On the Third Day of Disney...

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by gopherit, Aug 29, 2004.

  1. gopherit

    gopherit <font color=blue>I'm not in the book, you know.<br

    Sep 21, 2003
    On the Third day of Disney, Mickey gave to me:
    Third place on Millionaire,
    Two rooms at Boardwalk,
    And a night in the BCV!

    Cast of Characters:

    (that’s me, 37 yr old “Mom”, obsessive-compulsive planner of these trips!)
    Rich (DH, 38 yrs young “Dad”, basically wonderful and easy going, but occasionally known to slip into the less-loved persona, Mr. “How Much is This Going to Cost Me?”)
    Evan (9 yrs old, our deep thinker and comfort seeker)
    Ryan (8 yrs old, our tireless spark on an endless thrill quest)
    Caroline (4 yrs old and already has the role of drama queen mastered!)




    Ok, I’m awake, and just in time to fix those bags! See, I started a tradition last trip that each child in our party has a small gift bag they decorate with stickers, etc. And each night of vacation, the Disney Fairy (that’s me, sans a tutu) puts a “goody” in each bag. I usually start collecting stuff about 12mos in advance. I get the stuff at Disney Store sales, internet, dollar stores, etc. Anyway – I was so preoccupied and exhausted the night before, I had forgotten to do my fairy duties, so I raced through the Flight of the Tinkerbelle before the crew awakened. This was our MGM day, so we were up and at’em fairly early anyway. Well, all but my sister’s group, which apparently had technical difficulties finding their way OUT of BWV and over to the boat dock. As they later explained, for some reason they thought community hall was the boat dock. (What can I say – they are Old Key Westers and don’t get out much.) So we waited for them at the dock – after all, DN Blair and my DH are life-long “coaster buddies” and they share a love for RnR, so they HAD to go to MGM together! Plus, it's always so much fun to travel en masse, especially on Day One, with the entire gang!

    Thrill-questor son Ryan was determined to ride the fast rides this year. He finally had the necessary height to match his courage! But as we waited for the boat, DS Evan was getting visibly fretful. He complained of his eyes ("Dad put suntan lotion in them; they are bothering me", he said). He complained of his ear (“I think Wesley pulled on it too hard… It’s bothering me.”) Mostly, he just sulked and fretted. MGM seemed to also be bothering him, and oddly, we weren’t even there yet. What was the deal with that?

    I should note that Evan was/ is his own worst enemy. He holds and fixates on images in his head for so long, I swear they grow bacteria. If he sees a scary image, it may haunt him in its every minute detail for years. A photographic mind can be both a blessing and curse. When he was barely even 2 years old, he was sight-reading at a first grade level and could count and recognize the numbers all the way up to 99. The same mind that helped him do that was now giving him images of the fast turns and steep drops he had seen on TV. He had watched a show recently about MGM on the Travel Channel and at the end said emphatically, “Well, if YOU think YOU’RE putting ME on THAT elevator, you are WRONG. Didn’t you hear what they said about that family VANISHING?” He believes what he sees implicitly (for example, he firmly believes all our lives will be infinitely improved if we would just get a Turbi-Twist, Perfect Omelet Maker, a case of Slim Fast and a bottle of Viagra.) But that is not to imply he is an optimist (or Martha Stewart) and thinks everything is "a good thing." When you’re a deep thinker like he is, you ponder every possible bad thing that can happen that a more cavalier personality would not. (Ginsu knives are NOT a good idea in his mind – look how sharp they are! You could really cut yourself!) So while Evan was surely big enough in mass to ride the thrill rides, emotionally he came up short. In truth, he may never be ready to ride – some folks just don’t cotton to that sort of thing. Evan also shares my unfortunate curse of motion sickness now and then. And who wants to feel nauseated on vacation?

    So by now you’re thinking, enough already -- so the kid hates to ride – don’t make him and he’ll be happy, right? Would but that it were so easy. Evan considers all the factors intensely before making any decision, but then spends the next hours, days, years beating himself up for the choice he so carefully made. His life is one big what if – before and AFTER a decision. Evan knew his dad would be riding the faster rides, as would his brother and some of the others. Evan didn’t want to ride, but worried that his dad and/or others might be disappointed in him as a result. He also fretted over the fact that his brother was riding these rides, and he – the OLDER brother – was not. What would he be missing? His sister wanted to ride anything and everything her little body would allow her on. How was it possible SHE would do things that HE would not? He was torn between his instinct to stay on terra firma and his need to fit in, belong, and feel praise-worthy. And praise is so paramount to our first-born, it seems. It consumes all my energies and a tube of Super Glue to hold this child’s self-esteem together under situations like this. I could already sense there on the boat dock, watching him stew…

    Grab the epoxy, folks. It’s gonna be one of THOSE days.

