I remember back when I was a cocky, childless gal, I declared that I would never bring a toddler to Disneyland.
LIAR, LIAR, PANTS ON FIRE.
I mean, who doesn't want to bring their child to Disneyland? SANE PEOPLE, that's who. Ok, but seriously, I feel like we all know our kiddos, and AB is a special breed, of the wild, crazy monkey-banshee kind, sooooo, yeah. I studied everyone's tips about Disneyland and kids and prepared everything so that we'd have the most perfect and predictable day at Disneyland one can have with a toddler! *Disclaimer -- We didn't pay for our tickets. Caaaaaaaaalm down.
Let's discuss our Expectations vs Reality, shall we?
1.) Expectation: I woke up early so that I could do my hair and make-up for all of the ridiculously cute and photogenic family photos we'd take today that would be just perfect for Facebook.
Reality: NO family photos happened. I brushed my hair for nothing! Also, AB slept in today. I had to wake her up to get her ready.
2.) Expectation: We'll do AB's hair in adorable pigtails so we can pin in the cute Minnie Mouse hair clips she received as a gift!
Reality: After 25 minutes of creating two uneven ponytails, AB yanked the clips out, messed up the ponytails, and went with her hair down and emo.
3.) Expectation: When we get to the park, we'll leash her so she can roam, but not too freely, that way she won't throw a temper tantrum in the stroller and we won't be featured on some missing child segment because we lost her in a game of hide and seek at the world's biggest playground.
Reality: Meltdown #1. As you know, when you attempt to restrain a wilderbeast, they retaliate. After we realized we were getting glances when saying things to her like, "stay," while she was leashed, I knew we weren't going to last long. AB then dramatically threw herself on the ground, rolling around, screaming. This was before we even entered the park. We unleashed her. She screamed more. We gave her the paci, she threw it on the ground. But, because we love to torture ourselves, we said, CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.
4.) Expectation: Today would be the first day in AB's life that she would hold mommy and daddy's hand without screaming bloody murder and trying to escape.
5). Expectation: Well, if she runs, at least she'll run in a straight, easy to follow line, and we'll just have to keep up.
Reality: Ziiiiiiiiiiiig, Zaaaaaaaaaaag.
6.) Expectation: Toon Town will be great! We can take her on all of the little kid rides. She'll wait patiently in line, while standing next to mommy and daddy. We'll get lots of pictures with characters and princesses.
Reality: Beast-mode tried to make a run for it, mommy put her in the corner, and NOBODY puts baby in a corner. Defeated by the line, we headed to the slide/play area...you know, essentially like the park we have down the street from our house. AB collided with two kids and yelled at another for taking her stick. There's the AB we all know and love!!
7.) Expectation: We'll get a beer while we walk around the park and it'll be TOTALLY AWESOME.
Reality: Every time we even remotely attempted to stop for beer or food, AB went HULK. We didn't drink. We didn't eat lunch.
8.) Expectation: We'll bring all of AB's favorite foods and snacks. That'll keep her happy all day!
Reality: AB threw a temper tantrum and threw all of her food on the ground.
At a certain point, you say to yourselves, this little hussy ain't playin'. We valiantly said goodbye to dreams of a churro ice-cream sandwich, family photos to prove we're awesome parents, and alcohol, making the decision to call it a day... after two and a half hours. I swear to you, I refuse to believe we weren't there at least a week. I feel like I've aged.
In all sincereness though, we still had a great time. Granted, we didn't pay so that probably makes things easier, but that's why we went. What a great opportunity to get AB's feet wet, without breaking the bank. Disneyland can be AWESOME for lots of kids, but I think it's truly about setting the right expectations and knowing your kiddo. I'm not at all surprised by today. If anything, this was exactly what I expected... so it was a successful day and we're so super lucky to have had the chance to take AB at all. No complaints here, just sunburned cheeks and a new set of stress wrinkles. :)
I tried to take some photos during epic meltdowns but didn't want to be judged for not paying attention to my kid. So all you get is a poised, "I'M TOTALLY HAVING THE BEST DAY EVER" photo.