The Weekly Peanut, Issue 159
We had some fun new experiences this week. D's new favorite movie is Matilda (she calls it "Da Magic Girl"). We also had Clueless on one afternoon. Halfway through the movie D declared she wanted to meet Cher and Dionne. Then she disappeared for a few minutes and came back with a pair of daddy's socks...
Over-the-knees? You're one mini-skirt away from being truly ready to meet them, kiddo. Speaking of creative outfits, D's dress-up rituals continue every afternoon. It's the first thing she does when she gets home: layers.
Two pairs of socks, leggings, another pair of underwear on top of the leggings, a dress, a tunic, a top, and a bolero. A backward bolero.
D helped me take Ludo home after his annual check-up. She managed to coax him into a cuddle. I swear, this was her idea and insistence. She was so proud that she got him up there.
D saw a preview for Zootopia a few weeks ago and has been pretty obsessed since. She's asked me several times to meet "da rabbit an' da fox." With all those recent budget cuts at Disney, I told her that might not end up being in the cards. A friend drew my attention to the fact that the Disney Parks Blog was having a giveaway for special advanced screening tickets for the movie over the weekend. I entered as quickly as I could TWICE (only one guest per entry, so for Ian to come, two entries). My friend got his confirmation back very quickly, but after not hearing anything for 24 hours I gave up, assuming I'd been too late. Friday I got an email: congrats and come see the movie! With one guest :-/. But I couldn't turn down the opportunity to take the kiddo, since the last time they did one of these was for Inside Out and that was the only time Joy and Sadness ever did a meet and greet. If I was going to have a chance for the kid to meet Rabbit and Fox, this might be it.
Saturday was Disney day. Through no real effort on our part, we all somehow made it to rope drop. So what do you do when you make it but don't feel like fighting the crowds for Norway girls or 7 dwarves mine train? The standby line for Peter Pan's Flight, of course!
Family ride selfie!
We were already noting unseasonably large crowds for a February weekend. Dangit. Managed to walk on to Thunder Mountain Railroad. D giggled and cackled and had the best time. Then we got off the ride. "Mommy... dat gave me a tummy ache." Uhhh... what? Do you feel sick? "Yeah... I think I puke." Ohhhh no. I dragged her over to a trash can. She looked a little green, but nothing happened. So I dragged her to a bathroom. She leaned over the toilet. "I need go potty." Ok. She pottied. Then she stood up and tried to leave. Ohhhhhh no, kiddo. My puke-gate PTSD was riding high. You are staying here for a few minutes. Do you still feel sick? "Yeah... my tummy doesn't feel so good." Alright, well then we are staying in here a few minutes. "Oh... well... it feels a little better." Ok, we're still staying. "Mommy I fine. I no puke. I feel fine." Seriously, kid?! Ughhh. I still made her chill out in the stroller for several minutes.
I decided because of the crowds we better make sure to go see her Big Sister before it got too crowded so D could give her the Valentine's gift she'd picked out. Weeks ago, D was grocery shopping with me and saw this stuffed frog prince and insisted we get it for Tiana. Off to the glen. D was very excited to surprise her.
They each gave him a big kiss, just in case.
D wanted to try and play hide and seek around the pillars. Tiana and I both have a complex about Daphne running around those darn pillars. So "the frog" told Tiana where D was hiding. D thought that was pretty funny. Then she told Tiana to hide behind the pillar. Not with that skirt, kiddo.
It was just so good to see these two together again. We'd missed Tiana so much.
We ran into Haley and I dragged us all back to Town Square after hearing that the new Pirates TsumTsums were available in a shop there. We came out of the shop just in time to catch the Trolley show. D got Sachi and one of the other girls to play hide and seek / tag around the train station.
D and Haley took a stroll with the girls over to car barn.
D became quite taken with peeking around inside the barn. Apparently the trolley horse lives in there between shows until he can go back to his home at the Wilderness Lodge.
Karson told D all about Dutch, the trolley horse, but D kept insisting that she couldn't see him. So...
