You have to see an amusement park through a kid’s eyes.
You just have to.
It’s the only way to do it.
No adding up the cost of the day.
No thinking about $4.99 for a small bag of chocolate golden coins.
Yummies, he called them.
$14.99 for cheeseburger, fries, and coke.
No calculating the number of rides you’ve been on in the first hour.
No committing adultery with your eyes at the female ice-skaters.
I wanted to see Knott’s Berry Farm through a kid’s eyes, but I mostly failed miserably.
However, there were moments I succeeded like on the Calico Mine Ride.
“Hey, this is exactly like the tunnel in Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland,” I told D.
As we careened through a dark mining tunnel, D and I sitting beside one another, I know D was thinking the same thing.
“Where are the fireflies?” he asked.
D’s eyes grew big at the sight of mummy miners. They showed fear at the spooky music. And mine did, too.
From reflecting his eyes.
But, rather than see Knott’s through a kid’s eyes, I mostly felt preoccupied by constantly monitoring D’s behavior the rest of the day.
Our goal was for D to stay in a calm, regulated state. Sure, we wanted D to enjoy Knott’s and have fun, but by keeping his body regulated.
That was the Wife’s primary objective, and if we were all to have fun, it had to be mine too. So it was.
The Wife frantically asked me three times at lunch, “What are we going to do if D has a meltdown? What…ARE.. WE… GOING …TO … DO?”
She felt like the panicky character from Sesame Street named Telly. Needless to say, my approach would have been more relaxed and carefree
Yes, our son needs order and structure, just with some freedom mixed too. He also needs to feel his parents enjoy being with him.
Nevertheless, our first trip here, despite the distractions of candy stores and temptations to run, was an unquestioned success.
D was compliant and regulated. The Wife was firm but flexible, even loosening up on the holding a parent’s hand rule.
Ok. The Wife will say I got huffy a few times (and she’s right) and held my hand up (a few times) when she told me something.
But that was only because I wanted to enjoy the park without thinking about D’s behavior every five seconds or so. I know, she will say, I am a parent.
I was on the verge of letting go of my beef when D and I were suspended atop the Ferris Wheel.
They were loading new riders one bucket at a time and D and we were stationed in the top position.
D and I were screaming, pretending to be freaked out when I got a text from the Wife: “His feet should not be dangling over the side.”
But I know the day wasn’t about me. It us about the Wife and I being united and having fun together as a family.
On these criteria, I know our trip was a success. The Wife and I even discussed getting season passes.