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Friday, November 23, 2007

The road to happiness

The road to happiness is paved with smiles. Cute little smiles that we get from the little ones.

Considering that San and me have birthday's just around thanksgiving break, we have spent many a celebration at a themepark, and the special ones are in what is supposed to be the happiest place on earth, aka Disneyland.

The irony of it is that as the number of kids went from 0 to 1 to 2, and the kids got older, the happiness somehow seems to be muted, or to be fair, lets say "has mutated"!

This post is a travel through time, to the very same place, over the last 8 years...

1999 : Newly marrieds, jointly celebrating birthdays for the first time, holding hands, walking through the special parade, staying in the park till till closing time, the fireworks, finding out that all it takes to make the Mrs. happy is to get her to toontown, that too after being married for 5 months! The adults could mark the Disneyland map with the best makeout places.

2003 : New parents, taking grandma to show some place outside San Jose before she went back to India.. it was our way of telling the first time grandma that we wanted her to have some fun before she went back with memories of sleepless nights, emergency C-sections and avent bottles! Daddy spent most of the day in the Baby Care room with a sleeping Jr., with two backup bottles of breast milk ready to be warmed up, while mom and grandma went to the various rides and attractions. Finally when all of us stood in the line to take a picture with Mickey, Jr. decided to grab the permed hair of the lady standing in the next section of the serpentine queue and created a little side attaction. By the time we managed to extract that lady's hair from Jr.'s grip, Mickey himself was ready to honor us with some extra photo time! We did not stay for fireworks as it was too cold. Daddy could mark the Disney map with the best Child care places, locations where you could warm a bottle of milk, where to store stuff in an icepack, etc.

2004 : A near miss as we go to Universal Studios and decide against Disney because my parents want to spend a day with my cousin. I told them that the mouse wins hands down, but they didn't listen! Now they have to wait for their turn...

2006: Taking all the maternal great grand parents to see Mickey and Friends, along with grandparents, parents and the kids. An interesting trip where we had enough hands to distract the kids during feeding time, but started having wheelchair issues toward the end of the day. A trip where the parents felt relaxed because the kids were fed and nothing else seemed to matter. By now, daddy had also gotten used to the "we won't be seeing much if we spend all our time feeding the kids!' routine. In short, daddy lowered his expectation on the percentage theme park covered in one day metric. The single brother in law was given some tips from my previous trips, which might come in handy when he gets married! We actually stayed for fireworks and this time, Daddy and mommy know the wheelchair map of Disneyland.

2007: A trip with the cousins, aimed at making the little girls happy. Everything goes well till we go on a ride called "Mr. Toad" and then Jr. gets shocked. She stops eating, has a long drawn face and starts asking philosophical questions like "Why do I have to eat? Why do I have to do ANYTHING?" and freaks us out. We pull out of the park before the evening parade for the first time, with a protesing little one in tow. Jr. has suddenly lost interest in this world and refuses to go on any ride, eat anything, do anything at all, while the little one wants to go on every ride but is either too young or too short to go on anything! We hurried back home, but did manage to break her hunger strike in Legoland the following day. We are still at a loss to understand what happened to her in the park! Did she see something? Did she hear something? Why would a kid suddenly shut down like that? Was it related to the fifth year immunization shot she got earlier in the week? A million questions, none of which matter now, considering she is back to her usual self! We did have some fun when she started smiling again during the afternoon parade but the smiles were few and countable! Daddy and mommy can now show you the fastest way to exit the park!

Guess that shows how a Disney trip evolves with time. Next time (I am sure there will be one more trip, when the little one goes through HER princess phase), we are going to use all the learning from the previous trips and hope to have a great time!

One thing is true, irrespective of the theme park we are visiting. As long as the feedings are on schedule, the kids are okay, the moms are not stressed out and the dads don't have to take the brunt of the abuse for the kids not eating, the trip is a success and everyone comes out happy! If the kids stop cooperating in the eating department, even Disneyland becomes hell on earth!

On the bright side, the whirlwind LEGOLAND trip was good. The girl ate lunch, played, even started dancing again! At dinnertime, she started acting dull again and we just checked out a day ahead and started driving back in the night! Drove through I-5 last night knowing that we could always handle this better when we were home!

Will post pictures and videos of the trip tomorrow.


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I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 2:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote...


I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 11:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote...


boy, that sounds about right! ;-) the only difference with us was that we had an annual pass twice after marriage, once with 0 kids and once with 1, and our holy grail is disney world not disney land.

gotta confess that your infant-handling skills beat mine hands down. and were i in your place when kiddo grabbed neighbouring lady's hair, i would've been prepared to tear mine off and offer them to her! ;-)

- s.b.

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 7:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote...

Great write-up Sundar. Nostalgic and thought provoking too.
Back to 'visit'ing again but lost my home base.

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 10:53 PM, Blogger Sundar Narayanan wrote...

You will reclaim your home base...


I can see it happening..

between you and s.b. you should start a service which point out interesting facts in the blogosphere where people dont connect 2 and 2..



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