Going back to Cali. Part 2.

It was officially day one of our vacation, and on day one we had big, big plans. We were going to the California Adventure Theme Park. California Adventure is a part of Disneyland and was built as a celebration to all things Californian. I have to say that that’s not true. I witnessed some of the worst outfits on some of the whitest skin I have ever seen. Not only that, but I didn’t find one Medical Marijuana clinic in the whole park. And trust me, I looked. If it were truly California the park would be broke, tan, and liberal.

It was the four of us. My dad, Poptart, Mini Me, and myself and we had nothing but good intentions. We were there to inspire Mini Me. We wanted to take her on the adventure of a lifetime. We wanted her to live a dream, to visit her heroes Woody, Buzz Light Year, Jessie, Lightning McQueen, and so many others. We couldn’t wait for her to get so excited her face would light up and she would look at us and say, “Mother, Father, thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity. I will never forget it and will always be in your debt. I will now grow up, be well adjusted, go to the finest schools, and live a life that will make you proud.” But instead she said, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Poptart and I are now saving up for the years of therapy we are going to have to pay for because of the mental anguish Mini Me endured during our trip to the not so Magical Kingdom.

We thought we would start her off slowly and let her work her way up to The Twilight Zone Tower Of Terror. “Which was a once-glamorous, and now vacant a luxury Hollywood Tower Hotel.” More or less, you get your sorry ass to the top then plunge 13 stories down. *Young children should be accompanied by an adult.* Well, technically my dad is an adult so I think we should have no problem going on this ride. But we still need to warm her up first. So how about a little Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue to take the edge off?

Mini Me LOVES the movie Monsters Inc., so we were sure this was going to be a true treat for her. I was so excited! Now Poptart and I had already been on this ride a couple of years earlier. And I remember it being very tame. You go into the building, which is decorated like the inside of the Monsters Inc, and you get into a small taxi and then you go for a ride through the streets of Monstropolis. It’s a really cute ride. As we were standing in line we asked Mini Me who she wanted to ride with, Mommy or Daddy. She picked Mommy. Cool I get to ride with her on her very first amusement park ride. Sweet! I thought.

We got into the front of our little taxi and my dad and Poptart got into the back, and off we went. As soon as the doors opened to Monstropolis and she saw a real life giant Sulley and Mike, that’s when she buried her head right into my arm. Poor thing was scared out of her little three-year old mind. I should have just told her Santa was a serial killing dentist that hated small blonde girls that look like hippies. And that he doesn’t just come once a year but comes every night and stands over her bed with a pair of pliers just trying to figure out which tooth to pull. That should have thrown her over the edge.

As we left the ride I felt horrible for her. I can’t even begin to tell you. I felt as though we had just completely traumatized our poor little daughter and ruined her for life. But as we were leaving, she saw Mr. Incredible from the movie The Incredibles.
“Look! Superman!” she exclaimed.
“Do you want to see Superman?” Poptart asked her. She nodded her head yes. So we walked towards Mr. Incredible and all of a sudden Mini Me froze like a deer caught in headlights.
“Don’t you want to go see Superman, sweetie?” I say.

Okay, so maybe Mr. Incredible was too much for her. All us adults were starving anyway and there was a kid’s show coming on in about 15 minutes so we grab some snacks and proceeded to watch a little show about animation. During the show there were three actors on the stage dancing and singing and obviously on some sort of high quality antidepressants because these were some of the happiest people I have seen in a very, very long time. And they were singing and dancing about being animators and creating characters when all of a sudden here came a woman dressed as a princess on stage and Mini Me’s eyes lit up. “Princess!” she says. And then, “Mickey Mouse!” And then, as if it couldn’t get any better, one of her all time favorite heroes showed up. “WOODY!!!!!!” Mini Me was so excited it was like she had died and gone to heaven. As parents, this was the moment we had fantasized about when we planned our trip to Disneyland. Our daughter, eyes swimming with stars, thrilled to finally see her heroes live!
We would like to accept our parent of the year awards on behalf of …well ourselves because it’s hard to be humble when you are as freaking awesome as we are.

The show ended and the princess came down into the audience from stage left. Mickey came down to the center of the audience, and Woody came down from stage right. So many choices!
“Who do you want to go see?” Poptart asked Mini Me.
“Woody!” she says with love in her heart and a twinkle in her eye. So Poptart and Mini Me stood in the line to get their picture taken with Woody, and I waited towards the front with another group of people waiting to take the picture. Eventually Poptart and Mini Me made it to the front and I had the camera at the ready for what I was sure would be our next Christmas card. Mini Me walked up to the front of the line and stared at Woody. Woody got down on one knee and opened his arms out wide so she could run into them for a big Woody hug. Mini Me started to run towards Woody and at the last second she took a hard right and ran away screaming “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!”
“Sorry Woody,” was all I could get out as Woody dropped his giant head in shame. Or laughter. You can never tell with those giant fake heads. Anyway, Poptart and I couldn’t help but laugh as we began tracking down our shrieking banshee into another area of the park.

After Mini Me dissed Woody, we moved on to the Playhouse Disney Theater and watched the puppet versions of Minnie, Mickey, Goofy, and….oh you get the picture. And from there onto the Bug’s Land. Which is great for small children. It’s modeled after the movie a Bug’s life and has rides for small kids that aren’t so frightening. Mini Me enjoyed it very much and we were all having a great time. Until….lunch time.

