Raising a kid and going to WDW. A lot.

The Weekly Peanut, Issue 161

The Weekly Peanut, Issue 161

Brace yourselves: Amy and Liv are in town and thar be LOTS of Disney happening. This week was a triple-dip.

I took Wednesday off work so we could go to Magic Kingdom with Amy and Liv for their first day in the parks. I'm so glad I did. It was so great to spend the morning with these two together (they are dressed as Suzy and Perla, Cinderella's mice).

A couple of weeks ago when we were hanging with Maddie and Mackenna, Mackenna had these little cat toys that the girls went nuts for. I figured it might be nice to have something other than my phone to entertain my child during waits at Disney. Enter Shopkins (dun dun DUNNN).

I let D pick out a pack of shopkins (17, we're already down to 9, of course) and a few of the new rubber tsumtsums (none lost yet, JINX). We first arrived in Town Square just in time to catch trolley show. D loves those trolley hugs.

We caught up with Amy and Liv and headed to see our favorite Bayou Princess. D was much better at sharing her Big Sister this time.

Daphne also IMMEDIATELY wanted to play Hide and Seek (Peter Pan and Maddie, this is all your fault).

Daphne told Tiana it was her turn to go hide. Not an easy task with that dress, let me tell you.

Want to see what happens when my kid isn't in the mood to be photogenic?

Mmmmhmmm. Liza caught up with us at the bayou and we headed to the hub to watch Dream Along and play. Caught up with Bella's family in the hub grass and played some more hide and seek. I got a massive cuddle from Bella, which pretty much made my day.

Daphne's new favorite place to eat in the entire world is Cosmic Ray's. I can't complain over a $6 kid's meal that includes a drink and 2 sides.

Daphne is obsessed with the lounge singer's eyebrows (thanks, Mellie). Had some FastPasses, so the party split up. Peter Pan ride!

And a Carousel-fie (go ahead and groan, I groaned as I typed it).

We reunited the group so that Suzy, Perla, and Lucifer could go visit their favorite Stepsisters.

Absolutely no fun was had by anybody, I swear. We had the obligatory (given the costumes) FastPass reservation for Cinderella planned. Lord... these three crazy kids in the hall? We've been avoiding the hall for a while, given Daphne's recent predilection for crazy games, but I crossed my fingers and hoped that we'd all leave the hall in one piece.

Rapunzel was up first and, of course, D and Bella IMMEDIATELY went to hide in the curtains. Sweet Liv was happy to greet the Lost Princess and give hugs and cuddles, but NO, my kid has to play endless games. Punz, to her credit, was a trooper. She SOMEHOW managed to finagle all three kids into a posed picture at the same time. Kudos, Punz.

Poor Cinderella would have no such luck. It was total toddler bedlam of curtains and hugs and twirls and chats and earring inspections.

I suppose the good part is that, as I had hoped before walking in, nothing was broken, knocked over, or accidentally removed from a princess's costume (although D PETTING, her words, Cindy's headband about gave me a heart attack).

I was pretty doneso at that point, so we headed to Town Square to watch Festival of Fantasy under the (relative) shade of the train station before saying our goodbyes for the day.

Friday I took D to Target. Big mistake. Huge.

Ian had to spend the evening and Saturday in Tampa, so D and I had a quiet evening in making pizzas (burned my arm, ouch) and watching movies while I worked on one of her new costumes (yes, I'm contributing craft to the next costume in the form of hot glue and many feathers, go me). Saturday we had originally planned to meet up and reunite the big toddler crew at MK, but Maddie had been very sick all week so it ended up being just D and Liv again. D finally got to wear her White Rabbit costume I'd been saving for a special Wonderland occasion. When we walked in, Amy and Liv were already in line to see Snow White in front of Town Square. Alright, let's "hop" on over.

D even taught Snow White the Tremaine pose.

That was fun. Almost the moment we turned around we heard the Trolley show music coming down Main Street, so that was a no-brainer.

That's when things started to go downhill. We all wanted to go see Tiana again. I ask D if she wants to go see Tiana. No. She's feeling very contrary today; we're back in that place that anything I suggest is instantly a NO. So we walked through Emporium slowly. Sure enough, halfway through "We go see Tiana now." Mmmmhmmm. We get to the glen and... NO TIANA. Naveen is there... alone... WHAT? Honestly with D being moody I didn't expect her to want to go see him. Liv did, of course. D insisted she wanted to go, too. Well...

Can you see my kid? Mmmhmm. Headed to the hub to watch Dream Along (although D insisted she didn't want to until the moment the music started, then of course she was thrilled). She started asking for food right after. It was pretty early, but I've learned that if my kid is being cranky and asks for food you do NOT turn her down. Of course back to Cosmic Ray's.

