Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The most exciting ride in the history of amusement park rides

We had a whole lot of thrills this weekend, starting with a visit to the Jersey shore for the first time since Sandy. The city we usually go to, Wildwood, wasn't hard hit and it was a relief to see it booming on Memorial Day weekend.  

The weather was chilly, so we hung out on the boardwalk a lot. Max wanted to ride the tram back and forth (and back and forth and back and forth etc.). Sitting around and staring into space is one of my new favorite hobbies, so I liked that too. 

Sabrina won a gigantic stuffed banana, which has given us enough joke fodder for the rest of our lives. Then we came upon Governor Chris Christie, making the rounds. "Hello, young lady!" he said. (He was, of course, talking to me.)

Max had no interest in a photo opp because that boy had places to go! As in, the rides at Mariner's Landing Pier. The ones he loves are for little kids, and as I watched him make a beeline for his favorite I had deja vu: Here we are again, one year later, same rides. And a twinge of concern. Max is getting to be a big kid and when he's still into kiddie stuff, whether it's the Disney Jr. channel or amusement park rides, it worries me.

But I pushed those thoughts back, and focused on how far Max has come from when he was a tot and rides scared the heck out of him. Ultimately, I have to keep reminding myself, it's all about Max's happiness—and he is full of bliss when he is riding that train, boat, car and bus. 

Then we got to the bumper cars and for the first time, Max wanted to try them. He asked me to jump into one with him, but there was no way I was fitting (especially after the cheesesteak I'd downed the night before). "Max, you can drive yourself!" I said, and walked him over to a car. 

I showed him the gas pedal, explained that he had to press it to make it go and pressed his right foot onto it to demonstrate. Then I asked the attendant if he could help Max if he got stuck; Max has issues with coordinating foot movement. 

Well, Max Mario Andretti proceeded to maneuver that bumper car like he'd been driving one all his life. That's him in the back with the red jacket. 

I'm pretty sure I was the only mom standing at the bumper cars getting all choked up.

But if he asks to borrow the car keys, I'm saying no.


  1. I get it.

    I vividly remember Miss 17 being about 9 years old and still wanting to watch pre-school shows. Not because I was so over Barney (I totally was) but I didn't want the world to see her as being so different. If that sounds like it was all about me, well, to some degree, but it's more complex than than (I've enjoyed your musings about cool shoes and purple). The world sees our kids by how they dress, what they talk about, what they want to watch on TV, you know the gig.

    I remember sitting in the parking lot at school, must have been picking her up for an appointment, and heard a radio interview with Miley Cyrus, who was gushing over her new show Hannah Montana and how cool it was to be acting with her dad. I remember despairing over when Miss 17 would start watching more age appropriate shows like this new Hannah Montana thing!

    Of course, be careful for what you wish for because it was only a matter of weeks before I got to show her the first episode and then she was a fan! I was able to accidentally lose all the Barney, Teletubbies and Big Comfy Couch videos (yes, videos!) and she never looked back.

    Now she is still a fan of the tween-ager Disney Channel shows and it's time she moved on to teenager shows but we have a 7 y.o in the house too so it's hard to make the break. She is a Glee & Twilight fan and likes Big Bang Theory but given the choice it's still Disney Channel shows.

    I'm going to gently encourage the transition to older tastes because it gives her common ground with the other kids at school - none of the other Grade 12s are talking about Austin & Ally so it's time to move on....

  2. Is it ridiculous that I teared up at seeing Max being so independent and so awesome at driving a bumper car??? It gives me hope for my little guy. GO MAX!!!

  3. I get it too. The first time my son got on a rollercoaster (a small one), he loved it!!

    1. I went on my first inversion coaster for my 13th birthday. It was awesome!

  4. Isn't it nice to have those moments? When you can't even pick Max out from the crowd? He just blends in... Like any other kid. I love those moments. :)

    1. And Sabrina, hang on to that photo... that guy could be the chief one day...

  5. Looks like you guys had a great time I'm glad :)

  6. Go Max indeed! And I'm sure I heard another mom shout 'turn the wheel Bella' you didn't have to tell Max anything (well apart from the how-to before he got in but everyone needs one of those). Great co-ordination, gross motor skills, motor planning AND memory practice! Maybe you should petition his PT/OT to get one!

  7. bumper cars are things ten year olds do and he drove them nice job max

  8. Awesome! The kid loved the truck train last year and would love to go back. I cant wait until he has the coordination to do the bumper cars. Go Max!

  9. Look, it's Max and other children interacting, naturally and stealthily. Showing them up, actually. One of the Highlights of my day.

  10. I know what you mean...we choked up when Henry finally climbed to the top of the McDonald's playground. We celebrate every "victory".

    Jasper, GA

  11. go max!! when we achieve something that the world says we can't do, it
    s a big deal!

  12. I wouldn't worry too much about the kiddie shows and things yet. As you know, Sarah Kate and Max are the same age - just two or three weeks apart, I think - and she still watches Disney Junior (and she has excellent communication skills and is in the gifted program at school). In her case, she has an "excuse" in her little brother, but she could easily bolt if she wasn't into it. :)

  13. Jenny Saul-AvilaMay 31, 2013 at 9:56 PM

    I hope one day to have the same kind of moment - my kid is still afraid of rides, even the Merry Go Round. He likes watching some of them, but won't go near. He's only 3, really so very little - but I see so many people with children his age & even much younger on the kiddie rides & think - there's no way that would happen with my kid - I couldn't even imagine.
    Go fearless, Maxio Andretti!


Thanks for sharing!

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