    We get to MGM and file on through, and grab a double stroller for the 2 four-year olds in our party. This of course brought a host of objections from the 2 older boys – how were they expected to get around the park? Whaddya mean, “on legs”? Whose legs? OUR OWN? Perish the thought! This was their first trip without use of Disney strollers. We had promised them as many “leg breaks” as necessary (which our middle son then mistakenly interpreted as “broken legs” and raised understandable protest!). But despite our promises to take it slow and easy, as they looked at their sister and cousin sitting in their Disney wheeled chariot, you could see their green eyes getting even greener.

    Rich and both dns took off immediately for the thrill rides, while the rest of us headed for the Mermaid. We were in and out, with zero waiting, really -- and a great show as usual. None of the kids seemed terribly interested in going to Playhouse Disney, and frankly, we didn’t push it. I get the worst case of numbunitis sitting on that floor. And those CMs in there act so over-the-top and cheesy to get the kids pumped up – it’s like watching the cast of “Barney” all grown up. Yes, I know, it’s a show geared for the pre-K bunch. We did it when ours were younger, several times over … so we’ve paid our Playhouse dues! But since our pre-Ks didn’t seem to care and the other kids present felt they were “above” that, we headed down towards Millionaire instead. We took a break while waiting for the thrillsters to meet up with us, and looked at the stuff the street merchants were selling.

    Finally we all went into the WWTBAM show. We must have chosen good seats, because our faces all got put up on the big screen at different points in the show. The kids of course loved that. And I even managed to score in the top ten (#10 to be exact… but hey, I was there!) I called excitedly down the line to the rest of our group, “Hey! Look! #10 is me!” I was quite tickled with myself. And then the next round of questions came, in which the last one tricked quite a few folks (myself included). “Which fast food chain opened the first drive through in Japan?” The options were Taco Bell, McDonald’s, KFC, and Wendy’s. If you chose Mickey D’s (which most everyone did), you were wrong. The Colonel wins on this one, and as luck would have it, that’s what my DH chose. The time and game ended at this point, so they posted the final winners, and lo and behold, DH had become #3! So he immediately starts puffing out his chest and yelling, “Look at that, bay-beee! I’m #3! Yeah!” and then makes references to my measly #10.

    Please understand that DH is a normally very calm, sweet, easy going guy. The few times he gets like this – that I’ve seen, anyway -- are usually when he goes to the beach. We will get there and BAM – he starts teasing and picking on folks, and acting this way. I always say it's as if the salt air makes him suddenly sassy. Mostly it’s all done in good fun, but now and then it can touch a nerve or just be too much.

    Like now.

    He had been carrying on for a while after the show. It didn’t make me mad, really -- mostly it just grated on my formerly good attitude. After all, when I earned a #10 spot, I hadn’t said to him, “Hey, I’m on the board and you’re not – LOSERS!!!!” with the proverbial “L” hand gesture to the forehead. So I couldn’t understand why the big “rub” about #10 versus #3. Maybe it’s not salt air that does this to him after all … maybe it’s suntan lotion? We certainly had enough of that slathered on us. I decided that whatever it is that triggers this reaction in him, it must be stopped, and quickly.

