Friday, October 2, 2009

A Day of Transportation, Tribulations, & Tears

I feel the need to preface. These Disney posts are going to be detail heavy because they are really for me. I had wonderful intentions of documenting with words real time with preprinted journaling spots but was so caught up in Disney I didn't feel like writing while we were there.

I could just use those spots now but I'm really not a journaler. However, I do seem to be a blogger. So strange really since it is essetially the same thing. Oh well, whatever works!

Long story short, I'll be using the blog as a home for all the details that surface as I go through the process of photo triage. I know there are a few that will find these interesting and for the rest of you, you've been warned. This is the equivalent of me sitting you on my couch & rambling on about my family vacation.

After an evening of discussions of whether or not to go, followed by a day of reading The Complete Idiot's Guide to Disney World we booked our trip to DisneyWorld. All we had to do was wait six weeks for the big day.

Our first day of vacation was filled with several forms of transportation that Garrett had fun tracking. We started with a van, caught a plane, road a bus, hopped a train and ended with a boat. All of it amused our little guy. So much fun listening to him tick off all his transportation; I kept thinking of Planes, Trains & Automobiles.

Considering we left our house at 5AM, the majority of the day went well.

Then, we arrived at DisneyWorld and it started to fall to pieces. We arrived prior to check in time so I expected that our room wouldn't be ready. No biggie. All the bigs were hungry since we were in transit during lunch time. There were supposed to be restaurants on property. No biggie.

Trusting the Disney Staff, we asked where we could get food. Blindly we went where we were told to go only to learn everything was closed.

Instead of taking it in stride, I let the pressure of planning a trip in 24 hours & feeling the weight of everyone's good time on my shoulders get to me. Everyone not only included Mitch & Garrett but also my parents.

We road a boat to Wilderness Lodge from Ft. Wilderness, which I had NOT realized were not on the same property to grab a small bite to eat before we were able to get into our rooms and freshen up for Hoop-Dee-Doo.

It could have been that Garrett picked up on my mood or he could have picked up on the energy of four hungry adults or he could have just reached the end of the road but whatever it was led to our first meltdown over food.

Those of you who have read the blog for a bit now know that food is our major struggle with Garrett. This is the piece of parenting in which I feel most inadequate. Let me tell you, I loved having that on display in a room full of people. However, we rebounded fairly quickly with cookie decorating and were ready to freshen up for our big dinner show.

Problem? We had nowhere to freshen up. We were supposed to have received a text letting us know our cabin was ready, with the cabin number. My parents had already received theirs & I was worried that they were trying to text our home phone number.

So, with a cranky child & four worn out adults we headed back to the front desk. An hour & a half after check in time we finally had a cabin & a credit on our account. Perhaps the manager could hear the quiver in my voice? Sadly I'm one of those who cries when I get angry. Really doesn't make me very authoritative in those kinds of situations.

Having only a half hour before the dinner show we made a mad dash to Hoop-Dee-Doo at the mercy of the Ft. Wilderness bus system. We were a bit out of sorts when we finally sat down but we made it!

Garrett did not know what to think about all of it. This vacation taught me alot about my little family & especially my son. He does not like new experiences he can't catalog against something else.

Thank goodness for slapstick humour!! This guy really made the show in my opinion and Garrett said he was hilarious.

It was so fun to see my Dad thrown off his game. This doesn't happen often, if ever, and it was all in good fun. It was something we talked and teased him mercilessly about the entire trip.

Then for the second time in a span of hours we had another battle over food. There is a set menu at the show so if you have a picky eater they need to eat beforehand. The food itself was delish it just wasn't anything Garrett would eat.

Here is the one thing that I wish I hadn't done. The one moment I want to erase. When our server made a big deal about Garrett not eating I should have pushed back. I should have let it not be a big deal. This moment, this night was not the time to decide to re-direct Garrett's eating habits. My shame that he was not one of the children happily taking it all in & eating their dinner clouded my judgement.

