We are on property. My property.
Well, we are finally home. The Anastasias have decided to spend their one precious day in Epcot. We glimpse “The Big Ball." We have always called it this. Thank God they did not build two Spaceship Earths side by side.
When BC was about four years old we headed to Disney. We had been prepping him for months. We have a Disney sing along video with the song “Right Down the Middle of Main Street USA” He would watch it daily and intently. There was an elaborate dance during the song on the video. It wasn’t until just before we left that I found my son crumpled up crying.
“What’s wrong sweetie?"
“I haven’t learned the dance!”
“You dance beautifully”
“No, the dance I have to do on Main Street! I am not ready yet” *Big sob*
BC thought he had to literally dance down Main Street to get into the parks.
Well, as we drive up to Epcot we ask our sweet dance student in an excited voice, “BC…What is that!” (as the Big Ball comes into view) Pointing at the singular Big Ball he answers in an equally excited voice, “I don’t know!!” It was kind of a “you had to be there moment.” Trust me, it was funny. Go ahead with a sympathy laugh.
So, The Big Ball is pulling into view. We, of course re-live the funny moment you are trusting me on. However, there's something sinister on this trip to Epcot. It's throbbing, pulsating and threatening. The promise of the April Crowds. We have never faced them before. What will happen inside? Will we still love our sweet property? We're chipper, excited and hopeful. Disney experts, we are. My mother flashes her cast id badge and we park for free. Wow, we have never parked this far back before. Then, there's the game we play in our heads. You know it. You're pulling up to the parking lot trying to figure out what spot you will park in. Will the cars in front of you fill up enough of the row to get you near the tram lane without filling up too much forcing you to drive (and subsequently walk back) the ½ a mile to the tram stop? It's like roulette. We, of course, are the losers in this game. We park in the farthest spot away from the tram. The tram. The tram scam.
Before I tell you about the tram scam, you must learn a little about GC and BC. Our sweet set up with Grandma allows us to bring the kids to Disney so much we feel guilty about it. But… they hate rides. Almost every ride. Their favorite ride is the tram. No joke. They are so excited to ride the tram. There's a people blob waiting for the next tram We join the people blob. No real line just a human amoeba pulsating in the parking lot with the hope of moving fast enough to get on the next tram. We wait. We eye the competition. Babies in strollers are good because they have to get pulled out, stroller collapsed, diaper bag grabbed. Babies are easy marks. Wait, I can’t be competitive with babies. That's wrong. (Remember the vacuum? I have a problem.)
So the tram pulls up. We're towards the front of the blob, waiting in a little mini forest and rock garden in the middle of the parking lot. The tram pulls up short. Even the babies beat us to the tram as we trudge past the jet engine noise and visible diesel fumes of the tram engine. Well, serves us right, we were standing kind of sneaky, in the forest. So we nod, and accept our tram waiting punishment. The kids are starting to get upset. BC likes to follow the rules and see an orderly pattern. He's not thrilled with our first attempt to beat the line by sneaking into the forest. We move between the poles. Properly. No more sneaky stuff for us. We wait. More Babies…good, no…Wait, bad.
The next Tram pulls up, and… stops short. It cheats us! We were in the poles! We're parked in the way, way back, at the end of the row! This is the only ride my kids like. Man those freaking babies are fast.
With much grumbling and whining we WALK to the Big Ball. We meet my father and then both my parents help our family get in with their Main Gate passes. We hear the music, we smell the smells. Ahh. We love Epcot. First things first, the potty. The Jiggler has a little problem with some Disney potties. You see, I rarely potty alone. I've mastered the two and three person potty trip. Of course, we all cram into one stall . This potty trip it is just me and GC. BC prefers to go with Dad. GC and I make our way in. I back The Jiggler in [beep, beep, beep] and drag GC in behind me. I straddle the toilet and try to close the door. She's at a stage in her development where her head is just high enough to bang into the toilet tissue dispensers. I usually wind up cramming her head between the stall door and the dispenser, pinball style, a couple of times per trip.
Big green eyes stare up at me in disbelief that she has to deal with a mom that has no concept of spatial relations. After we are safely locked in, we rotate the Jigger around to get the Jiggler protector (the toilet guard tissue). Mrs. A carefully plucks just one (wouldn’t want to be wasteful). Gently and daintily I lay the Jiggler protector down. The toilet is competitive, just like the spider and the babies. The toilet feels I should not be a wimp and I should just lay the bare Jiggler down. “Toughen up” the toilet thinks and then it sucks my Jiggler protector down with enough force to render me nude if I were standing closer. GC screams and holds her ears. “The flush is too loud” she wails. In a frenzy to find safe harbor, she winds up bouncing between the Jiggler and the stall door. Well, I'll try this again. Because I like to win. I want to beat the potty at its own game. I lay the protector down, nicey nice, the middle falls in, sets off the super sensitive sensor and… sonic boom flush.
GC is now a little leery of sitting on this insatiable monster that eats the Jiggler protectors so ferociously. What will it do with her teeny, tiny hiney? I am totally unaware of my daughter’s concerns. It is me verses the potty. I break out the ultimate weapon. The bare Jiggler. If I can move fast enough, I can hold that protector in place. I'll anchor it down and show that potty who is boss. The potty has had a lot of practice. I move as quick as lightening. Place the protector, swing the Jiggler around, knock into GC who bounces into the toilet tissue dispenser… again. I'm almost there; the bare Jiggler will be safe from all the germs of the 100 gazillion women that have done their business before me. I hear a high pitched whine I'm not fast enough.
My plan will not work. The potty sucks down its favorite treat, for a third time. The Jiggler is not a fast enough anchor…to add insult to my bruised ego and germs to the germs I now get to wear, like a nasty accessory all day long, I get the the “finishing touch." The splash of ice cold potty water. “Aggh!” I let out a little scream. Big green eyes are watching this whole show. Hands covering ears. In her sweet little head, that potty just took a bite of the Jiggler and Mommy was getting sucked down next. She waits. Now, it is her turn.
She bangs her head one more time against the t.p. dispenser in a futile effort to render herself unconscious and avoid being sucked down by the Jiggler protector eating, sonic booming, auto flushing potty. She's unsuccessful and she's up next. I did what all good moms do. I bribed her. With toys, treats and ponies. (Don’t tell Mr. A about that last one.)
Well, the potty stop is over. Me and all my new germs start to look for Mr. A. He's so fun to find. On his back he wears enough audiovisual equipment that he can actually broadcast live to news stations if they need him. There's even a satellite dish strapped to his hat. But his cell phone is set to silent and vibrate. He never feels it in his pocket. Finally, we make contact, he smiles at me, happy to be in his favorite place with his family and blissfully unaware that some day… he will own a pony.
In the next chapter.. I really will tell you about the almonds and more about the crushing crowds and a fist fight in the dark!