    We tried to go on Backlot tours, but it was down for repair at the time. We managed to dodge the HITTKLIHP via crafty maneuvering and distraction techniques. For those who don’t recognize the acronym, that’s “Honey I’ve Turned the Kids Loose In He**’s Playground”, probably known to most folks innocently enough as the “Honey I’ve Shrunk The Kids” playground. We have tried this one a couple times before, and found it thoroughly frustrating. The small kids toddle into nooks that the normal adult cannot fit through, at least not without donating a kidney along the way. And the nature of the kiddie catacombs is such that the child can’t hear you calling them to come back. That, or perhaps they just can’t hear you over the screams of lost toddlers inside the tunnels. Meanwhile, more mobile kids mix with the throngs of others in a sea of matching Disney apparel, from which comes the occasional shout of, “MOM! DAD!” This in turn makes the frantic herd of parents clustered in the middle all turn their heads simultaneously, trying to locate the source of the cry. The crys come from left – then right! – then left again! Was that my kid? No? Was THAT my kid? After a short while of this, your neck feels like you have been watching Wimbledon center court all day, and so you holler out,“RYANNNNNN!” And within seconds you realize the futility of that, because about 17 kids all holler back, “WHAAAAAT?” And none of them is yours. Why? Because your child is now deep within those little tunnels and can’t hear you. I understand that MGM did some things to “improve” this playground since we were last there, but after our last experience, DH and I had already vowed, “NEVER AGAIN”. So with some artful dodging, we made it past HITTKLIHP and safely over to Muppetville.

    Let it be known: I am a HUGE Muppets fan! I even have the complete DVD set of the old “Muppet Show”. I can still recall watching the show each week with my dad back in the 70’s. A trip to MGM will ALWAYS include a trip to the Muppets for me. As we approached the theater, the CM was herding us right in. At first, this seemed like great timing and good fortune. In truth, it was a bummer – we had already missed most of the pre-show (my FAVORITE part). Plus, I just love looking at the props. My son Ryan had watched the Travel Channel and wanted to “look under the mat” to see the key, but we were being briskly whisked along by the CM in a herd of others, so no mat-peeking allowed. After the show, we circled around past the Muppet shop – well double wah wah from me now! I love that shop and oh how I yearned to go in. Last trip I got this great Swedish Chef shirt there… although no one at home seems to understand it. Their loss, I say. But alas, no one in my party on this trip shares my Muppet Love, so no one wanted to stop and shop. And honestly, when you have a pack of kids in tow, taking them into the stores “just to look” can be a painful exercise. Mine were pretty good and didn’t have many cases of “gimmees”, but they were hot and tired, and I knew their Patience Meters were running low. So I took one for the team and we mosey on past the shop.

    Confusion then began to erupt over what to do next. It was nearly noon. My only request was that I wanted to take our dd to see Beauty and the Beast, and the last show was at 4:30, so it had to be then or before. Kids wanted to ride Star Wars and see Fantasmic. Rich and the “Thrillsters” were long from being satiated and wanted to go at least a few more times on RnR and ToT, and son Ryan wanted to be the newest member of their club. My sister had made a PS for her crew to go to Mama’s for lunch. We (DH and me, SIL, BIL and the 5 small fries) had ressies at PT Café. I hadn't increased the number on our PS for PT because I hadn't gotten a firm commitment from my sister's group at the time I made our dining plans. At one point, it seemed they might not even arrive until Monday, which is one reason I went with lunch ressies at PT instead of dinner -- so I wouldn't have to figure out how many were in my party. And so there we stood with 2 separate ressies, and they had elected to try Mama's. Personally, I think we could have taken them with us anyway to PT, but my sister said they really liked Mama Melrose's from last time and were eager to try it again. I hoped that was the case, and not some issue with perhaps not wanting to horn in on us, or maybe we were getting on their nerves? Mama's did sound good, but we had sort of promised to try Prime Time already with our crew. It was one of those 6 of one, half a dozen of another situations, and I was starting to get knots over the whole thing. For some reason, this all made me feel guilty. Maybe I felt I was being divided between two families... whatever, just color me wimpy.

    In any case, debate now ensued over the next course of action, which is why I always plan things – I really get frustrated just standing still trying to decide where to go. The kids tend to wander off and all mayhem breaks loose. Ryan was still curious about that key – we nearly lost him back inside Muppets. After some deliberation and repeated corraling of children, we finally split up, with an agreement to meet around 2 pm at Indiana Jones.

    On the way over to Prime TIme, Rich and BIL got fast passes for themselves and the kids at Star Wars. We arrived a bit ahead of our priority seating, but decided what the hey, we're here, let's check in. Ironically, the server said, “You have a party of 12, right?” Oh great. So my sister and her girls really COULD have joined us? Too late now - no way to contact them. For some reason, the ressie was for 12 people. This happened more than once – it had happened the night before at Chef Mickey’s. I wonder if it was because sometimes the CM making the ressie thought we wanted a ressie for 8 in which there were four kids, versus a ressie for 8 people PLUS four kids, equaling 12. Whatever.

