The Weekly Peanut, Issue 180
Ian and I have made an epic parenting mistake. Huge. We showed her American Ninja Warrior. Now she wants to Ninja Warrior everywhere. In dresses. In the shower. Against sliding glass doors. HELP.
Such grace. Such athleticism.
Daphne had her bi-annual trip to the dentist. I was worried she might be a bit nervous after her less than fun doctor visit, but she remembered Doctor King's office right away. I can't say enough good things about that place. I still go out of network and pay a pile of money out of pocket, because he and his staff are 100% worth it.
D got stellar reviews at the Dentist. They couldn't believe that she does her tooth brushing 100% by herself (she won't let us help her). She was a total champ about her cleaning and learning to use the suction straw.
Saturday we had a long-awaited family trip to Epcot to finally make attempt #2 at riding the Frozen Ever After ride (I'd booked these FastPasses the same day we were denied, it was the first weekend set of FastPasses I could get). We also decided to turn it into an evening trip and have only our second ever viewing of Illuminations. We arrived at the park around 2:30 with just a little time to kill before our FP window. So, obviously, we go on the Three Cabelleros ride.
We took D on Frozen Ever After. She asked a lot of questions, but didn't seem particularly awed by any of it (she did cling to Ian during the tiny slide moment, thanks a lot Tower of Terror). She said her favorite parts were the Snowgies and "Elsa using her powers on us in the ice castle."
The Royal Summerhus continues to have incredibly short wait times, so I asked D if she wanted to go visit Anna and Elsa after the ride. "Hmmm... just Elsa I think." Sorry kid, it's both or nothing.
It's so fascinating to watch how D's interactions with characters have evolved. Not too long ago, she would stare up in mute awe, now here she is conducting in depth conversations on the merits of ice powers and the greater plot line questions of the film vs the ride...
Meanwhile with Anna, D worked on expanding her pose repertoire.
Honest parent moment: we had a pretty rough week with D behavior-wise. She's been shrill and negative with us about everything from food to showering to getting dressed. I took away some of her dress up clothes and locked up her closet. Saturday morning we gave her one last opportunity to get her act together and prove to us that she wanted to go to Disney with us. I'm so glad she did, because WE as a family needed this trip together. D, for her part, managed to pull a complete turnaround on her previous crappy behavior. Exhibit A: the drums in Africa. These are generally a black hole of toddler: we let her go play on them, but if we ask her to leave it's a huge meltdown screamfest. I decided to give her an opportunity to demonstrate some maturity when she asked to go play on the drums: D, you may have TWO minutes to play on the drums. When Mommy says it is time to go, you get back in the stroller with NO screaming or fits. You agree to this and carry it out, or no drums. She agreed. Ian was VERY skeptical (he's definitely had the rougher treatment from D this week).
I gave her 1 minute and thirty second warnings. Finally I told her it was time to go, that 2 minutes had passed. She stepped calmly away from the drums and climbed back into the stroller. I pushed us toward Germany with a giant smile on my face. Ian, meanwhile, had to pick his jaw up off the ground. We tested this method again in Germany at the trains.
I roasted in the sun while D chased the trains around. She came barreling toward me, "D, please be careful, don't run." Literally before the sentence had finished leaving my lips, D wiped out. Hard. Ian's and my parenting choice has always been to not fawn over D when she hurts herself, to give her the option to pick herself up if she's able (I'm not saying there's a right way to parent this situation, this is just OUR choice). The tourists all around D, however, clearly did not subscribe to this. Even as D was flinching but loudly declaring "I OKAYYYY" adults were gasping and scraping her up off the ground, giving me dirty looks for not racing to her side. Like, did you hear my kid? She's fine. Some of them didn't want to let go of her arms, so I went over and crouched next to her. She was wincing but being a champ (she'd skinned up her knees pretty badly). Finally the tourists walked off. Probably to call CPS. Insert eyeroll. Meanwhile we met up with some of Ian's friends briefly at the Weinkeller. D's knee had started bleeding, so I went in search of bandaids. The first aid center is pretty far from Germany, so I was hoping something would be close by. I was directed to the sports shop in Germany. Awesome. They go digging into a first aid kid behind the counter and come out with a small envelope of 8 band aids and some neosporin. Perfect. "That will be $2.18." :-/ Ugh, fine...
