Two Sides of One Disney Princess

I was cautiously teetering across that tightrope between headache and migraine. Sudden movements and bright lights and even the simple of act of blinking were like bolts of lightening striking misery all through my head. Meanwhile, Alexis, in her infinite joy, was bouncing and jumping and generally doing her very best impersonation of Tigger after swallowing a bottle of Happy Pills. As we sat together on the bench waiting for the bus to carry us back to the hotel for the night, I finally had to tell the bundle of energy to chill out. I explained why as best as I could through the fog of pain.

As the words began to sink in to her little head, her eyebrows scrunched together with concern. "Oh, momma," she said. She thought for a moment and then said, "Don't worry. I'm going to be a doctor when I'm bigger enough. I'll make you feel better," she said softly.


"Quit. Running. NOW!" I told her for the 135,362,980,791st time that day.

I didn't hear her exact response. It was so full of sass and attitude and brattiness that the words were irrelevant.  I knelt down and sternly told her, "Look at me. NOW."

Her eyes darted left and right and left and right, everywhere but where I was sitting.

"EYES. NOW," I told her. I was out of patience.

She finally locked eyes with me long enough for me to see that there was absolutely no fear in them.

She knew she was in trouble. She didn't care.


Moving even a millimeter made my head feel like it was being attacked by millions of microcosmic pirates and their tiny swords. Otherwise, I would have melted into a puddle of motherly goo right then and there. The urge to melt only grew stronger when Alexis took her still-chubby little hands and began to gently stroke the back of my head.

Alexis continued her mothering, dumping more and more of her sweetness all over the parking lot. "Is that better?" she finally asked.

"A little bit," I told her. In reality, nothing had changed. The headache still raged on like a runaway freight train filled with angry fire ants. However, it's the thought that counts. She thought she was being helpful.


I continued to lock eyes with the defiant little creature. She tried to look away, but I continued to snap at her to look at me.

"You can either choose to have a good day, or you can go sit on that bench and not move for the rest of the day," I told her between stare-downs. I meant it. I was willing to spend hours sitting on that bench in silence. It would have been better than spending any more time walking around Disney World with a mean-spirited little demon.

"Noooo!" she cried. The good thing about rarely bluffing is that Alexis isn't willing to risk testing to see if I am holding a pair of 2's while she has a full house.

"It makes me very sad and angry when you aren't nice," I told her.

She began sobbing, clearly crushed that she had disappointed me.

Her behavior improved a bit, but it remained a tedious game of challenging wills and skirting authority all day long.


"Momma," she she said as she continued to gently stroke the back of my head, "I think you need a funnel cake." She reached into her backpack and grabbed the change she had been carrying around all day. "Here you go," she instructed. "Go buy a funnel cake. That'll make you feel better."


I'm Not Amused By How Grown Up She Suddenly Looks


Caution: Evil Genius at Work

My favorite ride in the entire universe is Tower of Terror. Way back in the stone ages when I was in college and worked at Walt Disney World for a semester, I would leave for work an hour early just so I could stop at what was then called MGM and ride the Tower of Terror a few dozen times. That ride is my first, last, and every priority when we're patrolling the land of the giant rat.

Of course Alexis hates Tower of Terror.

And I do mean HATES.

She rode it twice last year, which still befuddles me because she hated it the first time. I can't really figure out why she was willing to try it a second time. Perhaps so she could lather on a hefty coating of parental guilt when she bawled and whined and sobbed afterwards because it was "too scary."

This year, I figured there was no way we would get Alexis to try the Tower of Terror again. Which, honestly, was fine by me. I had full intentions of snagging a Fast Pass for her and then using it myself. I'll ride it two or three times in an hour and I'll be VERY happy about it. But, when it came time to decide whether or not she would ride, I sort of half-heartedly threw out that I would buy her something if she rode with me.

She said yes. Instantly.

This year, she still hated the ride. A lot.

And yet! AND YET the child was willing to talk when it came time to return to Tower of Terror again. Once again, she who vehemently hates that ride was willing to accept bribery in exchange for riding. Once again, she sobbed throughout the entire ride, but then skipped down the street, merrily talking about what she was going to get at the store.

Either I'm getting played the fool or the kid has legitimately stumbled onto the greatest racket of all time.

So far riding the Tower of Terror has cost me $50.

It has been worth every penny.

Shhhh . . . don't tell the kid that we were planning to buy her a couple of souvenirs anyway. We just bought them early and used them as "currency" to get what we wanted. Heh.