    We were seated very promptly (even though we were 20 minutes early). Our server was Liz, and she was very, very tame. (Not lame – just tame. She did everything a good server should – there was just very little interaction or themed “performance” if you will). She immediately read off the drinks list, which I really wish did NOT include root beer floats and such until after the meal. SIL immediately offered a root beer float to her son – so you can imagine, with 3 other kids at the table, the dominoes falling in line. I tried to lobby for soda instead – after all, the floats were going to fill them up so much. But there was no swaying them now. My eldest, however, was still looking at the menu. He didn’t want a float – he wanted that soda with the glowing ice cube. BIL says, “If he gets that, don’t you think that will cause a problem with the other kids?” Hmmmm…probably no more problem than offering a float to one kid and not another. In short – the S.S. Trouble had already set sail. I asked the other kids “Are you SURE you don’t want a glowing drink?” Nope – they still wanted those floats. So we adults ordered our drinks – a PBJ milkshake for me, vanilla for DH, and I can’t recall what SIL and BIL had. For our meals, 3 of the adults ordered the fried chicken; BIL had the pot roast. The kids ordered hot dogs or sandwiches, except my dd, who wanted soup. DD is a true soup aficionado – never met one she didn’t love. You name it – gumbo, chowder, bisque, veggie, French onion, mulligatawny, minestrone – you get the idea.

    Well, in come the drinks. Evan was the instant envy of the table with his red glowing cup. I handled it as diplomatically as possible (“You will all get your glowing drinks later this week, while Evan will get a float!” Spoken like a desperate woman with a credit card. I am so ashamed.) My PBJ shake was good – but where was the “J”? It tasted markedly like a DQ (that’s Dairy Queen, not Disney Quest) PB shake to me. Not that that’s a BAD thing – it's only meant as a point of comparison. DH tasted it and said, “Next time, that’s what I’M getting!” He had been afraid of that “J”, I guess, and stuck with plain ol' vanilla!

    We had, as I mentioned, very little Prime-Time type interaction. We could hear it at other tables, and that made it worse… like we were not even worth pickin’ on. When I accidentally spilled some of my shake, our server simply shook her head and stared, saying, “Tsk Tsk. And that’s why Momma says we just can’t have nice things.” And I think when she took orders, she gave each one of us a nick-name, but it was very softly said, and not used more than once, so the kids never even caught it. Basically, the kids just didn’t seem to “get” Prime Time. My eldest son thought we were in some place that was simply run-down. “Geez, Mom, they don’t even have color TV!” Nostalgia isn’t a concept you readily grasp at age 9. Muppets make me nostalgic – they are (gasp!) 30 years old. What does a young kid have to be nostalgic about? A pair of Pampers? Add to this frustration the fact that now my little soup-lover was uninterested in her soup. And Ryan whispered that his hot dog bore an uncanny resemblance to the ones at school (not intended as a compliment at all). And son Evan wasn’t really eating either. To the credit of our server, she noticed all of this and asked my dd if there was anything she would RATHER have – and server Liz would gladly switch it out, she would make the trade, just for her! Caroline cogitated on this a while and finally agreed to some pasta with sauce. Liz made the same offer to School Hot Dog Boy and the Glow Cup Guy, but they both declined. As for the adult meals... Our chicken was very good and QUITE filling. We had no room for dessert – except for SIL, who ordered Dad’s Sundae (which is absolutely HUGE).

    BIL made some comments around this time about how much things cost and began adding a little cash register “ka-ching” sound effect to everone’s conversation. Anything that involved a price warranted the sound effect. Like DH's “I’M #3 BAY-BEE” outburst, this quickly grated on me. Through my extensive planning, I had already saved everyone a bunch of money. I may not be Geico, but I am pretty thrifty. Plus I’m not a naked lizard, either, which must surely count for something. I simply did not want to hear our vacation turned into a receipt; I didn't want to hear anyone nickel and dime our every event. The valet issue was one thing, but we had to eat, so let the price obsession go and just enjoy. That's my theory, anyway.

