Over the weekend we celebrated our family being reunited by taking one final summer adventure. After saving all summer and unbeknownst to Robby, we decided to take him to Hershey Park. He had no idea where we were going until we pulled into the parking lot and he saw the roller coasters. After squeals of delight, he proclaimed that he was the "happiest boy in the entire world!"
With our admission coupons in hand, we headed towards the gate. I could barely keep up with Robby, he was so excited to ride the "big kid coasters" that he took off skipping in front. I had no doubt that we were going to have a great day. I also knew that it was going to be a financially draining day. Amusement parks have becoming so expensive!
Standing in line for our tickets, I noticed that admission prices were divided by age groups. Almost instinctively I decided that Robby was going to be five years old for the day. Reducing a child's age for the sake of a cheaper admission is part of a long family tradition. With three children and one salary, family outings were rare when I was young. I venture to guess that I was telling ticket agents that I was 10 years old until I was a freshman in high school and could no longer pass as an elementary student.
We approached the ticket counter and I confidently handed the teller our coupons. She looked up and asked for Robby's age. I quickly said, "he's five." She rung up the junior admission price, and I thought that we were in the clear and ready for a fun filled day.
Unfortunately Robby decided to interject. "Momom, I am not five years old. I'm six." I tried to cover by saying, "You mean that you'll be six next month Robby. Right now you are still just five years old."
The more I insisted that he was five, the more vocal he became about being six. Scott tried to distract him by gently pinching the back of his arm. Unfortunately this just made things worse as he screamed, "Why are you pinching me? Don't you remember, I'm six years old now. We had my birthday party and there were six candles. I'm not five, and please don't pinch me!"
Out of frustration Robby looked at the ticket seller and said, "Listen, I don't know what is wrong with these two. I am six years old. I am not five anymore. I don't know why they are forgetting that I am six."
There was nothing I could do but smile and hand over my debit card. After she handed us our tickets, she looked up from the computer and said, "Just so you know, we give the Junior admission price until age 9. He can be six today."
D'oh! Perhaps it is time for family tradition to come to an end.