The server tried to make the situation better and brought over some special macarroni & cheese. Garrett took a very small bite & refused to eat anymore. Instead of tasting it at that point, I assumed that he was being difficult and I let my own shame take over the situation. It wasn't until after threats, actions & tears that we finally tasted it & realized why Garrett wouldn't eat it. There really wasn't cheese, it was butter and it wasn't good.

We essentially got over ourselves, let Garrett be himself and enjoyed the rest of the show with still a bit of apprehension from Garrett.

That night in front of my parents & husband I questioned my abilities as a mother with a good dose of tears thrown in. My parents tried to lift us up by focusing on all the good that we have done with Garrett but after they left I was still full of sorrow. My sweet, amazing, supportive husband let me put my head on his shoulder and cleanse my soul with tears.

When I look back on that moment I know the Grace of the Lord was upon me and I think of the Second Beatitude "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted."

I don't always admit when I'm beat down & need support, love, kindness but that night I did and I think it changed the next few days.

Mitch & I discussed and decided that while we needed to make changes to positively impact Garrett's eating habits we would wait until we got home.

Tomorrow was a new day & we committed to following Garrett's lead, taking it slow, and enjoying our time together at the most magical place on Earth. So glad we did because the next few days were amazing.



Kyla said...

Oh Monica! I so admire your courage in journaling such tough situations. I think they are situations that we all face, we just don't know how to put it down in words. You've done an awesome job in capturing both the memories and the emotions. I can't wait to see your Disney pages . . . I know they will be fabulous! ;)

ScrappingMomof3 said...

Oh Monica, you're doing so many things right - we can't be perfect at them all. I think LOTS of kids are strong-willed about food, and seriously, aside from offering and setting the example by eating, and going hungry when they choose not to eat - they'll eventually try new things. It's HARD when they're an only child because you tend to cater to them. I know, I had an only for 8 years before having my next one. I admire you for your honesty in this post. Bear with those of us that read your private thoughts and cry along with you. I have been in your shoes (and often still am) in regards to my kids' homework, schooling, discipline, and yeah, food too. Hang in there! Do you have a mommy support group besides Mitch? I know as Dad/Hubby you should definitely include him, but somewhere to go and know that you're not doing anything wrong at all . . . and people will help lift you up? I had a playgroup I was involved in for YEARS when the kids were younger, and even though you work, you need that support too. Just my opinion there :0) Okay, big hugs, and I'm glad you refocused and had a better rest of the trip! ~april

Barb said...

Monica, you're a great mom... I can just tell by the way you write about your son. :)
I'm glad the trip got better as the days went on. I can't wait to read more.

Fun Mama - Deanna said...

This brought tears to my eyes. We all have things that we can't control. I think all mommies have an issue that makes them feel like a failure. Some kids are "super-tasters" and foods have a stronger, more bitter flavor to them. For me, the issue is sleeping. She's a great eater (knock on wood), but she is a horrible sleeper. It sounds less threatening in public, but how often do moms get asked "does your child sleep through the night?" along with a lecture when the answer is no? I say this not as a one-upmanship thing, but just to show that we all have areas where we feel inadequate, and areas where we feel we're doing well. And the thing is, it may not have that much to do with us, as parents, anyway.
Glad your trip got better and hope you're feeling better too.

Jayne said...

Even though the writing was for you it helps all moms to know we are not alone. Life is not perfect - we get crabby, we make bad judgement calls, we have diffcult is all normal and balanced with just as many good calls, perfect children adn smiles. {{hug}}

PS - I have a bad eater too and he is 14 now and still a bad eater!

Becky said...

Hugs Monica. I'm sorry the first day was rough but that it got better.
None of us moms are perfect and some kids are more challenging than others. I know my three are amazingly different and would challenge me on different things....lucky for me food wasn't one of them.

stacyj said...

I also cry when I'm angry and at 44 I'm finally just embracing this.

Love that you are using your blog as a Disney journal. Great idea to share in a class someday *wink*