In the past, I have said there’s no greener garden than motherhood in which perfectionism can grow like kudzu.
Still true. But there may be a close secondary Paradise of Perfectionists: a trip to Disney World.
We are off to Orlando for three days tomorrow morning. The kids are excited but not vomiting-excited. We planned this trip at the last minute, mostly because we were already going to be in Florida for ten days, and by the next time we get here, Maggie may be too big for princesses once and for all. If she’s not too big already. As I tucked her in last night:
ME: Maggie, are you getting excited to see the princesses?
Maggie looks at me with pity. She gestures for me to bend so she can whisper in my ear.
MAGGIE: **They’re really just girls wearing costumes Mommy.**
Deny, deny, deny.
ME: What? No way! I mean sometimes princesses are just people in costumes. But Disney World is the place where they’re all actually real!
Maggie ponders this. Finally:
MAGGIE: Okay. There’s like a one percent chance they’ll be real.
This was a lesson for me in pre-setting expectations. If I stand in line with Maggie for ninety minutes so she can experience the wonders of Ariel’s Grotto Fantasy Meet & Greet in the New Fantasyland, and if, upon our exit, Maggie goes with the girl-in-costume verdict, I am hereby declaring that I will not die a little inside.
Nor will I snap at my eight-year-old when he says he’s hot.
Nor will I tell my ten-year-old we’re not riding Space Mountain AGAIN if 1) my other kids are fine with that and 2) it’s making him happy.
This will be hard for me, because I am a planner. I am a researcher. After I entered the Disney 1-800 customer service vortex and booked a hotel, I checked TripAdvisor, and thanks to Jesse D. of Rockport, ME, willingly re-entered said vortex to find a new hotel. The “main pool” at the first hotel I had chosen was under construction, and while I will probably be really pissed if we spend more than twenty minutes of our seventy-two Disney hours in a swimming pool, the idea of not having the OPTION to swim, at Disney prices, was not something I was about to tolerate. That would not be Disney magic. That would not be perfect.
See, that’s much more my style. I have downloaded not one but two iPhone apps that estimate wait times for rides, enabling one to plan a Magical Day with maximum efficiency. And I could have those apps open every minute we’re in those parks, planning the most important, crowd-zig-zagging thing we should be doing at that moment, rather than just be.
I am telling myself today that we’re better off going on four rides a day, waiting in lines that are for chumps, eating at our fifth choice restaurant and staying up way past our kids’ bedtimes, rather than have a “perfect” trip with me in drill sergeant mode. That’s what my kids want, and heaven knows that’s what my husband wants (although he will be asking me where’s the best place near the Haunted Mansion for some salmon and steamed vegetables, very little oil. He will have to manage his expectations as well.)
Most of all, it’s what I want.
I hereby declare I will have an hot, inefficient, imperfect trip to Disney World, and that I will enjoy it thoroughly.
That being said give me your tips below.
Or at least wish me luck.