Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tips on Tortruing Your Kids

If I were Super Mother, you would be reading a post on how to help your children have an entertaining and pleasant summer vacation. I am not Super Mother and, therefore, can offer you no such tips. I can, however, offer you tips on another subject entirely: torturing your offspring. Please, share in my wisdom.

1. Encourage your school-aged children to participate in a reading program which offers free tickets to Six Flags amusement parks as a reward.

2. Find a babysitter to care for your younger children, so you can enjoy a special "big kid" day out without the little ones.

3. Have your husband take a day off of work so he can join you on this little two-on-two adventure.

4. Once you arrive at the amusement park, do the unthinkable: suggest and even encourage your children to actually get on the rides.

What? You don't think that will torture your children? Well, it sure worked on mine!

My oldest children are not thrill-seekers (I'm stating the obvious here, aren't I?) I foolishly thought that since they are getting a little older, they might be getting better at taking risks. I wasn't thinking that they were going to ride a loopy, foot dangling roller coaster or anything, but I was kind of hoping that they'd try something new and discover that it wasn't that bad or that it was....dare I say it...fun. Sadly, this is not how things went on our adventure.

Seriously, the park wasn't even open yet and Mason was in tears over the swings. The swings, people! All my talk about trying one roller coaster was forgotten. Oh, I still tried to get them to ride one, but they refused. The more time they had to think about the rides, the more insistent they were that they weren't getting on them. After bailing out of line for the kiddie coaster (and waving to the 2 and 3 year-old children who were riding it) we tried to go to the most calm rides at the park. We found the little toddler area and talked to Maia and Mason for another few minutes, finally convincing them to get on the baby ride only to be told that our Goliaths were too big to be allowed on any of those rides.

By the end of the morning, we had ridden the tea cups (boy, those things did my tummy in!), the bumper cars and the water rapid ride. Thankfully, the $50 park ticket also included a water park. That really saved the day.

Maia was overwrought from the stress of the morning and only went down one of the big water slides. The rest of the afternoon she amused herself on the kiddie slides, wave pool and lazy river. I think if we had gone to the water park first, she would have done more. There wasn't anything there that was "worse" than what she did last fall at the Great Wolf Lodge in VA. She had just lost her confidence.

Mason was also a little tense from the morning; frankly, we all were! Anyway, he really turned a corner when he and I went down a slide together. Once he got on, he wanted to change his mind and get back off, but I launched us down the slide before he could get off (the life guard might have made a comment about me being a mean mom--whatever). In a matter of seconds, Mason was giggling and went on to go down all the slides--even the steep drops and the Tony Hawk's Half Pipe.

You might think that I am a mean mom, too, but let me just defend myself a little. I don't care if my kids don't like roller coasters. I really don't. But, I do care if they say they don't like something when they haven't even tried it. And for the love, they wouldn't even ride the swings!

The morning was quite rough, with bad behavior from all four of us, and not at all the fun big kid date I had been planning. Thankfully, the water park saved the day; it was there that we all relaxed and really enjoyed ourselves.

Maia and Mason were both happy at the end of the day, as were my Michael and I, so the day wasn't a complete bust. It wasn't exactly how I envisioned it would be, but we did have fun with just our big kids and that's what I was hoping for.






22 comments:

Kourtney said...

Wow...I wish my Mom had been that tough! :)

Shanda said...

I'll bet you had quite a day! For the record, I don't think you are a mean mom. It is natural for children to be afraid of new things - especially when the people "enjoying" those new things are screaming. Sometimes it is a parent's job to encourage (or push, whatever), our children to try these new things anyway. You have actually gone up in my estimation as a mother. Well done!

Amber said...

Maybe you should have designed a "Plan" first to let Maia and Mason know what procedures you would follow if they fell off the swings. Maia seems to like those!

Tracy said...

Chris & I were reading this and laughing because it didn't happen to us. I wouldn't have been as nice as you were. Leave the big kids at home next time. Mackenna will go on anything. Did I mention Selena went on every roller coaster at Disney World and loved it? (Chris was wondering if you paid $12 for that picture on your post. He's so glad you did, because you know him, money means nothing)

Beckie said...

Wow, Issy would only ride the carousel and if he could hold on to Sarah's shirt for dear life at the Jefferson Carnival. Amusement Parks are something of a dream for me.

Anonymous said...

No, not the swings!! Good for you pushing Mason down the slide.

Esther

erin sheely said...

Dang. Well at least the day ended fun! Whenever my kids make me feel like a big loser for trying to something fun with them, I remember how my sisters and I harassed my parents when they were trying to do nice things for us. Sigh. We'll keep trying anyway! I'll have to try Six Flags sometime...

supersonicjan said...

ha, I remember when we went to Disneyland when I was 8, and the only person in my family who had been before was my mom. We were on the pirates of the caribbean, and there was this skull thing, and i looked at my mom and said "are we going down now?" and she said "I don't think so" and then we went down. I was mad at her for a long time (in her defense, she hadn't been to Disneyland in like 20 years, and the ride was probably completely different.) I think it was when I turned 11 or so that I started loving amusement park rides

Christie said...

Wow, what a day. I second Amber, maybe a plan should have been in place. :-) And Good for you for making Mason go down. The good thing is, that water park has plenty to keep one occupied for the day. And, I love the picture at the end, worth the $12 I say. :-)

nicole said...

Just be grateful it wasn't some big trip planned to Disney World. I can't really commiserate on this one. My kids love Hersheypark-but John and I? not so much.

The Jensen Family said...

What a day!!! I think you are a super mom and I am sure your kiddies do too. And in no way are you a big mom, I don't know how many times I have been the mom with the kicking, screaming kid, screaming no I don't want to do it. Whatever it may be, but in the end most of the time they love whatever I made them do. I am glad you had fun in the end.

whitney allison said...

That's it, I'm calling social services. How dare you force your son into a an activity that made him giggle. Wait till I tell dad.

Melodie said...

I can totally relate to the disappointment of planning a fun activity and having it not turn out as expected (see my upcoming post). Apparently I have been torturing my children here in Europe as well! But I'm so glad that your day made a turn for the better!

Jenni said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jenni said...

Oh Mendy it was well-meant torture!! I'm sorry the day didn't go as lovely at first, but I'm glad the water park saved the day!!!

laura said...

at least you got the great souvenir photo out of the deal.

Deb said...

ha! you are mean!

and i love your sunglasses. super cute.

Stacey said...

I have many of those mommy moments when I think I am doing a good thing that no one else aggrees with.
We are heading to Elich Gardens next week from Library reading passes. I wonder what our day will bring?????

Its just us! said...

Wow. What an adventure. Court and Bree say hi. They wish you all were here with us. And by the way, your response to the breastfeeding story was awesome. Im falling off my chair just reading it. I love you. We are truly getting a good dose of culture!!! Good job Maia and Mason! What an awesome mom and dad you have.

Jann said...

Wow, that is very stressful. I am glad it was redeemed with the water park. My kids wouldn't do it until they were teenagers, and even some of them still won't. Just too scared. Amanda on the other hand will go on any ride. It is fun to go with her.

Corinne said...

I loved hearing you retell this story in real life. Great post Mendy - at least you gave it a fantastic effort and your kids will remember that it ended happy :)

maia said...

well excuse me for not being 34!oh my gosh! A MAN OF WAR JELLYFISH!!!!!!(fooled you!)

Quotation of the Month

There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one.

-Jill Churchill