    So in keeping with that mantra, I told BIL nicely but firmly there would be NO cash register (nor any other audio inference to costliness) on this here vacation! Nuf said. Rich and his brother then excused themselves and took the older kids to Star Wars to use their fast passes. Meanwhile, I held the baby so SIL could make a dent in the massive sundae. After a bit, we moseyed over to the Star Wars ride and once the fellas got off of that, we went over to Indiana Jones to meet up with my sister. I still wanted to get to B&B with dd, but there would be another showing (the last one) at 4:30, so I consoled myself with that. Sister and her crew ended up not going into the Indiana Jones show. I debated on making a break for it to B&B show, but Caroline was tired and a bit whiny, and insisted she wanted to do what the guys were doing. There ddin't seem to be much point in splitting the group into three factions, I surmised, and so I elected to stay with Caroline and the Indiana group.

    So the rest of us went into the 2:30 Indiana show – good as always, although I still think the first time I saw it was the best. Something about not knowing that one "detail" with the casting (and those who have seen it know what I mean) made it the best viewing. Every performance afterwards has simply paled in comparison. We had awesome seats up front – you could really feel the explosions! We left there and then headed over to ToT / RnR for more fast passes. Of course, our dd had fallen sound asleep in Indiana Jones (so much for seeing the show!), and she was a bit clingy and needy as she awakened grumpily in the bright sun. Over at RnR, we were all reunited, and the group once again entered a debate about where shast we go, what shast we do. There was great confusion now over the fast passes: who was going to be around to ride and at what hour? For some reason they were all looking at me for the dinner and evening plans. It was very hot, too – which saps the patience out of people. I reiterated that I just wanted to do B&B with Caroline (and anyone else who wanted to come) at 4:30. But… my Disney planning instincts told me that if all those folks wanted to do TOT and RNR, they would need to eat by 5:30 and get back to MGM by 6 or 6:30 for their passes. And in order to eat at 5:30, they would have to leave at by at least 5, probably 4:45… Something's gotta give.

    I offered that if they wanted to all go back, eat and whatever, that was fine – just leave enough food for me and dd, as we would stay for B&B and then come home afterwards (probably close to 6 pm by the time the show ended and we caught a boat back to BWV). Innocently enough, BIL then turns to his son, seated next to my sweaty, starting-to-awaken dd, and says cheerily, “Hey, you wanna go back to the resort and swim in the nice cool pool?” You can imagine my eavesdropping dd’s response. And so I gave her the choice – watch B&B at MGM with mom, or go back to the BWV pool...

    And she chose pool.

    You have to side with her reasoning skills on this one: In her mind, she knew how good the pool was. But how good could some seat in the Florida heat be, even if it did have a princess story? And she was still convinced the Beast had fleas, so there was that issue to consider in her mind, too. And so there ya have it – the cheese (uh, that would be me) stood alone.

    Just call me Munster.

    Now the whole gang was steadily heading out of MGM for BWV. I just couldn’t see leaving an equally hot and tired DH with the job of getting all 3 kids back to BW to the pool and fed just so I could see a show that I had really only wanted to see with my dd – who now wouldn’t even be with me. I love him too much to leave him like that! And my reasoning for seeing B&B was something I wasn't sure, at the time, I could fully explain to him or anyone else.

    You see, the truth is, I didn’t want to see the show – I wanted to see HER see the show! I wanted to watch HER face as SHE watched it! Oh well. Simply put, she didn’t want to see it – the Evil Clown pool had won. I should be happy that she was happy -- couldn't I just watch her swim around and be glad? Oh, I SUPPPOOOOSE, I thought begrudgingly as we worked our way out of MGM.

    And as we headed out of the park towards the boat dock, I think it must have been there that I noticed a hole in my pocket – the pocket I kept it in – some was definitely missing!

    It was my magic.

    My magic had been gradually disappearing over the past 24 hours. I was getting grumpy and I knew it. I hoped maybe I could find some to replace it at the resort before the day ended. No one likes a grumpy me... not even me.

    We got to BWV fairly fast via boat. The kids quickly stripped down and suited up for a swim in the pool with DH. I came down a bit later, with the idea that DH would go up to the villa. While I then stayed with the kids, he would put out all the stuff for dinner. I had already made the meat – just had to nuke it. All that had to be done was some minor prepwork. We were going to have Tacos in a Bag – a very easy, low-maintenance meal, great for villa dining. You buy individual bags of chips (like Doritos or Fritos) and crush them in the bag. Open the bag, then put in a scoop of meat, and the rest of your taco fixins of preference (lettuce, cheese, olives, salsa or sauce, sour cream, onion, etc.) Then add a spoon and eat it right out of the bag. Not exactly Emeril, but tasty with no mess, no clean-up. What's not to love about that?

