the stroller. Huge pain. So I would kind of ram (I mean tap) the biker in front of me to move along. Well one day I did it a little too hard and it completely flipped backwards sending Kaitlyn to the pavement on her back. Mike informed me that as much as I get onto him for being mean and yelling at the kids that he would never do something so horrible that I had just done. So I never tapped them again and learned my lesson. But really, it's not like I knew that was going to happen! :)

You are a good mom for giving your kids this experience. Sometimes I say no to so much but then there are some things I know I just have to suck it up and do for the sake of the kids. They made great memories I'm sure and that's probably what you will ultimately remember. I love the picture at the end with Woody - really cute!

The Mother said...

That lying thing--so true. I have a 19 yo who still recalls every time.

Stacey said...

I think #10 is the ONLY reason people take their kids to Disneyland. LOL. Hell, it's the only reason I take myself to Disneyland!

I can't wait to have kids of my own and take them there. It must be so much fun to see things through their eyes. But I will definitely remember to bring the Advil. ;o)

Cindy said...

Oh my gosh - best vacation recap EVER! I can't decide which detail made me laugh harder the kids falling out of the stroller or the pee in the face. (the pee thing totally happened in my family when I was a kid - giant cup of pee spilled all over the back of the station wagon...god that was GROSS). I like the Buzz lines too. You Rock!!!

Eva Gallant said...

Thanks for dozens of laughs. That was a precious post! Having survived three boys from childhood to adulthood, I could so identify with much all of it!

Eva Gallant said...

Thanks for dozens of laughs. That was a precious post! Having survived three boys from childhood to adulthood, I could so identify with much all of it!

2wired2tired.com said...

Oh wow. That sounds like some trip! So glad you could look at it all with a sense of humor and post it hear for us to sympathize with you. :)

The pictures at the end are adorable especially the last one, hopefully those are the memories that will stick and the others will kind of fade away...

Amy W said...

You survived!!! It will be fun to hear the kids talk about the trip in the years to come. I'm sure they will remember it much differently than you will. :)

Jen said...

I am going to save this and read it again when we get a chance to go to the best place on earth.


And congrats on the nomination. :)

Annie said...

So funny, maybe at the end were a wonderful vacations.

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

Well, ya just pretty much described our trip there! Makes me miss it, in a sadistic way.

Jenny said...

Too funny! I was LOL when that lady said she left her husband at home with 1 year old twins! I bet she's on a mini vacation it just the 3 oldest!

Jenn H said...

Oh my word, I just laughed so hard I cried and I posted a link on my FB page. When we went to Disneyland 1.5 years ago our 5 were ages 5, 3, 2, 2, and 6 months. This post hit home and had me in fits of laughter, though at the time of the visit to Disneyland, it did not seem nearly so humorous, LOL!

FRANNIE said...

Oh, how I have been there and know exactly where you're coming from. :)

You say you'll never do it again...but you will, and it'll be just as much fun. :)

The Lane Family said...

I am glad to know that I have a "kindred spirit" out there who is as Crazy as I am when it comes to taking kids on an adventure that you are sure "WILL BE FUN" and something to look back on in the future :)

The Buzz Lightyear thing was HILIARIOUS!!! MY husband has the same opinion about him :) I also love the idea of having a back-up bottle of Wellbutrin and I think after some of our "Adventures" I have decided that a bottle of valium might come in handy as well!!

The pictures were great and I think my favorite was the last one where Cole an Bella are holding the boys!!

I did vote for your blog because quite frankly it ROCKS, but I am not sure it worked..I did do it 3 times so hopefully!!!

*LLUVIA* said...

LMAO @ the one-eyed monster!!!!!
I love Disneyland!!!! I went without kids! I used to be the judgmental a-hole who gave nasty stares at people with crying children. *sigh* Divine justice, I got my own little crier of my own.

*LLUVIA* said...

oh oh oh...! voted for ya!!

smArtee said...

..I voted too ...but I dont know if it took....You are the tops of the tops...You know Im a Disney fanatic right...?I love to go with older kids..you'll see..it gets better..but the way you describe it just cracks me up....I love, love....L-M-A-O....
Love..the one eyed monster and the pic that goes with it...tooo funny..!

Sherri said...

LOL!
Oh I laughed!
What a great family memory!

Mhel said...

haha funny post... after all, you all had fun, and were able to laugh about the occassional mishaps and headaches... Mickey Mouse rules... haha... Stopping by from SITS!!

Tracie said...

I barely survived Disney with only 2 kids. I'm bowing down to your awesomeness.

Momma Fargo said...

Loved this post! Very funny. Never thought of Buzz Lightyear like that tho. Pics were great!

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

Good thing you had a bit of rum with that Coke because can you imagine if you had given in to the cotton candy?

I personally think they soup up the sugar in the cotton candy so that the kids get the gimmees, the whys, the no's and " I don't wannas".

The pictures are cute though. If there's any consolation, Bud Lightyear is more than likely a girl.

kristi said...

LOL...don't you hate old people who are rude?? I just want to smack 'em.

Lana@The Kids Did WHAT?! said...

Oooh! I so hope the old biddies heard Bella ask! I hope when I'm an old geezer I don't forget that I had kids who weren't freakishly "perfect".

Glad you had a good time!!

Lana@The Kids Did WHAT?! said...

PS - I voted!!!!

Krystyn said...

I think you just made me change my mind about a road trip...holy hilariousness!

And, the Buzz Light Year jokes? I wish I would have been there for those!

But, hey, you all survived, right?

wonderchris said...

You guys ROCK!!! Looks like you had fun. This post had me laughing out loud. The one-eyed monster, and the Buzz Lightyear....good stuff!!

Jovial Jess said...

ahhhhh Helene..you make me laugh! I loved the cackling at the toddler spilling out of the stroller! Awesome insight on amusement park trips! In other news, I was happy to vote for you for best parenting blog, I managed to figure out how to link your blog to my page...my girlfriends love it! Now if only I had a day off to sit and read every blog you've ever written! Thanks for being hilarious!

Jennifer @ The Toy Box Years said...

Perfect timing for our own upcoming trip to Disneyland. I will be printing this and reading it over and over for meditation as we drive from Colorado to The Happiest Place on Earth! ;-)

Alicia said...

I AM STILL CRACKING UP ABOUT THE STROLLER INCIDENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sharlene said...

Lets not forget meet up with Sharlene for a couple hours! That is the best way to survive Disneyland for sure. Ha ha! Mari and Ben have been asking when they are going to see their "new friends" again. :)

Tina... said...

Omg, you know there are straight up creepy people in those suits groping your babies, I have had that in my head ever since the first time I saw Chuck E Cheese up close....seriously, dude do you have no friends that you have to dress up in a hot ass suit and grope babies?

Michelle said...

We just went to Disneyland with our 3 kids this past March. We honestly had a blast but learned a lot of lessons.

1st off, family vacations are exhausting so next time we have to build in more R & R time.

2nd, just cause you are on the vacation of a lifetime your kids have been waiting for over a year for doesn't mean they are going to have fun, behave, listen, or lose their pouty attirude. I about flipped my lid when my 9 year old daughter spent the entire 1st morning in the Happiest Place on Earth pouting. She does it all the time at home so it shouldn't have shocked me she did it here. Her life really is horrible you know, getting taken to Disneyland for 3 days and spending 8 days in California on vacation ;-)

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr



 
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