We'd initially wanted to make dinner reservations, but hadn't committed because of how iffy D had been. She was still being pretty awesome, so we decided to make our way back to Restaurant Marrakech and see if they had an opening (It was barely 4:45 after all) for a walk in. They did. Score.
30 seconds later she spilled that whole goblet all over me.
Actually she was rather squirrely the whole meal. Until the music started. This was our first time being there for the belly dancing. I called it: 2 minutes into dancing and D was already declaring that she "needed" the belly dancer's outfit and jangly scarf and castanets.
The dancer came over to our table and offered to show D how to do the dance. Our little non-participator got super shy and politely said "No, Thank You." Didn't stop her from engaging in her own dance session while Ian and I finished eating.
We ran into Aladdin and Jasmine outside the restaurant. D gave Aladdin a high five. Mostly she just wanted to color a Duffy.
Let D have her phone booth time in the UK.
Rode Spaceship Earth.
Feeling especially indulgent, we finally let D do the Power City game at the end of the ride (we usually beg off to go do something else and there's also usually a line). Now that we've done it once, I'm completely fine with not doing it again. Ever.
Decided to get a family photo at the Visa Character Spot (we're never there when it's open or there's a huge line). Minnie and Pluto greeted us while Hakuna Matata blasted over the speakers. So of course, we had to have a dance party.
And Thank You, blueberry, for getting a very good picture of our family with my camera since the photopass downloads still have watermarks on them even when they shouldn't.
D showed interest in visiting Joy and Sadness at headquarters. The line was not short, but we didn't really have anywhere else to be. Fortunately we made friends with a nice family in line and D happily showed them numbers from Wicked on my phone (have I mentioned that D is obsessed with Wicked now?).
Despite the long line, it was totally worth it. We've certainly never had a bad experience with Joy and Sadness, but this one was exceptional. From the first moment, Joy and D had a connection that was not to be disturbed. That first hug looked like it wasn't going to end. Eventually D remembered Sadness.
But D was still LIT from her Hakuna Matata dancing. Sadness isn't much of a dancer. Joy literally leaped at the opportunity.
The happiest kid. I'm so happy Joy and Sadness are at Epcot for the foreseeable future.
We had a little time to kill before fireworks so I asked D what she wanted to do. Run around in circles at the imagination fountains, of course.
Our friend, Eric, met up with us back in World Showcase on the way to Mexico. D hasn't seen Eric since Christmas. Given that, and her general initial hesitation around men, I was bowled over when she not only hugged him right away, but launched herself out of her stroller to, quite literally, run away with him.
D's new favorite thing in the world is Eric's "human zipline." She sat on his shoulders while we ordered margaritas and had him dancing through the world showcase with her. Eric gave her a special perch to watch the Fantasmic fireworks we could see in the distance while we waited. "TOWER OF TERROR! I GO ON DAT! I SO BRAVE!" We know, kid.
I like Illuminations. But in the end it's probably my least favorite of the Disney nighttime offerings. This would explain why it was only our second time watching it.
We said our goodbyes to Eric and made our way back to the car. D put up a valiant effort not to fade out, but she was done by the time we hit the interstate.
D managed to sleep past 8 the next morning, a Christmas in July miracle. We headed to Rock n Brews to check out their brunch (but really it was lunch, also because D was asking for pizza). It was pretty decent as far as brunch goes, and cheap.
Ran some errands at Target, Lukas Nursery, and the grocery store. Invited Ava's family over for swimming and dinner.
D showed Ava how to make man-catching beignets in the hot tub. D is also tall enough now to stand on her tiptoes unassisted in the shallow end of the main pool. Stop growing up right now.
There you have it. Another week bites the dust. D has been (knock on wood) much improved so far this week on all fronts. She even ate the capers in her Chicken Piccata.