Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Happy Birthday, Conquering fears and Sufficiently Amused

This is our "Katie-bug" and she turned 5 recently. About 6 weeks before her birthday, Eric asked her what she wanted for her birthday. She responded, like any 4 and 3/4 year old (this is the age she gave herself up until the day she turned five) would, that she wanted to go to Disneyland. And Eric, despite the tough-guy exterior, is complete putty in his girls' hands and made it happen. So we took the kids out of school during the first week of school-no less- and spent 2 and 1/2 days in sunny Southern CA with several other hundreds of people celebrating birthdays in Disneyland. This year Disney has a "Celebrate" theme and they are encouraging their patrons to come celebrate whatever occassion with them. And of course Disney celebrates right.. for a price! :) But Katie had an unforgettable birthday and I've decided that having a handful of fingers to hold up when someone asks you how old you are matches a five year old's personality perfectly. It was so cute to watch Katie proudly hold out her hand with all five fingers spread wide whenever someone asked her how old she was turning on her birthday. But Eric may just have to be careful, for her 6th birthday Katie may just ask for a pony!

Besides celebrating birthdays in Disneyland, we also worked on some pretty significant fears. Katie is terrified of fireworks and Disney does a firework show every night. We were dog-tired every night we were there so we never made it to the 9:30pm showing of the fireworks in the park. But we could see them from the RV parking lot we were staying at. The first night Katie refused to come out because as she explained it, "Fireworks are made of fire and they burn people and they burn houses." Well I couldn't really argue with that logic, so she just stayed inside while we enjoyed the show. The second night her curiousity got the best of her and she poked her head out of the RV for a few minutes and then decided she could watch them from the safety of Dad's arms. On the last night I was cleaning up the dinner dishes about a half hour before the show and I overheard Annie say to Katie while they were taking a shower, "I bet everyone is already watching the fireworks." And Katie responded, "Well we need to hurry so we don't miss the fireworks." What a difference 2 days makes!
Another fear we worked on is Finn's fear of roller-coasters. He really hates them. Annie, on the other hand, can't get enough of them and this really speaks to the difference in their personalities. When Finn was about 4 and Annie was 2, I took them to the aquarium. There were crabs you could touch there. Finn wouldn't get near them, but Annie kept putting her pudgy two year old fingers right up to them. This freaked Finn out and he kept telling me to not let Annie touch them because of their "pinchers." Anyway, luckily for Finn most of the roller coasters in Disneyland are pretty benign. They go fast, but tend to not have a lot of steep drops or chances to be upside down which is what he doesn't like about them. We started with Matterhorn which even Suzie can ride and worked our way up. The best was when Eric took Finn on Splash Mountain. I don't know if this next picture can be blown up, but if you want a good laugh- try to make it bigger and look at Finn's face. It is pure terror. There is absolutely no joy in his face whatsoever. And Eric and I, being the sympathetic, sensitive parents that we are have laughed and laughed about this picture every time we look at it. When Eric saw it he just couldn't pass up having hard evidence of why Finn doesn't like roller coasters. And what's even better is before they saw this picture, Finn said to Eric, "I wasn't expecting that drop at the end." Really?!?
One final note about "amusement parks." As fun as they are I can't help but wonder if the "amuse" in "amusement" means for parents having to tell your kids "No, we are not buying souvenirs until the last day" 100 times or feeling violated by having to pay $4.00 for a 12 oz soda or trying to keep both a 2 year old and a 10 year old happy at all times or dealing with mid-day meltdowns because we are all hot, hungry and have stayed up too late and gotten up to earlier. Well if it does- then yes, we have been sufficiently "amused!"

9 comments:

amberjill said...

i can't believe how much your kids have changed over the summer!! Suzie looks so much older! DANGIT!! it looks like you had so much fun. tell Eric i'm working on my birthday list! :)

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

We're going to do our first Disney vacation in January when Matt finally finishes law school. Thanks for all the "amusement" warnings. Love the Splash Mountain picture. Happy birthday to your 5-year-old. Maybe we can betrothe her to my Clark. That would be one big ball of cuteness and sass. :)

Julie said...

Love Finns face..money well spent. I am so happy you guys had such a good time. Tell Eric I want an RV....something tells me, though, that he isn't putty in MY hands.

Wood Family said...

he, he,he,he,he,he,he,he,he,he,he,he,he,he, he, etc....

Natalie said...

Oh so funny. What a funny kid.

Michael said...

Happy celebration to our Katie-bug and good for facing fears!!!! So glad you were all amused.

Paris Lover said...

Oh my goodness! I had no idea you took off to Disneyland. I just LOVE that place. What a fun birthday gift. She'll never forget it. We were in Disneyland on Kyleigh's eighth birthday. Fun memories, other than when she got lost. :) I was driving past your house yesterday with my brother. I mentioned you had a kindergartener. We are hoping Katie and my brother's youngest, Megan, can meet and become friends now that she is in the ward. She's five too but is in morning K.

P4 said...

So jealous! But I am glad you guys had fun...it will be a great trip to remember.

Allison said...

I didn't even know you went to Disneyland. I am so out of the loop. I love Eric's and Finn's faces in the picture. So perfect. I love the way you write Kari!