    But I digress.

    At the pool, I still hadn’t found any magic to replace what I had lost at MGM. I was probably getting on my sister's nerves, as I was getting testy (as I will do when I am searching for an answer in my head that can't be found). I tried to squelch my grousing and buy some magic at Leaping Libations in the form of a Carousel. My sis and I each got one of these, but it was a bit too creamy for me – nope, not quite what I was looking for. Should have gotten the Meltdown. We herded our drippy crew back upstairs, and DN showed up at our door carrying a cheese dip and tortilla chips to go with our meal. I sliced a lime and shoved it in a Corona. Tasty – much better than the Carousel. Over our taco feed bags, we decided to divide and conquer that night. The Thrillsters and their newest member Ryan went back over to MGM at 6:30 to utilize all the fast passes. My sister was headed to roam solo around Epcot countries, and BIL and I took older kids back to MGM at 7:30 while SIL stayed with the baby at the villa. The kids had some altercations amongst themselves on the boat ride over to MGM (who got to sit where, by what window, with whom – that kind of stuff - ugh). As we approached MGM I started trying to radio my DH, but couldn't get him.

    We ran into my nieces once we got inside the park – they were headed out of the park, having had their thrills, to go find their mom whom they feared was “alone and lonely” over at Epcot. (I thought to myself, “Alone in Epcot? To do as she pleases roaming the countries? Doesn’t sound too bad to me…..” Bad Cindy! Go find your Magic!) My sister actually did invite me, several times, to join her. But honestly, I just didn't think DH could handle all 3 kids at Fantasmic, or I would gladly have gone. I do so love EPCOT, and I hadn't really done anything one-on-one yet with DSis and crew. Bidding my nieces farewell, we then finally got a hold of Rich and Ryan via the radio – it was now just about 8:15 and they had gotten seats for us in “Fantasmic”. We got to our seats, did a few bathroom rotations, etc. as we waited. Last time we came to this show, our son Ryan cried through the whole thing – turns out he had a budding case of stomach flu and didn’t want to tell us because he was determined to stay and see the show. Ryan and I were both looking forward to viewing it under much better circumstances this year. But as we’re sitting there, I notice Evan’s eyes getting redder and redder, like he’s holding back tears. I hoped it was just chlorine. But no… something’s bugging him – I wondered if it’s the stories his brother was telling him about how great RnR and ToT are.

    Getting information out of Evan, however, is like getting a diamond from coal – it isn’t easy, and it usually requires a lot of heat and pressure.

    “Well, it’s just that… well…. My ear hurts.”

    This is my low pain threshold child. A paper cut is a deep laceration requiring medical attention to him. I feel his head (warm enough to say he’s alive, but not feverish in the least) and I know he’s been sleeping soundly through the night (VERY soundly), so I confess – I started looking instead for psychological reasons. I let him lay his head down while we wait, which prompts his father to look at me and make the “What’s with him” expression. In response, I silently mouth the words, “SAYS HIS EAR HURTS” to his father while I point to the boy’s head. DH makes an equivalent expression in return (I think it was a shrug and “Huh?” We stink as mimes.) So we waited…. And waited…. And WAITED. And we did the wave until we could wave no more. And we ate snacks til we could eat no more. And with every minute, Evan’s attitude deteriorated further. We are just not destined to do this show as a happy family! Then – finally – the show started. HOORAY! And then, inexplicably – it stopped. NOOOOO! The water screens weren’t working right (out of sync). So after another 15-20 minute wait (during which we had to keep hearing the announcement that it would start soon, so stay in your seats – every two minutes -- in English and Spanish) the show starts again, and makes it all the way through. But now we are trapped in the sea of MGM humanity. The kids are tired, and we adults aren’t high on energy either. I had heard that this is normally a great time to check out the shops and let the throngs pass, but these kids are dead-dog tired, Evan is in pain – it will be all we can do to get them back to BWV. BIL and his son headed for the boat; I herd Evan and Ryan in that direction too. Rich decided to walk, carrying Caroline on his shoulders. Evan now began to complain that his ear feels “full”, as in, of water. BIL and I tried explaining how he could perhaps drain it (doing that lovely swimmer’s hophophop on one leg with the tilted head), but Evan’s headbanger’s ball version yielded no fruit. I thought for sure he would have whiplash if he kept it up, so I stopped him. We got back to the villa – it was now almost midnight. I talked with my sister and niece – they both said get him to a doctor. I agreed – after all, it was still early in our vacation, and I didn’t want him to spend it with an ear infection, if that’s what it was. Granted, it didn’t SOUND like a typical ear infection – but what about swimmer’s ear, or some other malady I wasn’t really familiar with? I solicited DH for his opinion – he had no real comment. Understand that this is simply DH’s way. I always say that when something goes wrong in life (be it the car, the house, the kids, the pets, etc.) DH remains in silent denial, and it takes me to bring it up front to his attention and show why and what must be done. DH just trusts me implicitly, such that if it can be fixed, he knows I will fix it – and if I can’t, I will still somehow take care of it. I call the after-hours pediatric care center for which I had brought the number (referred off this board); unfortunately, it had relocated over to the John Young Parkway, and it sounded like it was closed for the night.

