Our first day in the Magic Kingdom started with the making of mass numbers of PB&Js and packing up all the crap you have to take with you anytime you travel with kids. After a short walk from our hotel room to the bus stop, a bus ride, folding and unfolding the double stroller twice, a quick blood transfusion and another much longer walk- we were there!
We walked through the town square and my children were truly awestruck to see Cinderella’s castle for the first time. We had been at the park for about 30 minutes when Aubrey asked for the first time, “Can we go? It’s hot. I want to swim.” I informed her that no we would not be leaving and she needed to get happy and NOW, Dadgummit!
By the time Emma had her first meltdown, I was in line with the girls waiting to ride Winnie the Pooh. Emma changed her mind about riding about the same time that I saw the EN-TIRE Byars Clan from Jasper, AL! Emma went AWOL and took off through a maze of chains and handrails, while I had to choose between losing my place in line or chasing my kid. Tough choice, but the Byars‘ saved me. I told Aubrey that Jill wasn’t a stranger and to hang on, I would be right back. After safely escorting Emma to Shuggie, I jumped back in line.
My next opportunity to embarrass myself came while we were standing in line waiting to ride the Jungle Cruise. Aubrey (almost 5) saw a little girl her age who was Asian. We kept passing them in line and the girls would examine each other like little girls do when they see someone who looks so different than their own reflection. I can only imagine that Aubrey looked as exotic to the little girl as she did to Aubrey.
They were perfect opposites on the outside. Aubrey with her curly blond hair, freckles sprinkled across her round face, and her bright blue eyes. And the yen to her yang, with straight black hair, perfect olive skin and almond shaped brown eyes. After about our third pass, Aubrey asked loudly, “Momma, why that girl look like she’s from China?” Oh Lawdy.
I explained to her that God made us all different but just because someone LOOKS different from her doesn’t mean they are. I told her that little girl might be from South Carolina, as well. She looked skeptical, and for good reason the girls parents seemed to speak about as much English as I speak of whatever their language is…but I’m not raising a bigot, y’all. I want my baby to know God made us all equal!
By the time we got off the Jungle ride Emma was done. Do you understand me? D-U-N, done! We had a SERIOUS problem keeping Emma’s shoes on her feet. I couldn’t begin to count the number of times someone ran to catch up with us to return them after she had thrown them from the stroller like Danny DeVito threw Momma from the Train. I was attempting to put Emma’s shoes back on her feet while we were disembarking. She took the opportunity to LIE DOWN across the exit…of the boat. There were only about 70-80 people watching as I picked my writhing and screaming child up, threw her and her shoes in the stroller and got the heck out of there.