When you have a baby, you get weird about sleep. Your schedule starts to revolve around sleep times. You shush perfectly nice people all the time. You become obsessed with special sleep friends and zipperless pajamas. You lose sleep wondering if the sleep your baby is getting is the right kind of the sleep or the kind that will dissipate instantly if you roll over in bed.
At 4:30 in the morning on our third day at Disneyland, our sleep was disrupted by the family upstairs. They were leaving for the airport and apparently hadn’t packed, so they ran around and dropped their suitcases and shouted to each other about socks. It was great. Eva was completely understanding and we all sat around and remarked to each other about how wonderful it was that we could catch the sunrise as a family. We did not at all stomp upstairs to yell and chase those people into their airport van.
The crummy thing is that at one point you’re either going to be the sleeping family whose entire day is threatened by outside noise or you’re going to be the late family who might miss their flight if they don’t get their kids to freaking listen and get their stuff together. In theory, this should make us all understanding and loving toward each other, but I figure the universe owes me a really cranky calling out when it’s my turn to be the late family and I will take that reprimand happily as long as I can get my kids into the van.
Because our sleep schedule had an unplanned intermission, we missed park opening again. We decided to skip trying to make up for lost time and instead met my parents for breakfast at Mimi’s Café down by the Howard Johnson (where we were staying). That breakfast was fine (and reasonably priced compared to a lot of other options) but it was spent next to a table full of ill-behaved children who cried because the food didn’t come fast enough and then threw it at their parents when it got to the table. (One point for Eva being an only child forever.)
We made it over to the parks eventually and hit California Adventure because Disneyland had the early opening and we thought we’d miss the rush. Of course, we weren’t actually doing anything because we have a baby and were moving at baby speeds so we just sort of wandered around for a bit and looked at stuff. (It’s weird how hard it is to let go of that strategic park-mapping mentality and just go with the herd.) Eventually we ended up over by the characters and my parents got to grandparent it up with the baby and the big fluffy people while I stood a safe distance away and took photos.
We had brought Eva’s swim stuff, so we took her over to the splash area in A Bug’s Land. NOTE: there are two splash areas. One is for big kids and one is for little kids. We took Eva to the big kid area on accident and she got beaned in the head over and over again by jets of water. I just thought I’d let you know so you can take your toddler to the area that won’t give her an ear infection.
Beaning aside, Eva loved it and we enjoyed sitting in the shade and having something to entertain her.
Once Eva was finished, it was coming up on lunch time and we met up with the rest of my family. Eva attempted to nap in the stroller, but some well-meaning family members woke her up two minutes into it and killed any chance of an afternoon nap. So I gave her cotton candy to perk her up. (True story. Mother of the year.)
I also did something that ranks even higher on the questionable parenting scale. We had left Eva in her swimsuit and just wrapped her up because it was warm outside, but after we realized she wasn’t going to nap, I knew I needed to change her. Unfortunately the nearest bathroom turned out to be incredibly chaotic (and smelly!) and there was a two person wait for the changing table. Nice people would have waited. Really nice people would have walked the baby up to the baby care center. This person parked the stroller against the wall, stripped her kid naked, did a diaper change, and dressed her. I’m a public diaper change in Disney parks mom. Yeah.
For the record, I hate me. I hate seeing people change their kid’s diaper on the park benches or (barf) on the tables in the quick service food areas. When we visited Disneyland Paris and were standing in the queue for the Phantom Manor, a woman in front of us pulled her son to the side and let him pee in a bush not one foot from where we were. I hated that woman. My fury burned with the fire of a thousand suns.
So imagine my own surprise at being that mom with Eva (although we did change her in her stroller and she was low enough that you couldn’t see her and Kyle blocked us from view). Still. Still! There was an open diaper right there next to one of the attractions and my kid has officially been naked in public in a Disney park. So why risk being the scurge of humanity? I actually weighed being a hated person against standing in that smelly line and changing Eva on the public changing table and being hated won. It was just easier, as awful and lazy and irresponsible as that sounds.
By our next Disney trip, I’ll be renting an electric scooter because I don’t feel like walking and taking flash photos in all the dark rides because HEY I PAID FOR THESE MEMORIES.