    I didn’t know what to do.

    I didn’t relish taking him to the ER, because whereas my son’s condition most likely wasn’t contagious, there are lots of things in an ER that ARE. Didn’t want to come out of there wit the latest “special as a parting gift. About this time, BIL emerges from their room and says that his wife (who was asleep through all of this but I suppose was then filled in by BIL) says he just needs some OTC drops. Normally, I would welcome another opinion, but I reacted badly to this because it was one more piece of info, and nothing agreed. Everyone had an idea – but it all fell to me to make the choice and do it. My DH seemed to like the ear drops idea because it didn’t involve a doctor. And with no magic left in my pocket, and about umpteen different ideas on the table, I made a choice. I elected to hold off on the doc that night and call my own pediatrician in the a.m. Meanwhile, I would try some drops that night. I had given Evan some pain reliever and he was sleeping like a rock.

    DH then offers to go to the store and get the drops. I kinda laughed at this. It was a very sweet offer, really, but he hardly ever drives in Orlando, he hardly ever buys the kids meds or takes them to the doctor, and he’s not one to ask for directions or help. Trying to show him this wasn’t about me being a control freak rejecting his help for no reason, I compared it to his workplace calling him at midnight with an emergency and me saying, “I’ll go fix it, hon, you go on back to bed.” A nice offer – but it just wouldn’t work. So I grabbed my keys and purse, and stopped off at the desk to ask the location of an open pharmacy. Walgreens on South Apopka / Vineland is open until midnight, so I raced in with about 5 minutes to spare and found some drops. I then grabbed a bottle of kid-Motrin and an anniversary card. DH and I would celebrate 14 years of marital bliss on the 11th. Only, I wasn’t in a very “marital-bliss” mood right then – sympathy cards might have been more my cup of tea.

    Well, maybe if we can just get Evan mended, that will set everything right, I mused to myself. (ANd by the way, I looked for magic at Walgreens – but they were out.) I got back to the villa... and everyone was asleep. I tapped Evan – “Which ear is it?” Evan was sleeping very deeply. “Evan – buddy – which ear is it? I have some drops.” Grunt. No response. “EVAN! WHICH EAR?!?” Finally he raised up, blinked a few times, pointed to his right ear, and flopped back on the pillow with the ear nicely pointed skyward. I placed the recommended number of drops in, then 1 extra just in case I miscounted. I then went into the other room, where DH and dd were sleeping. DH startled when I got some stuff out of a drawer. His head lifted briefly and he mumbled, “Did you get it?” He fell asleep before he even heard the answer.

    As I puttered around, the frustration in me welled, and I went into the kitchen to conjure up some food. I hadn’t really eaten much dinner anyway. I grabbed my sister’s dip out of the fridge and a bag of chips. But where to go? The living room had 2 slumbering boys. Didn’t want to wake them with the crinkle crinkle noises of the chip bag and crunch crunch of me eating. I also didn’t think eating on the master bed was a good idea (but not because I thought I’d wake DH. Rodeo clowns and a bullhorn couldn’t awaken that man tonight). I just didn’t want to be the cause of a BWV ant epidemic.