D got to go meet Dutch. How cool is that??? The car barn is generally blocked off completely. That might be the biggest horse I've ever seen. He somehow looks even bigger when he's not hitched to the trolley. Big thanks to the Trolley girls and the car barn staff (and Dutch, of course) for humoring my curious peanut and giving her this special piece of magic.
We let the trolley kids go back to work and made our way up to the hub just in time to catch a Move It Shake it and meet up with Maddie, Amanda, Morgan, and Sarah. I stationed D next to Phineas and Ferb again, since she seemed so fond of them last time, only to see that our friend, Danni, happened to be stationed there as well. D was quite happy to attach herself to Danni for all of the crowd participation portion of MiSi.
The girls were already begging for a "Castle Show," so we went ahead and grabbed a spot for the next Dream Along. Hard to believe we've only got a month left before this show goes away forever. D knows almost all the words and moves at this point. Clapping along with Tick Tock is her favorite. Or maybe dancing along with the royals.
D had been sort of moody the whole day, and I'd declared no more character meets after Tiana. We had a fastpass for jungle cruise, but when D saw Maddie was going to see Peter Pan she insisted we go as well. I'm so glad she did, it turned out to be the funniest and best Pan meet we've ever had. Enjoy this video from Amanda, share in my glee when Pan somehow manages to get away with doling out all the sass my kid can dish right back in her face.
Seriously, I've never seen anybody put my kid in her place so well while simultaneously charming and wrangling her. Peter Pan is a wizard.
D went back to being moody after that. It wasn't so much that she was throwing tantrums, but she didn't seem to want to do anything. We're back in that "nothing that's mommy's idea is a good idea" zone. D wanted nothing to do with anybody other than Maddie (she was downright rude or dismissive to anybody who asked for a hug or even a high-five, ugh). I get that toddlers are moody and temperamental, but it always feels like a poor reflection on us when she's being rude to people who are so kind to her. Not to mention RUDE TO ME. Grr. The crowds were getting crazy, so at Ian's insistence on a "change" we staked out some shaded parade real estate in Frontierland. Chris showed up and headed to grab food with Morgan and Amanda while Ian and Giana and I looked after the kids. Eric showed up with a huge pile of Disney stickers. D surprised me by giving Eric and Chris hugs right away. Nobody else all day. Hmmmm. Eric let the girls make him a sticker shirt.
D got some Smee love during parade.
The party sort of split up after parade, but when we found out Morgan had never been to the Tiki room we knew that had to be corrected. D stole my phone while we waited and took all these photos.
D wanted to try on Casey's shades before he went to work.
We finally caved to the girls' request to hang on the hub grass (which was disturbingly crowded, ugh). Chris and Ian got to take turns being pushed around.
We were joined by Ava's family, new friend Ronni, and birthday girl Lindsey and her buddies. We ended up just hanging in the hub grass, catching multiple Dream Alongs, until suddenly the sun was going down and hours had passed.
We all said goodnight and called it a day. Somehow, despite D's moods, we'd made it through a day at Magic Kingdom from rope drop through sundown.
The next morning D and I had to be up bright and early to make it down to the screening. The instructions for the screening said the movie would start at Downtown Disney at 11 a.m. but that they might let people in "as early as 8:30." I asked a friend who'd made it to that Inside Out screening last year, and she said when she got there at 9:30 the line was already wrapped around the building. Yikes. Sounded like a long day of waiting and patience with a temperamental toddler might be in my future. So I loaded the iPad, grabbed a coloring book, stuffed my purse with snacks, and hoped for the best.
We arrived in the chilly morning around 9 a.m. and were maybe the 10th party in line. D immediately found "new friends" to enlist in playing, which helped. She also enjoyed Dream Along on my phone, and somehow got a sweet cast member to be her prince during the royals choreography section.
Thanks, Hillary. You're a peach. D, of course, declared she needed to go potty when there was no sign of us moving in any time soon. And nobody to hold our place in line. So proud of my kiddo, she held it almost an hour before they finally let us in. They had the lobby set up with lots of promotional materials, a video camera, some photo op areas, and coupons for free soda and popcorn. After giving D her potty break, I let her explore the photo ops.
