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Parenting Stories: One Mom's Thoughts on Her Family's Disneyland Adventure


By Lea Geller

disneylandLast week, we took all five kids to Disneyland. In general, M has barred me from theme parks, amusement parks, county fairs, and the like. This isn’t because crowds make me panic, (they do) or because I see roller coasters as some sort of medieval torture that we’ve conned ourselves into enjoying (I do).

No, M has barred me from parks because of all the nasty, and apparently audible, comments I make about all the park-goers:

“Someone needs to tell that woman that in Southern California fanny packs are a capital crime.”

“What is it with fat people and (fill in) white shorts/halter-tops/churros/fanny packs…?”

“Apparently this guy spent all his pennies on elaborate body art instead of good dental care.”

“Who let out all the ugly babies?”

Nothing too damning, but enough to get me suspended.

It seems that shlepping through the park with five kids in tow was all the pressure M needed to reinstate my park privileges. So, to avoid a public marital spat, or banishment, I vowed to keep my lips sealed and instead, take photos of all the nastiness.

Well, I came. I saw. I took some photos. But there’s a small slice of goodness in me that is preventing me from posting pictures. Ok, that slice of goodness is my seven-year-old, who was horrified at the thought of me posting the pictures of unwitting, albeit shamefully dressed people.

But I do have a couple of observations.

1. Denim: At some point, at some time, someone or something told all the women of America that there’s a perfect pair of jeans for everyone. After 48 hours of staring at bums squeezed into all sorts of fashion wrongs I can tell you that just isn’t so. First of all — Mom Jeans? Really? I lost count of those, and frankly if you have to wear high-waisted pleated jeans just to be able to wair a pair, why bother? I saw an equal number of jeggin atrocities. I don’t know who thought those up, but the women of Disney couldn’t get enough of them. I think ninety percent of the women I saw were in some sort of denim and I’m tempted to invest what small money I’ve saved in public service announcments: Mothers of America — STEP AWAY FROM THE DENIM.

2. When did those damn Mickey ears get so fancy? I remember them being black and basic. Now there are about 100 varieties, spangled, glittered, even some Minnie ears with bridal veils and sequins… and I swear I saw one that looked like it had a giant pink fuzzy phallus sticking out the back. But this is Disney, so that couldn’t have been right… right?

3. Women and girls: Back when the ears were dorky, only kids wore them. Now that they come in pink glitter, women seem to think they need a pair too. There seemed to be a lot of women dressed as girls and girls tarted up as women. I saw a few huge women jammed into sparkly princess shirts, sporting Minnie ears with tiaras built in. I saw an equal number of girls in full makeup. I think I even saw a nine year old in a push-up bra. I wanted to take some of their mothers aside and tell them that years from now when they’re wondering why their little girls are pole dancing in pasties, they can blame it on the eye glitter, hoop earrings and high heels they put on a five year old. But I bit my tongue. Sort of.

4. I blame Tinkerbell. Frankly, before her, Princesses were still some what innocent (Okay, I think Ariel was a little on the slutty side, but maybe it was just the bikini.) But that little Tinkerbell is a complete skank. She dresses like a stripper and has no female friends at all. She doesn’t even sing to animals.

5. There’s all sorts of awful food for sale. But I couldn’t get past the entire turkey leg being sold by one of the booths. Nobody should ever buy an entire turkey drumstick for lunch and eat it while walking. It’s all sorts of wrong.

6. We lost Frances for a few long minutes. I tried not to think about the man walking around in the BOOBIES MAKE ME HAPPY T-SHIRT, or the fact that she had her name stitched on the back of her mouse ears so that any creep could call her name. When I found her, the park security people assured me that they’ve never lost a kid. And I believe it. That place is part stalag, part theme park. Nothing gets past those people.

7. It’s utterly exhausting watching your kids have fun. After one day I could barely move. I collapsed into my hotel bed and watched Angelina Jolie in Salt on TV. (Sadly, there was no PBS and I could not watch the Downton Abbey finale... Probably best I didn’t sully the experience.) Ms. Jolie got shot at, stabbed, and dragged from the back of a truck and still looked far better than I did after a few hours at the happiest place on earth.

How is that possible?

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lea_geller3About Lea Geller
I’m a part-time lawyer, full time mother of five (ages nine and down)… Currently in sunny Seattle. People ask how I manage it all, and I like to say that I do lots of things, but none of them very well.  That’s my secret…. In a house of seven strong, distinct personalities, I always seem to have a story to tell. I suppose I got tired of people telling me, ‘You have to write this down!” So, I finally did, and blogging about our large mishaps, small triumphs, and other adventures, has helped hold my sanity together, albeit loosely. Check out the rest of Lea's family's adventures on her blog, This Is the Corner We Pee In.

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