    And so it was that I found myself slumped on a beach towel in the master bedroom closet of our 2 br BW villa, munching tortilla chips and cheesy salsa dip at 1:00 in the morning, trying to figure out how I had gotten to this point, and what was I going to do to turn my attitude around?

    Dip, crunchcrunch, swallow.
    Dip, crunchcrunch, swallow.
    Dip, crunchcrunch, swallow.

    I carried on this way until I either realized I had consumed an hour doing this, or all of the dip – not sure which came first. I thought about everything from the things that I let get to me, to the kids and their squabbles, to the difficulties my DH and I have communicating, especially with others around, to my poor kid holding his ear in pain. That vision seemed to particularly stick with me – I was going to feel really guilty if something was majorly wrong, but likewise, we have taken him to a doctor before and been told he was fine. I hoped the drops would somehow miraculously cure that right ear of his. And then, a vision came to me – one of my son, earlier that day, holding his ear in pain. Ah yes, his ear. His LEFT ear, to be precise. Oh good grief. I got up, grabbed the drops again, flipped Evan over and put drops in the correct ear this time. He didn’t even budge. Right ear indeed – never trust a sleeping child. I cleaned up the dipping dish, put some goodies in the Fairy Bags, and headed for bed around 2:30 am.

    COMING NEXT: THE FOURTH DAY... (click here!)

    Can Magic be found at Lizard – I mean BLIZZARD –Beach? And lest I forget – one day closer to Charley!
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  3. Masonpips

    Masonpips DIS Veteran

    Jun 23, 2002
    Ohhh, I have SO been there with kids and ears. We are proud owners of a Bravery Badge from DCL and DS got to meet the doctor who takes care of Mickey and crew on Mickey's Boat.

    Can't wait for #4 and I hope it was swimmer's ear and the drops helped!
  4. Mickey4Me

    Mickey4Me Mouseketeer

    Aug 18, 1999
    Finally!! I've been checking the boards religously for DAY 3 and was thrilled when I saw it posted. :D Another great installment! Can't wait for Day 4 and I'm confident that you'll be able to rediscover the magic that was lost. ::yes:: I'm keeping my finger's crossed that Evan's ear problem was not serious.

    Keep 'em coming!:Pinkbounc
  5. Minniespal

    Minniespal <img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/image

    Jan 14, 2003
    Great report ~ Thanx for sharing.
  6. jennymouse

    jennymouse <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/"targe

    Mar 9, 2001
    This sounds exactly like my last trip. I didn't find my magic until the very last night, I hope you found yours sooner.

    TOMAR@SSR DIS Veteran

    Mar 21, 2004
    gopherit, hi,
    We`re following your day by day account with such appreciation of the time you`ve taken to let us share your wonderful familie`s experiences on this trip. I`m sure soo many of us are saying " been there, done that ", even as far as looking for the magic you think your loosing on day 3. I definately can relate with soo many trips under our belt with the kids down the years!
    You should really think about being a professional writer;) !Your really GREAT!!!
    Have to go now, and get to day 4!!!!
    Thanks again!
  8. MissUssH

    MissUssH Earning My Ears

    Mar 4, 2004
    Yes Thanks so much for taking such time to create good & fun reading for us all!
    I agree with another post, you are quite good with your words. Keep it up and thanks for sharing your adventures!:sunny:
  9. brock

    brock Mouseketeer

    Aug 24, 2004
    I'm a stay at home mom who is going back to school. I have a quiz tonight that i'm suppose to be studying for.
    However, after the kids went off to school, I called my sis (missush- i think she replied to you, too) and we got talking disney. we leave nov 13!!!
    well, she told me all about you and now for the past hour, i've been reading your adventures. i admit, i'm hooked.
    you are SOOOOOO funny!
    i can definitely relate to everything you say from frugal hubby to deep thinking son.
    hope evan is ok....i feel like i know you guys.
    can't wait till chapter 4...
    keep the magic!
    you have really passed it along!
  10. kilee

    kilee <img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/images/sponsors/s

    Jan 20, 2003
    Those trips w/ lots of people can drain you. I know our last 2 trips were that way. That's why we kept our next trip on the downlow until I knew nobody would jump aboard. We needed a just us trip. Next Oct we'll be doing another full fledged family trip.

    Off to day 4.
  11. 4greatboys

    4greatboys DIS Veteran

    Aug 10, 2002
    Your dh sounds a lot like mine in the silent denial area.

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