We could watch Alice and Mad Hatter meeting through the window. It had been the meet we most wanted to do, given the girls' costumes, but with D's mood I didn't think any character interactions would be in the cards for us. D inhaled her mac and cheese, then promptly declared "MOMMY I HAPPY NOW." Well thank goodness for that. Ava and her family caught up with us and I asked D if she wanted to go see Alice and the Mad Hatter (whom she's never formally met). She enthusiastically said yes. I said a little prayer and we got in line. I was getting some sass while we waited...

but mostly she seemed vastly improved over the first part of the day. Liv embraced Hatter and Alice right away. D gave Hatter a little space, but had a long conversation with Alice about her clock. They established that, since there are no numbers, the time is always right on the clock.

Hatter asked if D was late. "I NOT LATE! YOU LATE!" And thus began possibly the funniest character interactions I've ever seen with D. That contrary attitude D had all morning somehow perfectly complimented the dynamic with Hatter.

Hatter has met his match

Hatter has met his match

Thank you, Mellie, for getting these glorious moments on video.

Then they tried to get Daphne to have an imaginary tea party with them, but D get kept getting distracted by this bug. Alice started juggling the bug in the air, but it was Hatter telling the fly to "shoo" that really pushed her over the edge.

Seeing my kid laughing so hard she went silent was worth it. Worth the sturm and drang of the morning, and worth the even worse attitude I was due to suffer later.

This group hug. Seriously. Look at that Disney magic. Thank you, Alice and Hatter.

At that point I thought it would be smart to relax in the hub grass and play. Catch some Dream Along. We had lots of friends come by to play.

Christian AKA "Little Pan" from Disneyland came by and we got to meet his lovely family.

Then somehow things started to head south. D was playing with her toys, but she started getting rude. She stopped listening. Finally I was asking her to put her shoes back on and she snapped at me "NO!" Oh. Hell. No. Took her for a cool down and chat, but she wouldn't stop screaming at me. I told her if she didn't straighten up we were LEAVING. She did not straighten up. We left. No empty threats from me, darling.

D was pissed. She continued to unleash fury in the stroller all the way to the parking lot. Once she simmered down (in the car) I started in on the mother of all lectures. Manners. Appropriate behavior. Disagreeableness. Politeness. Greetings. Sharing. Courtesy. Friendship. Lather, rinse, repeat. Nap in the car. Lather, rinse, repeat. Eat dinner. Get in the shower. Lather, rinse, repeat. No bedtime story. Bedtime lecture. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Poor Ian had such a long week at work, I didn't want to deprive him of his Disney fix. When I went in to get Daphne up on Sunday, it was with a sober face. One more time I had a long talk with her about what was and wasn't appropriate behavior. She nodded seriously. Swore she'd be on her best behavior. I told her point blank that I would not allow her to ruin a fun day, that if she showed behavior like the day before we'd strap her into the stroller and let her enjoy her own company while Daddy and I had fun. Oh no, she sure didn't want that. Prove it, kid. PROVE. IT.

We headed to Epcot to enjoy my absolute favorite special event that WDW has to offer: Flower and Garden Festival. I can't say this enough: fans of Food and Wine? Flower and Garden is basically the same but with less crowds and gorgeous plants everywhere. After the nutso crowds at MK our last two trips (helloooooo spring break season), Epcot was a welcome, low-key change. Caught up with Amy and Liv right away, Liv ran to Ian immediately. Ian was in hog heaven.

Summer decided it was sick of waiting around to be invited to the party and crashed. Lawwwwwd it is hot, sunny, pushing 90, slathering sunscreen, yuck. Daphne's outfit of choice (Rosetta) was both appropriate for the festival (she's a flower fairy, after all) and the sweltering weather. Although she seemed confused when I told her she couldn't go swimming in it (it is built onto a bodysuit). We cut through the Innoventions building on the way to the Seas for the welcome A/C (yup, at 9:40 a.m.).

Had to bring back this picture from last year, too. Can't believe it's been almost exactly a year since we first met Amy and Liv.

Ian was the chosen one, of course.

So far so good with D. She was being polite, courteous, even enthusiastic. We planned to make a circuit of World Showcase to sample the festival before making our way over to Magic Kingdom to cheer on some friends in the parade. D wanted to ride Figment. I made a concerted effort to approach her calmly and explained we could go on a ride in Mexico instead. She looked like she wanted to disagree, but she stopped and mulled it over. "Ok." I'll take it. Our first stop in World Showcase was to get Amy the famous Violet Lemonade only available at the festival. D got a look at it. "I WANT DAT!" Mom look. "May I pleease have dat please?" Tell you what, kid. If you are on your BEST behavior while we take a full lap of the world showcase, I will get you one on the way out. Deal? Nod. Alright, it's on. Going to hold that lemonade over her head all morning if I need to.

