So hubby and I took the kids (Miss 5, Miss 3 and Master almost 2) to Movie World.
It started well. The sun was shining, the kids were happy and everyone was well rested and ready for everything.
I could blog about the insane queue's, the uber-rude tourists who have no concept of lining up politely and not-pushing in, the greasy, heart attack-inducing food etc. but I think the thing that really struck me is the calibre of parenting you see in a circus like this. Don't get me wrong - I won't be putting my hand up for parent of the year, however what we witnessed at Movie World on this particular day, was the largest parade of carny folk assembled in one place at any time ever.
We had our own fair share of issues too. I forgot to pack a pram and it was only after carrying "Master almost 2" around for close to 7 hours that I found the "Pram Hire Facility." Grrrrr. And hubby and I missed out on every cool ride they had on offer- which was kind of sad, but at the same time, it's a nice feeling knowing that your kids are having a ball. And yes, I did get a little cranky. Namely when Miss 5 dropped melted chocolate on the man sitting next to her in one of the shows, and when Miss 3 insisted on running ahead of us in busy crowds. But it was, overall, a nice day.
Definitely up for worst parent of the year award, are the following parents.
1. Contender number one was the father of 3 boys lining up for the Looney Tune's Boat Ride. Children numbers one and two barely reached the height restriction bar, and as such were able pass through and enter the ride legally and safely. Unfortunately child number three (who could only have been two years old at the most), was well and truly underneath the height bar, and as such, risked being banned from the ride. By this stage, Dad had been lining up with his family for over 1/2 an hour,and was not going to get out of line for anyone. Dad, seeing difficult times ahead, grabbed child number 3 roughly around the neck and mid section of his chest, and thrust him up against the height bar. With no chance in hell of this poor child ever being tall enough to go on the ride, Dad proceeded to stretch the neck of the poor child (all whilst barking at the kid to STAND UP STRAIGHT AND PUT YOUR HEAD UP DAMMIT!), and was pinning the boy against the wall whilst his little legs almost dangled on the ground beneath him. Everyone in eye shot could see that it was pointless, and I mean (let's be real about this) it was only a stupid theme park ride. And even when the ride attendant declared (much to the relief of everyone watching) that the boy would be unable to go on the ride, Dad let a few choice words fly and then angrily dragged the poor kid off to the side to wait for the remainder of his family.
2. Contender number two was the Dad screaming driving tips to Master 3 on the "Tijuana Taxi Ride." For those who aren't familiar with the ride, it is a small one seater cartoon car, where the child inside pushes down on a pedal to make it move forward on a track. The child is also able to steer the vehicle along the track. (See photo).
This crazy, psychopathic parent chased the child around the outside of the track hurling such beauties as "FOOT ON THE PEDAL YOU FOOL! HOW CAN YOU MOVE FORWARD IF YOU CAN'T EVEN KEEP YOUR FOOT DOWN!" and "STOP LOOKING AT ME! KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE TRACK! YOU'LL KEEP HITTING THE EDGES KID!" and even this pearler "THAT'S NOT HOW YOU DRIVE!" Ummm mate - the kid is 3. It's not a real car, and the poor thing is sweating about his driving ability, and not being able to enjoy himself. Get a grip!
3. And contender number three (and I believe the actual winner of this prize) is the quality Mum who (late in the day) had Miss 5 try to hold her hand as they were walking. Obviously the poor little thing was tired, and in trying to reach for her mother's hand, must have accidentally scratched her hand. The mother stopped dead in her tracks and began her tirade. "YOU EFFING LITTLE C!!!! (And I am paraphrasing and not writing the actual words,but you can imagine). HOW DARE YOU SCRATCH ME YOU LITTLE B!!!! GET YOUR EFFING HANDS OFF ME AND PISS OFF YOU LITTLE C!!!" My blood (and the blood of those people around me) actually ran cold. And just as the crazy Mamma went to walk off, one of the Movie World attendants stopped her and said something to the effect of "We don't tolerate that language here at Movie World, and especially not towards children." Thank God, because I was really worried it would have to be me who said something. But I really did feel for that poor little creature.
It's supposed to be a fun day people! A day for children to laugh and have fun and spend quality time with their families! Yes, small children will get tired. No, parents, you don't have to tolerate a tantrum. But you shouldn't turn your children against you in the meantime, and remember that YOU brought them there. Be the grown up. Love your kids. Nurture them! Enjoy.