Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Happiest Place on Earth?

No wait - that's Dizzy Land, right?  We did not do The Mouse - I flatly refuse. It seems like too much the marketing machine to me, trading on impressionable little kids and their unable-to-say-no parents. But I digress...

We took the crotchfruit on vacation for his birthday last month. It was a Production, orchestrated by the Sperm Donor with me dragging along less than willingly. I was sucking it up for the sake of the child, since I don't like crowds, amusement parks, rides...shit like that.  But the spawn was excited, so I put on my happy face and hit the tiki bar by the pool whenever I could.

In typical Sperm Donor fashion, the schedule was overbooked. Gotta get your money's worth, dontcha know? Park after park, event after event. We fell into bed exhausted each night, rising groggily the next day to attack the spawn's homework before our next adventure. The week was a blur of bleary-eyed mornings and leg-twitching nights.

We lost the spawn once, at Seaworld. He was pissed off at us, as only a nine-year-old can be, because the lure of the hotel waterpark was greater than that of Shamu (or for me, will Tillicum the orca eat another trainer while we're here?).  He put on a huff and ratcheted ahead of the Donor and I in the shark exhibit.  We paid no mind. He's not much of a one for ranging too far, and we figured he'd spook himself once we were out of his line of sight.  We were wrong, to a degree. 

When we exited the darkened building, we expected to find him lingering about, much as we had expected to see him around each turn in the path inside. He was as equally absent from the exit as he had been from the interior.  We quickly scanned the area around both the entrance and exit and viewing pools - no lime-green shirt in sight.  The Donor was sent back through, in the event the spawn had gone back in the entrance to catch up.  I waited at the exit in case he came out.  No sign of him.  Panic begins to well-and-truly set in.

The Donor goes off to find the nearest park employee. I remain behind in case he returns to the last known spot, sobbing.  After what was probably ten minutes but felt like hours, the Donor returns, spawn in tow, sobbing (the spawn, not the Donor) and repeating, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry..."

We had lingered at one exhibit longer than he expected, and he claims he thought we were "right behind him." When he realized we were not, he began to back track through the exhibit. But in backtracking to find us, he didn't go far enough. He then decided we must have left the exhibit (and him) behind.  The good news was that even in his evident fright, he remembered what to do. He found the nearest park employee and told them our cell numbers. We were texted, but the phones were in the backpack and we didn't hear them.  Lesson learned all around. Keep phones where you can hear them, and don't range too far ahead of your stupid parents.

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