Monday, May 13, 2013

The day I ruined my kid's love for rollercoasters


In preparation for Disney World, we watched a slew of documentaries. They showed us what to expect, the parks, the rides - it's on Netflix. It was perfect. Since she was tall enough to go on most rides we got to hear all about them, and this kid loves details. She decided which rides she would want to go on and others she would skip out on. Space Mountain was one she wanted to go on.

July 2012: when her spirits were free & full of love.
Background: when she was 3 we went to Disney. She rode the Barnstormer kid coaster and loved it. Since then at every carnival or fair she rides all the rides. Fast and nauseating - she's into it.

Back to Space Mountain: we got a Fastpass, and when it was time to go - the ball&chain let me go on with her. He'd been before, but I haven't. And when it came to rides JJ couldn't go on we took turns. As we walked through the endless twists and turns of what should be the line it got darker and darker. That's her kryptonite. Darkness. Outside & fast? She's in. Dark? She isn't a fan. I started to get nervous, but she saw the video clip about it? And she was still into it? I tried to play it cool. Then we saw the loading dock.

It's here I realized that I wouldn't be able to sit next to her. It's here I remembered a story a friend told me, about bringing her nephew on this very ride and how she and his mom spent the entire ride trying to reach him across the car. How they had to stretch out to reach him as he screamed, "I am not having fun. This is the worst idea ever!!!!!!" She still seemed into it, so I went with it.
Notice how far above t
he seat back her head was.
I put her in front of me - so I could reach her easily. If anything, I could keep my hands on her shoulders at least she'll know I'm there.

We sit down. She's still excited, though slightly nervous. But there is no out now - we are going.

The first few minutes, we are talking to one another.

Her, "I don't really like this. It's dark."
Me, "It's cool, kid - just enjoy it! It'll be over soon."
Her, "When. It's really dark."
Me, "Love you kid - isn't this fun!!! WEEEEEE!"
Her, "No."
Me, "Are you having fun??? Do you love it?" (I knew the answer to that - was trying my hand at reverse psychology.)
Her, {silence}
Me, "Babe, I'm right here. Don't be scared!"
Her, {silence}
Me, "Hello. L. You there?"

The answer was yes & no. Perhaps in body she was there, but her spirit? Was far far away.

By the time we got off the three minute ride, she shut down and scooted so far down so far that the T bar
The scoot down begins.
Notice her face? Dead inside.
Not seen: the worst picture possibly ever taken of me -
trying to get to her & failing.
that should be in her lap was up to her shoulders. She went to a far away place. She wasn't crying. She wasn't upset. She was shut down. 

It took a few minutes for her to come back, knowing that she was now safe - not in a darkness spiral. She came back to us, but was forever changed.
That's how my once roller coaster loving child lost her love for roller coasters. I jacked her up so hard, she wouldn't even go on the kid coaster she loved so dearly 2 years previously. In related news, I'm still awaiting my "Mom of the Year" award, surely this puts me in a strong lead {sarcastic font}.

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