With so many kids, one of them is bound to not follow the program, even when the trip or event seems fun and kid friendly. In this case, that would be Gianmarco on a trip to Sea World in 2016.
Gianmarco is a relatively sweet, but relatively moody three-year-old. On a vacation to Universal Studios, we deviated a little and went to visit one of my favorite places, Sea World. Oh, I dreamed he would be in love with the fish, the dolphins, sea lions, stingrays and be smiling ear to ear in his stroller. Nope. So, what does every mother do when you would like to enjoy the outing with the other kids, and one is a complete killjoy? The proper thing is to buy him a toy. In this case, a whale fan.
Gianmarco loved the Shamu fan whose black and white propeller fins were the highlight of the day, and he would turn the fan on, and off, squealing with delight with each rotation. On and off. He was happy and we could now see Shamu in the flesh at the Shamu show! Off we went. He even left the stroller and walked with us to the entrance, turning the fan on, then off, on then off, on then off.
We sat high in the rafters for a great view, and I gave him a bag of popcorn to distract him from the fan. He munched happily,and I was enjoying the killer whales out of their habitat perform human directed leaps and squawks while feasting on dead herring. Then one of the most top ten terrifying mom moments of my life…the popcorn wasn’t cutting it anymore and he turned the fan on..right into a little girls long, Morticia-like locks sitting in front of us. The little girl screamed in horror, and the fan, it’s motor whining had it’s Shamu fins glued to her scalp stopped its rotation. I was frozen in horror. I attempted to unwind her hair from the shaft of the fan, but with it came the equivalent of a hair extension…only it was real. Her parents were so nice…nicer than I would have been EVER. The little girl was almost catatonic, and I didn’t know what else to do except apologize over and over and over, and I gave her 20.00 to buy something in the gift shop.
I can still feel the rapid palpitations in my chest just recounting the story.
The moral here, and the mistake I made…never bribe your kid with a plastic, handheld fan-waterbottle combo. It could be insanely “hairy.” As for another trip to SeaWorld? It’s like returning to the scene of a horrific crime that plays over and over in your nightmares….not any time soon.