I believe that I will break every rule of parenting before my trip to the Magic Kingdom has ended.
For starters, I have already let my children watch more TV this past week than they are supposed to watch in an entire month. And to make the transgression worse, it has been all Disney, all the time. Thanks to several kind friends, my daughter has her choice of every princess movie – all of which (minus one) she has never seen before. I’ve had my kids on lockdown to prevent germ contamination, bruising, and breakage. Of course, one child managed to fall out of bed reading a book, so this has worked out about as well as expected, but at least I tried. No great outdoors. No playing with friends, just television. Bad parenting? Read on.
I did manage to turn off the television for a little while – to take my daughter to get a mani-pedi. She’s five. A friend even visited us at the salon and marveled at the stripper pink polish my daughter chose. A color so vibrant it can be seen from space has also been accented by tiny yellow flowers. To say she was thrilled would be an understatement; to say I was horrified would be the same.
Also along the lines of creating my own monster, I bought a harness for my son. Yes, good people of the Internet, I will be walking my child on a leash. I’ve taught him to bark and plan on throwing Scooby Snacks to him when he does it at anyone who dares to make a comment within my hearing. My son is two. He’s a runner and cannot be expected to meekly sit in a stroller for days on end. My husband is a worrier and cannot be expected to let my son walk among the throng without inventing RFID technology that can be implanted in his skull. My attempt at avoiding exploratory surgery and endless screaming of “Let me out!” is a harness. I didn’t pretty it up either. No plush toy, or little backpack, or cute character is on this thing. It’s a leash, plain and simple. There are many, many places I want to visit with the Magic Kingdom – the Lost Child center is NOT one of them.
So, I’ll have Jon-Benet on one side of me and Fido on the other, both of whom will be squinting at the sun after almost a full week cooped up indoors. What other parenting sins will I commit on the road? How many strangers will I actively encourage my children to talk to? How many meals will end with ice cream and will be completely absent of vegetables? How many different forms of locomotion will we take totally absent of any type of restraining device? How much sleep will be missed and how much unnecessary merchandise bought? It’s a mystery. And put together, it is all, very, very, bad parenting. But it surely will make a very fun vacation.