That's Orange Bird, the official logo of the Disney Parks blog. D is wearing her new Zootopia dress (she's obsessed, all week since she's pulled it out of her hamper every day when she gets home and puts it on over her clothes) and her Judy Hopps plush I got her in honor of our little outing.
When the press people saw her dress, they asked D if she wanted to twirl for the camera. HAH!
I didn't want to dawdle any longer at risk of sitting in the front row for a 3D movie, so we headed into the theater and I managed to snag us seats very close to the exit but in the front row of the first balcony tier with plenty of leg room and no neighbors in front of us for D to kick their chairs. Great spot, really. D played some games on my phone, but the Parks Blog people kept coming out to tell corny jokes or do trivia giveaways, so the time passed pretty quickly. We got to see a featurette about the time the filmmakers spent at Animal Kingdom studying movement, and finally they told us that as a special treat WE WOULD HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO MEET JUDY AND NICK (da Rabbit and da Fox) AFTER THE MOVIE! YESSS!!! D hadn't even seen the movie yet and she was super excited.
I didn't know how D would do with a 3-D movie. They handed out kid-sized 3-D glasses and apparently that made all the difference, since she had no problem keeping them on the whole time. She asked to go for one bathroom break, but was otherwise perfectly behaved for the duration of the film. It was a tiny bit on the long-side, and the plot was a little predictable, but 100% worth my time. So worthwhile, I felt compelled to run home and write about just how important I felt like the movie was as a parent of a young girl. We snuck out just a little before the opening credits to try to grab a spot in line before the crowd for the meet. The lobby was filled with MORE SWAG for us! We got Zootopia sunglasses, Judy and Nick ear headbands, and (my favorite) ORANGE BIRD MAGIC BANDS!!! We grabbed our goodies and high-tailed it over to the Cirque du Soleil stairs where the meet was supposed to start in just 10 minutes. We were around the 6th group in the line. Within 5 minutes the line stretched the front of the building. PHEW.
The meet started right on time, and groups of around 5 at a time were taken back for their photo op. D was actually speechless when she saw them at first.
Ahhhhh my heart!! Judy and Nick were so fantastic. D got extra hugs and cuddles between her photo op (I may have snuck in a hug, too).
So here I am, riding high on my kid's good behavior and patience. She says she's hungry so I take her over to Wolfgang Puck to get her a pizza. She takes two bites and then starts picking at it, because there are places where the sauce isn't completely covered by cheese and she thinks there's something wrong with it. OH. HELL. NO. I acknowledge that food is my weak spot when it comes to parental patience, but then she started asking to play games on my cell phone, and then she started pitching a fit when I said we needed to go home after lunch and I'd HAD IT. After all the attitude the day before, and now this, I unleashed a massive lecture about manners and kindness and selfishness and entitlement and gratefulness and.... I might have gone a bit overboard. D got surly or ignored me, so then I'd yell. This is the cycle, my kid ignores me when I speak calmly, so then I get loud. Or angry. And my kid calls me mean. It's not what I want, but sometimes escalating is the only way to reach her. She cried on the way home. Then she stopped. We talked calmly. She asked if she could watch Inside Out. Maybe later, I say. NO! NO LATER! NOW! Oh. Hell. No. Here we go again. So I repeat my lecture all over again as we cruise down I4. More crying. Suddenly it's quiet. The kid has fallen asleep. At 2pm. What?! Now the parental rationalization of "she's just tired" "she's just going through a growth spurt" and so on.
I swear, being a parent is an endless cycle of being confronted with situations you don't know how to handle, finding a solution, and feeling good about it just in time for it all to start again.
For what it's worth, D seems to have really turned it around Monday and Tuesday. Maybe she's just coming out of one of those bad phases. I know I've said it before, but it's like just when you're completely convinced that you've screwed up beyond all reason and have an irrevocable turd for a child, they turn it back around and give you a few weeks of precious-angel-baby.