im a busch league parent

My family and I have always considered ourselves to be theme park connoisseurs.

The Magic Kingdom, Epcot, MGM, Universal, Islands of Adventure, Sea World, Busch Gardens, Cedar Point, etc…

shiekraThe wife may not look forward to throwing our last few dollars away on $12 soft drinks and $18 ice cream cones; The kids may not love standing in lines with 123,567 sweaty families, all trying to avoid the heat while they wait for the next ride, show, or cardboard pizza substitute; and I definitely don’t appreciate that an automated reminder service has to tell me, over and over again, that “some rides may not be suitable for everyone”, and that no one trusts me to “keep my arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times” and the fact that they think they need to remind me to “take all small children by the hand while exiting the rides”.

We do however like just about everything else. The environment, the excitement, the experiences together.

So…I took my family to Busch Gardens last weekend.

millenium forceIn the past, my son (12) has made it very clear that he is against any ride that goes down really fast, loops, or has to go click, click, click to get it someplace really high before scaring the crap out of everyone on it. My daughter (8) has always been too small (until now) to show her brother that she is not scared of anything (she is rather brave in most cases), however she shows no real interest in the BIG rides. As far as the wife and I are concerned, we are going on the biggest, baddest, scariest rides we can find.

(Thank you mom-in-law for providing us with baby swap privileges for the last 12 years)

The trip is “as usual” until both of them decide to go on one of the smaller coasters in the park. A loop and swooper. I am excited because my son is facing his fear and my daughter is becoming adventurous.

Here is what is crazy.

monteuMy son stays cool as a cube the entire wait on line, but the little Ms has tears falling from her eyes from the time we got on line, until the time we got on the ride. I must have told her 113 times during the wait that we could get off line at any time. I told her that I really did not want to go on it anyway and she would be doing me a favor if she would leave with me. I gave her more outs than a 15 inning baseball game.

“I’m so scarred Daddy, but I still want to do it! Just make sure you hold me tight, but not too tight”

So we get on, go up, and off we go. MISTAKE! I must tell you that I am still having nightmares of the screams that came out of that little mouth. I thought she was going to throw up her larynx. It sounded like one of the 13 year old girls that were sitting next to me at the N’Sync concert, only with one of those “megaphone cheerleading things” taped to the side of my head. I started to reach out of the coaster cart to see if I could grab the conductor by the neck in the hopes that the ride would stop.

(oh my, did I just admit that I went to an N’Sync concert?)

my daughters gift from daddySo the ride ended and everyone stared at the “bad parents”. They all made the assumption that I was some kind of monster that dragged his daughter on this spiraling death ride. I am pretty sure that each of them thought that I used poor judgment. (Heck, I thought so too, at that moment). I’m surprised they didn’t have the park police follow me to check on my next cruel act of Paren’ting. (notice the n’t. that’s supposed to be clever). I just took my daughters trembling hand and walked her off the ride. Lots of hugs and kisses followed.

So is there a lesson in all of this? I think there are a few…

  • as eager as they seem, your kids don’t always know what is best for them

  • as eager as you seem, you don’t always know what is best for your kids

  • your children don’t always like the same things that you do

but most importantly…

  • “some rides may not be suitable for everyone”

  • “keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times”

  • “take all small children by the hand while exiting the rides”


One Response to im a busch league parent

  1. Natalie Long says:

    I am about to pee my pants!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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