Recently my little family, (Faith, Carl and I) took a lovely vacation to South Carolina, then followed it up by three days and two nights at the supposedly happiest place on earth. I think everyone has a different happy place but Disney World is pretty damn happy. It was our second trip this year and honestly I hadn’t really originally planned to add it on to our trip that just how it went. It was fun, if busy and there is never enough time to nap. Probably that is my Disney trip related flaw, I do not allow enough time for the thrice daily needed showers and regular naps of sufficient length. On this last trip we bought tickets to the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and bundled Carl into his costume and then into the stroller for the 7pm-12am event. He had refused to take a nap earlier in the day which was not a great sign but we forged ahead determined to squeeze as much Mickey in as possible. Generally we accept that Carl will party until he falls asleep but I really didn’t think he would be asleep before we ever hit the parks. Nevertheless he fall asleep in the bus line and didn’t wake up until an hour and a half later when we were seated at Cosmic Rays Cafe eating a quick dinner.
This wasn’t a really big deal. I knew he would soon wake up and all would be happy and glorious. He would love trick or treating around Magic Kingdom, we could get some cute pictures and ride some fun rides, yada yada yada.
To really understand this story I feel like you must understand what a crazy planner I am. On a trip like a vacation or Disney or even just a trip to the zoo I have a back pack for Carl filled with a bag of snacks (applesauce, cheeze-its, beef jerky, oranges, apples, graham crackers, animal crackers, veggies straws, dried fruit, nuts etc) sunscreen, bug spray, a few distraction toys like bubbles and slinkys, suckers, bandaids, extra clothes, wipes, diaper ointment, underwear, an emergency pull up, cash or coins, water, juice boxes, maps if necessary, and everything else I can think of we might need such as umbrellas and ponchos if it is wet. When we go on vacation I make gallon size ziploc bags filled with snacks for all three of us, one for each day. We almost always stay somewhere with a fridge and so I bring crock pots meals which I plan out ahead of time. If we are staying in a condo I plan all the meals and pack for them before we get there. I always bring at least one roll of toilet paper and paper towels, extra ziploc bags, a wine bottle opener, lighter and flashlight…I’m an obsessive planner.
So we get to the magic kingdom, and after copious security checkpoints we go through the candy line and get our bags for the night, take a few cute pictures, and decide to get dinner while Carl is sleeping. Well that is a fine plan so Faith orders food and I find the only table open in a restaurant that probably seats 250 people or more. For some stupid reason (because you are supposed to bring them in and there really wasn’t room to maneuver one) I decided to just hold Carl and leave the stroller outside. This worked out ok, except that this kids is 39 inches tall and I am only 63ish inches tall which makes holding his dead, sleeping self a little tricky. However I did manage to get seated and as I waited for Faith and food I thought maybe we would go get the stroller after all….Suddenly I felt hot liquid coming out of him and all over my lap and the floor…and there was nothing I could do about it. Carl is great about going to the potty when awake but we have been putting a pull up on him for a while at night. The backpack, which was so thoughtfully packed was outside so eventually I managed to flag down a sweet coworker and without explaining exactly why I needed them get her to bring me a stack of napkins.
And of course the one person I didn’t think to pack extra clothes for was myself. So for the next 5+ hours I walked around the happiest place on earth with a huge pee stain on my crotch. This is parenthood. Carl was thrilled to get to change into his pajamas earlier than originally anticipated and I didn’t have to stress about pictures anymore cause we weren’t taking any. Seldom has life ever been so funny in the curve ball it decides to throw. And you know what? It was ok. It was actually really fun. I wish I had relaxed and let us just wear matching tshirts, taken longer naps, and remembered extra shorts, but we had a blast. Life does not have to perfect for us to be perfectly happy. If you can just live in the present moment, without too much future worry or past anxiety you are guaranteed to find some happiness in my experience.