Yesterday was Day Three of "Mommy and Robby's California Adventure." He was exhausted after the day running through the aquarium and "swimming" in the shark tank, and I wasn't sure he would want to do anything except veg out and relax. I should have known that a toddler never wants to relax. First thing in the morning, after stretching and begging me to take him to the potty, he reminded me that we were going to the Disneyland amusement park.
He told everybody we saw that he was going to Disneyland. Robby and Miguel, the hotel chef, had a lengthy conversation about what rides were best and where he could meet Mickey Mouse. Robby secured a map from the front desk receptionist (although he was disappointed that his buddy Bob wasn't there) and he told the couple checking out of their room that he was going to see Mickey Mouse. He rolled down his window at stop lights to tell the other drivers that he was going to Disneyland, and he had a much too involved conversation with the toll booth lady on the subject of Pluto the Dog. Yes, my little boy was over the moon excited.
He was so excited that he began to cry when he saw Mickey Mouse's face made out of flowers at the gates to the theme park. He just broke down sobbing, telling me that he was so excited and happy today. I have to admit that I almost cried witnessing his reaction.
I did hours of research on the Internet before we left for California about Disneyland. One of the interesting facts that I learned was that children receive special recognition if they go to the park on their birthday. Okay, so Robby's birthday isn't actually until Sunday, but I figured we were close enough to celebrate. I put on his "I'm the Birthday Boy shirt" while I donned the "Mommy of the Birthday Boy" shirt in order to legitimize my claim. Robby was immediately bestowed a "Birthday button" with him name written on it. For the rest of the day, every park employee wished Robby a happy birthday, and he got preferential seating on the rides.
Much by mistake, I discovered that Disneyland offers preferential access to rides for disabled guests. Perhaps this is the case at all amusement parks and I have been unaware of this courtesy. I admit that I felt guilty using the special ride access allowing us to bypass the winding rope lines and the waiting. After all, I am fully able to walk and do not consider myself to be "disabled enough" to use the special access.
However, my guilt quickly waned as Robby and I were ushered past the snaking lines directly onto the next available seats. I was saved a lot of walking but, more importantly, I avoided the time spent just standing. Being an amputee, I find standing still more difficult and painful than walking. After several minutes my stump begins to ache and my prosthetic becomes uncomfortable. My exhaustion after amusement park adventures stems more from the time spent standing on my prosthetic versus the time spent ambulating.
Being an amputee, I have become accustomed to being uncomfortable and having to adapt. Every day I must compensate for my limb loss. If I am granted a courtesy that allows me to more fully enjoy an experience, I am going to accept it. The perks of being an amputee are few and far between, but amusement park ride access at Disneyland certainly ranks among the best!
Robby enjoyed most of the rides, but absolutely adored the "It's a Small World" ride. This slow moving boat ride meanders through a world of animated dolls. "It's a Small World" plays on a loop for the duration of the 11 to 14 minute ride (depending upon how it takes the passengers to disembark). Robby was enthralled each of the ten times we went on the ride. Yes, we went on the ride for a total of ten times, with each ride lasting at least 11 minutes, we spent a total of one hour and fifty minutes watching animated dolls belt out the catchy short little tune. I deserve a Mommy of the Year button!
We spent eight hours at Disneyland, and we had a great time. We met Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Pluto, and Goofy. We played on Donald Duck's boat and ate ice cream with Clarabelle the Cow. After so much fun and excitement, we were both worn out by the time we returned to our hotel.
Robby fell asleep quickly and slept soundly throughout the night. I struggled trying to go to sleep. Every time I laid my head down, I kept hearing the "It's a Small World" song. I literally thought I was out of my mind. It sounded so real it scared me. I tossed and turned trying to push the tune out of my mind but I was not successful. I went to the bathroom and still heard the song in my head. I checked my email and heard the tune. Finally I was too tired to fight sleep and surrendered to my "It's a Small World" dreams.
I woke up this morning, feeling quasi-refreshed but happy that the song is no longer looping in my head. Robby and I got dressed for breakfast and I picked up his clothes from the night before. Underneath his "I'm the Birthday Boy" shirt I discovered my sanity.
I found the little music snow globe we bought at Disneyland. I didn't realize that Robby had been playing with it the night before. The switch on the bottom was moved to the on position, but the toy was silent. Apparently the battery had worn out from playing "It's a Small World" all night long!