Sunday, February 05, 2006

Priciest place on earth

When we got up this morning, I told G that we had a lot of things to do, but if we finished them all early enough, we could either go ice skating or to Disneyland. She thought about it for a minute and chose the second option, so Disneyland it was.

I had envisioned this as being a very easy and inexpensive outing. We'd already eaten lunch, so we wouldn't need to spend a lot of money on food, and it was Super Bowl Sunday, so the park wouldn't be crowded because everyone would be at home watching the game. I found out how wrong I'd been before we were there five minutes. The lady at the security check saw G's Heelys and said we'd have to take her wheels out because skating wasn't allowed in the park. I couldn't get the wheels to budge, and G was very worried that if she kept them on, she'd roll by accident and get thrown out of Disneyland. So, we went to a store in Downtown Disney and found her a pair of regular sneakers to wear instead ($18).

When we finally got inside the park, we had to rent a locker ($6) because there was no way I was carrying a pair of Heelys around for hours. Then G was suddenly starving and wanted a churro, which wouldn't have been that expensive, but the person working the churro cart refused to sell us one because they were taking down the flag on Main Street, and she couldn't sell anything during the ceremony. (I fail to see how buying a churro is disrespectful to the flag. It's capitalism, for heaven's sake! What's more American than that? But I digress.) So we went into the bakery, where I somehow ended up buying a cookie for myself as well as a muffin and a drink for G ($7.75).

At this point, I'd spent more than $30 on our "inexpensive outing," and I was only halfway down Main Street. As I looked around, I also realized that I'd seriously misjudged the number of people in the world who don't care about football: the place was packed, even for a Sunday afternoon. This made walking difficult, but mysteriously did not impact our ability to get on rides -- our longest wait was about 25 minutes. G went on Autopia for the first time and did a pretty good job of driving, although I had to work the gas pedal because she couldn't concentrate on that and steering at the same time. We also went on Winnie-the-Pooh and Dumbo, which she loved, and rode the Disneyland Express, which I think is her favorite ride in the whole park. So the trip ended up to be fun, even if it got off to a rocky start.

You know, I often wish we'd been able to have one more child (although I never even thought of it until G was 4 or 5 years old), but there are benefits to having an only, too, and spur-of-the-moment outings like this remind me of them. It's a lot easier to take one kid places -- there's no big production of loading and unloading the car, schlepping a ton of equipment, and trying to keep track of everyone. Plus, I can spend the entire afternoon and evening with G without worrying that someone else has been left out at home, or actually having that someone else pulling on my sleeve and demanding my attention.

I would really love for G to have the sibling she longs for, and I'd love to have another child for myself because well, I just like kids. When I was her age, I wanted to live in a "real" family with brothers and sisters, but it never quite worked out that way, even though I did end up getting both a brother and a sister later (long story), so I know how she feels. Also, there's a part of me that wonders if people think I'm somehow less of a parent -- or if I am somehow less of a parent -- because I have only one child. But at the same time, I like our three-person family the way it is, and I don't know if I'd change it if I had the power to. Funny, that.

P.S. We saw at least 10 kids on Heelys inside the park. So much for the new shoes. *sigh* Oh well, at least I set a good example by not encouraging her to break the rules. Even if they were dumb rules.

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