A relaxing day at the park

A couple of weeks ago, we went to Cypress Gardens. Cypress Gardens is a strange place. It used to be a set of large decorative gardens, with animals and a water skiing show. Now, it’s an amusement park – with decorative gardens, animals, and a water skiing show.

Since the kids are way too small to go on the bigger rides, we pretty much stayed in the areas that have kiddie rides and carnival rides. We had a lot of fun. The park was pretty close to being completely empty of customers, so there were no lines to speak of. The only difficulty was in finding someone to operate the rides, but that worked itself out pretty quickly.

C is fun to watch on the rides. He pushes himself to get on rides that scare him. Once on a scary ride, he appears to have a terrible time. He looks like he’s absolutely terrified and clings tightly to whatever (or whoever) is nearby.

Once he gets off, he brightens up and wants to go again.

After a day of doing this, we discovered a ride that J wanted to go on: a ride we call “the swings”. “The swings” is shaped like a very tall merry-go-round, but instead of horses on poles, there are swings dangling from chains. As the center spins faster and faster, the people in the swings get spun around and (thanks to the wonders of physics) end up almost horizontal, swinging with their heads pointed towards the center and the feet dangling outwards.

I stayed with the boys while J rode. At first, they were fine. The swings were moving fairly slowly and they shouted “Hi Momma!” and “Bye Momma!” as she went past.

Then the ride sped up.

Suddenly, my life became much more exciting. N pointed at the swings and then back at me “No! No! No!” When I smiled and said “it’s okay”, he grabbed my shirt and pulled me towards him. “No! No! No!”

C, meanwhile, was shouting instructions to his mom and pointing. “Be careful! Hold on Tight! Don’t fall down and hurt yourself! Be careful, mom!”

When I say “pointing”, I mean that he was shaking his finger in the direction of the ride, just as if he were scolding someone. He was also hopping from one foot to the other.

I couldn’t do too much to reassure him. Having pulled me closer to him, N was now climbing my shirt, pointing at the ride and shouting “No! No! No!”

Every few moments, J would fly past, moving so fast that we could barely identify her. I’d try to shout out “Hi Momma!” to distract the kids, but whenever I looked away from him, N grabbed at my face to make sure I was hearing him saying “No! No! No!”

Finally the ride slowed down and stopped. N relaxed and C slowly stopped his litany of shouted instructions: “That’s right. Hold on tight. Don’t fall down and hurt yourself.”

After getting out of her swing, J walked over to see N cuddled into my shoulder and C peacefully kicking at the dirt.

“Well, it looks like you had an easy time of it.”

No doubt.

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