I really have tried hard not to succumb to the parenting pressures evidenced all around me– this need in our culture to shower our kids with stuff and experiences.
My husband ever the grumpy pessimist has on one too many occasions uttered the statements, “Kids will be happy with whatever you give them- even if it's just a cardboard box.” Of course my husband, who admits he's from a generation in which kids were meant to be seen and not heard and spent much of his summers sweating in a hotbox bedroom, while his parents enjoyed an air-conditioned, cool one, has never fully been on board with my need to indulge my kids.
Still undeterred by his attitude- I was determined to give my brood the Ultimate Orlando, Disney, Universal, SeaWorld esque experience. And yes, I literally rushed around like a chicken without a head- determined to provide my kids with the chance to sit on every possible ride- take pics with as many costumed characters as I could stand waiting for on one interminable line after the next and short of burning holes in my rubber soled cowboy boots, left skid marks ( and my sanity) at what is deemed the “most magical place on Earth”.
Don't get me wrong– there are some experiences worth standing on line for two and a half hours for … but the race car track at the Magic Kingdom is definitely NOT ONE OF THEM. And I'll admit- the EXPRESS PASS at Universal, literally was the glue that geld my marriage together-it was our golden ticket and entree to fast-moving and at time- non-existent lines to rides that had all of us GIDDY (the Simpson ride, Jimmy Neutron and Shrek at Universal Studios to be most specific).
And after our five -day excursion to the state of sunshine- upon our return I was convinced my five year old would be regaling anyone who asked him about his favorite part of the vacation with detailed accounts of the rides, hanging with Scooby and Shaggy and getting a build your own SpongeBob character.
However, when my parents called him and asked him what his favorite part of the trip was his response… “Drinking chocolate milk.”
So what does that say about kids? That they're CLUELESS, or that ultimately they'd be happy with a glass of chocolate milk?!