Our Disney Adventure

25 Jan

I am a firm believer that it is not vacation if you have to take the kids, and I will stand by that for the rest of my life. Reluctantly, I agreed to take Cameron to Disney World for the first time. Bill’s parent’s graciously offered to take us down to see Mickey for a few days, and the plans were made.

I know Cameron better than he knows himself. Over the past nearly 4 years I’ve learned to know what he’s thinking before he even thinks it. I know he will eat 2 hot dogs, but never 3. I know that much like his mother, when he’s tired he gets very grumpy. I knew from the word go that Cameron wasn’t ready for a trip to Disney, but everyone told me that he would be fine, so I went along with it.

Now don’t get me wrong, it was heartwarming to see the joy on his face when things finally turned around. It was getting him to the point where we could all enjoy ourselves that was an adventure.

Day 1
The flight went well, it wasn’t until the last 45 minutes or so that he got kind of bored and needed to be entertained. By the time we arrived in Orlando, it was lunch time and Cameron was started to show signs of being tired. Cameron is not like other kids, he can’t fall asleep just anywhere, it’s almost like he’s afraid he’s going to miss something. I knew that a nap was totally out of the question. Once we got to the resort, we freshened up and headed out to Downtown Disney. All Cameron wanted was for us to buy him stuff, and the Lego store was no help. I thought for sure we would blow all our vacation money that first night. After a small temper tantrum over leaving the Lego store empty handed, we headed to dinner at T-Rex (it’s the same as a Rainforest Cafe, just with dinosaurs). By this time Cameron is completely exhausted and it’s really showing in his bad boy behavior. We headed back to the resort and to bed early so we’d be well rested for the next day…Or so we thought. Cameron wanted no parts of his bed. At one point he actually told me that he wasn’t going to sleep for 4 days (holding up 4 little fingers). At that point I was ready to hop a flight home. Finally around 10pm he couldn’t fight it anymore, and fell asleep.
Day 2
Cameron was up around 7, and seemed to be in an alright mood. He didn’t want anything to eat, so we headed out to the Magic Kingdom on an empty tummy. He was pretty good once we got into the park, but wanted no parts of the stroller which made me nervous since it was pretty busy. He didn’t want to do anything, well, except go ride Test Track. For anyone who doesn’t know Disney, Test Track is at Epcot, we were not. Oh, and lets not forget, he’s too short to ride Test Track. When he finally wanted to get on some rides, he picked rides on opposite sides of the park…Of course! Cameron had made up in his little mind what he was going to do, and none of us were going to get him to do otherwise. My in laws were kind enough to take him back to the room for a “nap” so Bill and I could have some fun. Of course by the time all this happened the park was packed and the lines were long. Cameron never did take a nap that day, and we met up with them later at Epcot. After more fighting with a 3 year old and coming damn near close to losing my mind, the in laws took him again. I swear, if it wasn’t for them we would have come home early, or at least I would have.
Day 3
We started our day at Hollywood Studios, and Cameron was still quite contrary. If I said day he said night. After yesterday, he had become obsessed with the monorail. I told Gma and Gpa they could have saved a fortune on park tickets since Cameron would have been perfectly happy riding the monorail all day long. Now, for months he talked about getting to meet Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater. He had seen pictures of when Mommy and Daddy met them and was so excited. That was until he actually saw them. If you have ever tried to put a cat in a tub of water you’ll have a good idea of his reaction. He wouldn’t let anyone get him closer than 30 feet without freaking out. His hero, his favorite character in the world and he chickened out on meeting him. Then he tried to stop anyone who wanted to stop by for a photo op. Once again, the in laws stepped in and took Cameron with them so Bill and I could hit Tower of Terror and Rockin’ Roller Coaster. We met back up for lunch where Cameron proceeded to have a temper tantrum about having his hands cleaned. There was screaming and hitting and running away, it was like nothing I’ve seen before. He hasn’t taken a nap in days and it’s really starting show as his behavior is getting exponentially worse. He calmed down a bit later in the afternoon and we all went for a surrey ride. Cameron sat in the basket on the front while the rest of us peddled our butts off. There were two small hills we had to go up as we made our way around the lagoon. Of course midway up the one hill Cameron drops the bus he had suckered his grandparents into buying for him. As if getting up that hill wasn’t hard enough with a running start, now we had to try to get up it from a stop half way up. That was fun (insert sarcasm here)!
Day 4
Our last day in the parks. On the up side, he’s sleeping longer into the morning so he’s waking up in a better mood. The down side, he still refuses to nap. I think we had finally hit the turning point. For the first time since arriving in Florida, Cameron is going with the flow and behaving more like his old self. Cameron got to run like a crazy man in the Dinoland Playground and we finally got to enjoy some rides together. Once he adjusted to being on vacation we had a blast. We spent the morning at Animal Kingdom, the afternoon at the Magic Kingdom and the night at Epcot. He even made it to the fireworks show and loved it. I spent most of the day wondering where this child had been the past couple days. I guess if I had to pick a way to end our time at the parks this would be the perfect way to do it. Temper tantrums were at a minimum, and tolerable. If only the past couple of days had been like this, but then what would I have to write about?
Day 5
Time to head home. Cameron was rammy, but not really bad. That was until we got to the security screening. Part of me was hoping that TSA was going to take him away. First, I had to chase him down and force him to clean the dirt off his hands. Where did the dirt come from? While we were waiting for the men to get our boarding passes he knocked over a pole that was around a boat display. That was before we even got to the TSA lines. Orlando always seems to have long lines and Cameron wanted  no parts of waiting for anything. Then he started throwing a fit about having to take his shoes off. Finally, Bill wrestled his shoes off and made it through the metal detector only to have Cameron throw a fit about having to put his shoes back on as he tried to run away without them. Out of the many children going through security, mine was the ONLY one who couldn’t act like a human. It was both mortifying and infuriating. By this point I was on the edge and it was way too early for me to get a drink without making people stare. Once the plane got in the air, Cameron grabbed his bear bear and was out cold for most of the flight…thank God! About a hundred tantrums, a few drinks and about 15 new grey hairs we are home.
If I had to do it all again would I do it differently? Yes, I would have held this trip off for a year or two. We’re toying with taking both boys, sans grandparents next year, and as I type this I’m wondering if I really did lose my mind.
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