Mexico Kidcot, why you always gotta monopolize my child for long stretches of time? She CANNOT walk past the table anymore. After riding the Three Caballeros, we took a stroll around the showcase. Stopped at a few food booths. D continued asking for the lemonade, I continued to remind her about what she needed to do to get it. She remained on reasonably good behavior. She earned it.

Bliss at first sip for kiddo. Ian hadn't gotten to try it last year, so he asked to taste it. At first I saw her clutch it to her chest. Mom look comes out. D, remember what we said about sharing and manners? She handed it over to Ian. Can mommy have some, too? Nod. We made our way to the front of the park, never hesitating to hand it over for sips to Ian and I (although almost before my lips touched the straw, she would be exclaiming it was her turn for a taste). Still, progress. We had a FastPass for Spaceship Earth (thank goodness, crowds were picking up).

Love these two. At this point Amy and Liv had a reservation to go to at Akershus with Ashlyn, so we said Aur Revoir and hopped on the monorail to Magic Kingdom. D got her window seat (this is a whole thing with the monorail, D wanting to sit by the window even if it's packed with people, ugh).

Although there was still an hour until the parade, I had a special spot I wanted to stake out for pictures: Above the train station. 1) shade 2) a new angle to shoot the characters on top of the floats. D came up to check it out.

Ultimately she opted to make for the streets of Town Square to watch with MADDIE who was finally well enough to join us at the parks. Also Mr. Chris came by to say hello.

Amanda's pic

Amanda's pic

The most optimal spot for shooting the parade would have been the dead center of the station looking up main street. Unfortunately that was all roped off for a V.I.P. tour. I did the best I could from my angle, despite that big dopey tree.

I'd planned to not stay much longer, but D seemed to be behaving herself. Maybe catch a castle show in the hub grass? Oh no, it started to sprinkle. So we decided to camp out in the Baby Care center for a while and let the girls watch a movie while we waited to see if the rain would move on.

That place is so great. Mary Poppins on the TV. Tons of books. Bathrooms. A mini-kitchen. I got a panicked text from Christian's mom after a few minutes; Christian had broken his shoe, where can she get super glue? Kismet: I had superglue in my backpack. My first Mommy Rescue.

Apparently Maddie's new favorite is Frozone (from the Incredibles). We walked through the (barely a sprinkle) rain to Tomorrowland to see if he'd be out for the Incredibles Super Dance Party. D got introduced.

BFFs at first sight. They all danced together, but then the characters got called back in for the rain. Headed back to Town Square so the girls could visit their favorite pixie (and a special friend on her last day working in MK). Amy and Liv caught up with us and we headed in. You should have seen ALL of the parents crouched down in front of their kids giving them reminders of proper NOT CRAZY character meeting etiquette (Liv, honestly, doesn't need it, but D and Maddie have both had their share of bedlam in Tink's Nook in the past). Fortunately the girls were the last group ushered in and they had plenty of time to play with Tink.

Honestly, although the girls were definitely wound up, they were not BAD. No fisticuffs, nobody getting knocked over, nothing broken, and they managed to all stand together for pictures and give hugs without getting too pushy. I called it a roaring success. Particularly when I got home and had a chance to edit the photos, which had Ian and I in stitches from the faces these ridiculous children make in pictures. It was such a proper send off for a great friend. Thanks for the love and patience to Tink and all of the staff in the nook for letting our girls take over.

Thanks for the pixie dust, Tink

Thanks for the pixie dust, Tink

Again, I would have been fine calling it a night, but D was being so good and having such fun with the girls we stuck around. Back to the dance party.

The rain came back so we escaped to the people mover with Lea. I missed the people mover. So relaxing.

Headed back to the dance party to say goodbye to Frozone.

Amanda's pic

Amanda's pic

Then hopped BACK on the monorail to Epcot.

And said our goodbyes to Amy and Liv. Yes, I'm exhausted. I'm also really impressed with how much improvement D showed in her behavior Sunday. I realize she's only 3, but this kid is a lot smarter than I've sometimes given her credit for. I choose to hold her to a higher standard for behavior, because she IS capable of understanding these things so long as I take the time to explain it to her. And repeat it. A few times. And a few more....

The Weekly Peanut, Issue 162

The Weekly Peanut, Issue 162

The Weekly Peanut, Issue 160

The Weekly Peanut, Issue 160