NOTE: THIS IS NOT A WHINING STORY, MORE LIKE A POKE AT MYSELF AND MY INSANITY.
Today is James’ (James’s??) birthday. Caitlin’s is at the end of the week. She has been begging to go to Six Flags Over Texas for years. I haven’t been since the 80s. I was a little leery about long lines and the cost. I also didn’t want to be the only adult on the trip because I was worried about having to let Caitlin go on rides alone when James was too short to get on. However, my son has become a giant, so that wasn’t the problem. Instead, he was afraid to ride certain rides. For this reason I am glad I decided to bring along a companion for Caitlin.
We went on Sunday. The day started out at 5 a.m. with a text from a friend. (Don’t you just love time zones??) That was okay because I had scheduled a 6 a.m. departure. (For some reason, I thought needed to leave at that time.) We ran to the ATM and the donut shop for a little breakfast and hit the road.
There was NO traffic. We were the only people on the road, practically. We got to Fort Worth in no time, but I got off on the wrong Interstate. (If I don’t have printed directions, I get easily misdirected.) I passed familiar landmarks from the weekend before so I felt secure. I even saw familiar road names, but the buildings started looking less familiar, and I wasn’t seeing all the attractions that are located near the Amusement Park. Where had I gone wrong? That’s when I realized that there are two Interstate highways that run parallel to each other with similar numbers. I got off one highway too soon and was running about 10-20 miles south of where I wanted to be. I finally got onto a road I knew would run into the correct Interstate and was on my way to meeting my friend LB and her son CB. Thank goodness I left too early.
After picking up CB, we headed to the park. We had bought all of our tickets online including a Preferred Parking Pass, which put us only 100 yards from the front gate. I was so excited. I forgot to check the lot number however. :-P
We were quickly in the park and made a plan. We would ride as many rides as we could and try to leave by 5 p.m. so CB could go home and pack for his real Spring Break adventure with his dad. The first ride we encountered was The Spin. It looked simple enough. James was nervous though. It turned out to be a little bumpier than I thought it would be so it kinda soured him on all rides for the rest of the day. Somehow we convinced him to get on the Mini Mine Train – still a little too bumpy for him. From that point on, James refused to get on another ride. I let him stand with the ride operator while I rode a big swing ride. Then Cait and CB rode roller coasters without us.
The (DREADED) Spin
First, James and I followed them around, but it was a real downer to walk through the lines for rides and have to exit out the other side without enjoying the attraction. I had to create another plan. We ended up going to Looney Toon town to ride the kiddy rides. This had to work. I couldn’t imagine spending hours and hours at the park just sitting on a bench. First on the agenda, the spinning teacups. Too spinnie. Next, the flying airplanes. Too high. After searching for just the right ride, I decided that desperate times call for desperate measures…BRIBERY and THREATS:
James: I don’t wanna go.
Me: It’s just like the carnival Daddy took you to.
James: No it’s NOT!
Me: James, if you don’t get on a ride, we are going to go to a baby sitter.
Me: The baby sitter will be Mrs. X
Me: Get on the ride.
Me: *dialing cell phone* Talk to daddy.
James: *through tears* Long conversation
Me: You getting on the ride?
Me: If you get on this ride you can ride the train that goes around the park.
Did this dialog work? See for yourself.
Still not happy, but on a ride.
The Steam Train
From that point on we spent our trip searching for rides that weren’t too scary.
By the time we were ready to leave, we had ridden a real steam train and The Runaway Mine Train, spent money on midway games (something I would never do) and rode the steam train one more time before meeting the older kids. To top it all off, James had cotton candy and pretzels with soda.
Sizing himself up for another ride...still not sure he wants to go.
About to go on the Runaway Mine Train
"I did it, Daddy! I was Brave"
More his speed.
Despite James apprehension about the rides, we had a good time. There were no fights among siblings and I think it was worth the drive.