Lunchtime. I really should just stop here but I might as well tell the tale. As we were in Bug’s Land we checked out the map for food options and decided on Mexican food. Now Mini Me will usually eat what ever it is that I’m eating. If we buy her her very own plate of food she doesn’t want it, but if it’s on my plate she’ll eat the whole thing. Like the day we left for our trip. She wanted Mac and Cheese so I made her Mac and Cheese. Did she eat it? Yes and then she pretty much ate the entire tuna sandwich Poptart got for me at Subway. What’s mine is hers and what’s hers is hers. That’s just the way it is. So we had decided on Mexican but at the last minute changed our minds and thought that we would go to the Princess Restaurant for Mini Me.

We made our way into the Princess Grotto and checked out the menu. Mac and Cheese, one of Mini Me’s favorites. PERFECT! Mini Me will get one of her favorite foods and she’ll get to meet and greet with all the Disney Princesses. All for the low, low price of….$45.00. Now my dad was sporting us and he is more than generous. He can also afford to do it, but for $45 a head I better see some martinis and some lobster. Turns out that this Princess Grotto involved a full five course meal. I mean they serve you enough food to feed a third world country for at least a month. There was no way in hell I was going to eat that much food so that would have been $45 wasted on me. Mini Me would most likely run screaming “NOOOOOOO!” from every princess in there. And even though I’m pretty sure Poptart and my dad could put away a good amount of food, we all agreed it wasn’t worth it. I’m sorry but I will dress up like all the princesses for you and charge you only $17.52. If you want me to brush my teeth it’s going to cost you an extra dollar. So we decided to go with the original plan and do Mexican.

This is where fun officially stopped and the day took a turn for the worse. Poptart, my dad and myself all ordered food and I found a beer cart and got Mini Me a giant pretzel. She LOVES giant pretzels. However, when you can throw the giant pretzel at someone’s head rendering them unconscious you know it’s probably not the freshest pretzel. While the three of us adults ate Mini Me was gnawing on her pretzel like a dog does a bone. That’s when I picked up the pretzel and started banging it up and down on the table and heard a BOOM BOOM BOOM. That thing was hard as a rock. No child should be forced to endure this kind of treatment.

I asked Mini Me if she wanted some of my salad and I got a “NOOO!” Poptart offered his food to a resounding “NOOO!” So we moved onto phase two. We got Mini Me a bean and cheese burrito with rice and a fruit cup. Did she want it? NOOO! All she wanted was some Mac and Cheese and Chocolate Milk. But we couldn’t get her the Mac and Cheese because it was being held hostage by a bunch of Princesses who wanted an obscene amount of money for it. We were however able to procure a Chocolate Milk. *Sigh* Now this might not have been such a big deal if my dad wasn’t there but my dad has a tendency to judge my parenting. Not one of my favorite traits in him. So both my husband and I feel a bit more under pressure when he’s around and because of this, the incident which will forever be known as the Chocolate Milk Battle of 2010, ensued.

“You can have your Chocolate Milk if you eat just one bite of your burrito.” Poptart told our daughter.
“Just one bite. All you need to do is have one bite.”
“NOOOOO!” Then I took a bite to show how how easy it is.
“Come on Mini Me. Just one bite.” I told her. “Please just take a bite.” Please just take one bite of food so we can move on with our lives. It’s for your own good. All the while my dad was taking notes and reporting back to top-secret departments of the government.
“One bite. I don’t care what you eat. You can eat the rice, the fruit, or the burrito.” Poptart told her.
“NOOOOO! CHOCOLATE MILK!” she screamed at the top of her lungs with tears streaming down her face. We got advice from my dad. We got looks from the other tables around us. We got advice from this woman who told me she is a schoolteacher and that I should bring my daughter a cooler with all her favorite treats. If one more person gives me their fucking advice I’m going to bitch slap them I swear to God! And all I wanted to do is yell, “FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY CAN WE PLEASE JUST GIVE THIS CHILD THE DAMN CHOCOLATE MILK AND MOVE ON WITH OUR LIVES!!!!!!” This went on for I don’t even know how long. I’m pretty sure I hit menopause. Poptart and Mini Me were in a standoff, and neither one of them was flinching.
“Please, babe. We’re at Disneyland. Is this the best time for this?” I asked.
“I can’t back down now,” Poptart whispered. “If she smells fear we’re done for.”
My dad is patting Poptart on the back because he is the “good” parent and I am the “bad” parent. And I got so frustrated I grabbed everything including the chocolate milk and threw it all in the trash.

So now Mini Me was sobbing, my dad had Poptart on his shoulders, singing “For he’s a jolly good fellow.” And I’m pissed that the whole thing had gone as far as it did. We never recovered. The day was pretty much a wash after that. Mini Me and Poptart made up on the carousal but she didn’t quite get her mojo back. The Chocolate Milk Battle of 2010 took the wind out of both of their sails. So we decided to call it a day.

As we made our way towards the front of the park we all talked about tomorrow’s visit to Disneyland that was right across the way from California Adventure. Then I saw two kids about 5 years of age dressed like clowns. Once again I rifled through my messenger bag and mumbled to myself, “Where is it? Where is it?”
“Where’s what?” Poptart asked.
“My phone. I have to get a picture of those two kids dressed like clowns for Ron,” I told him as I pointed them out. But when I turned around, Poptart was frozen in place and starting to shake. Just like Ron he’s scared shitless of clowns. I made him feel better though. I bought him some chocolate milk.

To be continued…


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