I will NOT gloat. I will NOT brag. I am well aware that the success we enjoyed on our vacation to Disney World was an absolute crap shoot. It could have easily gone awry. It could have been filled with tears and tantrums, snot and sass. We somehow dodged the bullet and had an amazing time. O was unbelievably good. He rolled with everything. I am still amazed. He exceeded any expectations I had (although, as you know, I kept them very low.). It was absolute joy and we can’t wait to go again. Let the countdown begin! Again!
So since I can’t complain about my child’s behavior on our trip, let me let loose on a real parenting fail we witnessed whilst in the happiest place on earth. Its unfortunate to see. You think, wait, this is a place for family vacations and being together, right? I suppose there are all types of families and all types of a-holes.
We were enjoying the zero entry pool at the Animal Kingdom Lodge one day and this little girl decided to attach herself to us. She was British and very chatty. She was 5 years old. I looked around to see where her parent or parents might be? Strange to see a 5 year old on her own in the huge pool. She clearly could not swim, though she protested she could. Her attendance to us became a little awkward as she started to hang on my husband while he was holding O to swim. I told her it wasn’t safe for her to jump on anyone in the pool. She then waded back to where she could stand on her own. A woman appeared, who I assumed was her mother. The woman told the little girl to watch her little brother. And off the woman went. To the bar. In fact, the whole table of “adults” from that “family” were sat out of good view from the children in the pool. Now little Chatty Cathy is in the pool again hanging around us while her 3 year old brother wades in shallower water. He had swimmies on his arms, but really? 3!!! Alone in the pool with a bunch of strangers and his barely treading water 5 year old sister! Mind you, this pool is HUGE. I asked Chatty where her parents were. She pointed to the bar area, “over there somewhere.” What the heck, people! Are you kidding me? You don’t leave children (5 & 3) in the hotel pool by themselves. Are you complete idiots? As a parent, are you thinking, “Well, someone will watch them.” ??? Like the parents who are actually IN the pool with their kids. Like us?
Listen, I get that we ALL NEED a vacation. I get that we are ALL in vacation mode. But just because you are in Disney World doesn’t mean bad things don’t happen to kids there. AND…you don’t get to take a vacation from your kids in Disney World. If you wanted alone time, you should have left them at home and went to some adults only all-inclusive where the drinks are free, as clearly that is where your head is at. As parents we don’t get to take a respite from our duties of caring for the well being of our children. It’s a 24/7 job. Sorry. Even on vacation. And this isn’t about letting your children be free and not helicopter parenting…..this is about safety and, I don’t know, maybe spending some quality time with your children! Who am I to say, right? And, yes, it certainly does takes a village. But when the parents vacate the village for the local watering hole, leaving their young to latch on to just anyone, it really pisses this villager off. If you don’t understand the incredible privilege you have to be a parent, then you certainly won’t understand my point. We GET to be their protectors! It may feel like a job some days, but make no mistake, it is a special opportunity, not enjoyed by everyone. It is my humble opinion, that if you piss away that time (yes, I just said piss away), you are a fool. End of rant.
Until next time, I’ll try not to rage on. Remember, behind every great kid is a mother who is pretty sure she is screwing it up. Thanks so much for reading. Xo