I was worried I had broken my kids. As soon as they could walk I put them on the rides at Busch Gardens that they could go on. At that stage they didn’t argue much, but I’m not sure they liked the rides. One of them seemed to have fun while the other cried, and after that we had lots of trouble getting them on rides again. I wondered if I had tried too soon, if they were just not ready yet, or if they weren’t ride people like their mother.
Yesterday changed everything. I didn’t know or think it was going to be that way. Our first stop was in the Sesame Street Forest of Fun and they played in the kids play area and watched the Elmo drop tower and the Oscar swing ride with some interest but when I asked if they wanted to go on them they said no.
Then we went to Italy and they saw the teacups. Our boys, like a lot of 2.5 year olds, are big fans of Blippi, and as much as Blippi annoys the living piss out of me he has taught my children quite a bit. They say excavator and recognize letters and try and spell their names all because of Blippi. Yesterday they wanted to ride the teacups because of Blippi and that started something.
We were only successful in getting one of our boys onto the teacups and he did cry for a good portion of the ride but as soon as we got off he was talking about riding again and I told him not right now. That we’d come back as his brother had gotten almost on before turning around and heading for the exit. Between the crying and running away I never expected what happened next.
That is once we made it to the second kids play area named Land of the Dragons. I never got to go in Land of the Dragons when I was a kid as it opened when I was 13. If you were ever 13 years old then you know that that is too old to play in a kids play area even if it technically isn’t, but at 13 I was too old even if I wasn’t too old. So, I never got to walk across the cargo net bridges or climb the treehouse or do any of that stuff until yesterday.
Now it was a little different as a 40 year old man chasing after two 2.5 year olds. One that decided to outrace his brother by a good distance, especially when running down the cargo nets. I was so caught up in catching the one boy that the other one stepped off the double steps like they were normal steps and rolled down a couple and freaking me out, but he was fine and his brother didn’t get away.
After several laps up and down the Land of the Dragons treehouse I was told that one of them really wanted to ride the dragons so that is where we headed. We got in line and were waiting for the next dragon ride when the boy suddenly headed in the opposite direction and went to the ladybug cars. I told him I couldn’t ride with him but his brother could and then his brother joined us. Eventually the gates opened and they went in and rode the ladybug cars.
The boy in the front seat had a lot more fun than the one in the back as he fell over as soon as the ride started and didn’t recover, but that didn’t deter him. As soon as the ladybug car ride was over they both went to the dragons. We couldn’t get them to understand they had to ride this one with an adult and that one of the adults had to stay back and watch their sister. Their sister who was trying to crawl out of the stroller and onto a ride by any means necessary.
They did both get to ride the dragons with much screaming and crying but now the screaming and crying was for getting off the ride instead of getting on. On the way further into the park we came across some children’s airplanes. We asked if they wanted to ride and they said yes and then they rode and rode, and didn’t want to stop riding.
One of my favorite coasters, Verbolten, is right around the corner from the airplanes. I rode it once and there was no line. I was tempted to ride it again and again and again and knew there is a time I would have, but my boys wanted to right their airplanes and their happiness is far more important than mine now. Plus what makes them happy makes me happy and I would rather see the joy on their faces than ride a ride by myself.
That is where our night ended. They were tired and cold and we asked if they wanted teacups or car and they said car. That is where we went. To the car and home. A very nice car ride that put all the children to sleep and luckily for us that is the way they stayed all the way into the house and into their beds.
Knowing how much they enjoyed that trip has us already planning our next one. I want to introduce them to rides and slowly work them up to the big ones so they don’t end up like me having never ride many rides and seeing the Loch Ness Monster, thinking it is a slow tour of the park, and finding out it is not in a very shocking and direct manner.
As a parent there is nothing better than seeing joy in your child’s face and knowing a place that brings me joy brings them joy makes it all that much better.