Anonymous Husband and I have resolved to spend more time with the girls. I mean, aside from our time clocked in at our day jobs, we spend ALL of our time with the girls, but what we do during that time is what is in question. Dragging them around to grocery stores and running boring, grownup errands is not exactly quality time.
The cycle of our behavior (ours as adults and theirs as children) during time spent together is predictable. If the kids are bored, they’re going to misbehave, which frustrates us, which leads to everyone being miserable. If they’re happy, they act accordingly. They’re happy, we’re happy, we’re a happy family.
Which is not to say we can do what they want all the time. That would mean nothing constructive would get done and our kids would be spoiled. But there’s a happy medium that can be reached with some minor (and some major) adjustments. Perhaps we don’t all have to go grocery shopping together. Perhaps errands can be run on the way home from work, as opposed to during our precious few hours on the weekends. Maybe instead of taking one entire day to clean and tidy, we can break up the tedium with play time and fun. Going to the movies as a family, playing games that involve even the smallest of our bunch, turning up the music and having an impromptu dance party. All of these things are easy adjustments to our current routine and they’ll do wonders for molding the happy, healthy family we all want.
Earlier this week, we took the train. It was Eirinn and Avery’s first time. They loved the adventure and were excited about the trip. We took the train into the city, just an hour’s ride, but Avery was convinced we were going back to Florida. Geography is a terribly complicated concept for a child. They watched the lake and the cliffs and the subdivisions speed by. At every stop, they were worried we were missing our stop. They were giggly and adorable and excited.
The train was fun, but what they were mostly excited about was where we were going. Disney On Ice: Mickey and Minnie’s Magical Journey. These kids, like their mother, grandmother, and great grandmother before them, are Disney-aholics, so Disney On Ice is a perfect way to spend the day.
The show was great. It had a little bit of everything – Mickey, Minnie and the gang, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Lilo and Stitch (which was nice – those two don’t get their fair shake), and the whole second half was dedicated to Peter Pan. The skating was fun, the little, condensed stories kept the kids mesmerized, and the effects were pretty impressive. It’s amazing what a travelling production can do.
The girls were on the edge of their seat the whole show, smiles spread across their little faces, clapping to the music, cheering at the end of segments. They were spoiled rotten and each got a giant bag of cotton candy, which was adorned with a foam Flounder hat. They only wanted the hat, but promised to eat the cotton candy. I think it probably goes without saying that the disgusting sugar fluff went completely uneaten and the hats haven’t been touched since the guy forked them over. BEST $20 EVER SPENT. But whatever. Sometimes it’s only money. In fact, that’s a new mantra (I have several): Meh (most of my mantras start with “meh”), it’s only money.
Avery kept asking me if after the show, we could visit Mickey’s house. Like, in Disney World. Which is 2,124.75 kilometers away. That’s 1,320.26 miles, so probably not really doable in an afternoon. Again – geography. How does it work?
When the show was over, we had to literally run from the Rogers Centre to Union Station which is probably a million miles away (ok, so it just felt a million miles away), but luckily mostly indoors, thanks to The Path. Eirinn is the greatest trooper around because she ran the whole way with us, her short little four-year-old legs going twice as fast as ours. We had to make it to the train on time, else be stuck in the train station for an hour. AH and I are both crowd-o-phobes, with him also being a city-o-phobe and me being hypoglycemic and claustrophobic. The wait would have been UNPLEASANT, to say the least. But we made it. We were sweaty and exhausted and out of breath, but we made it.
The trip on the train home was quiet. We were tired and separated into two groups of two, because the train was busy, so we didn’t say much. We were all happy. We had made the effort to share some precious time with each other, as a family, and it was worth it. Worth every penny, worth every running step, worth facing our phobias, just worth it. And we’re going to continue to make the effort. These are the moments that the kids will remember.
If you’d like to see Disney On Ice: Mickey & Minnie’s Magical Journey, there are still tickets available through Ticketmaster. Use the coupon code BLOG to receive $5 off. The show runs in Toronto until Sunday.
Full disclosure – I was given tickets to Disney On Ice from Feld Entertainment. The tickets were thanks to Feld; the experience was thanks to my family; the opinions and words above are solely and wholly my own.