We all want our kids to be better than we are. Better versions of ourselves, hopefully learning from the mistakes we’ve made or the qualities we possess that we’re not super proud of. I’m happy to report that Riley has excellent comedic timing. I like to think he gets that from me (and yes, I’m the funniest person I know! I crack myself up daily!). From the time he heard Derek say that our backyard was flooded from all the rain, when he expertly farted loudly and proclaimed his butt was flooded, to this morning when he perfectly did the “sad trombone” womp womp sound when I mentioned that Charlotte would be napping this afternoon and couldn’t play with the water table. The kid has a sense of humor. And I like to think he got that from me.
But I think he also got one of my other characteristics. The fact that I hate rides. Rollercoasters, the Gravitron, I hate them all. I always have. I have distinct memories of yelling to a carnie to stop the ride when I was probably 8 years old. He didn’t stop the ride. I remember riding the Scrambler at a church festival and feeling the lack of oxygen to my head, thinking that at any moment I would pass out. That carnie wouldn’t stop the ride either. Damn carnies! Talk about poor customer service.
In May, I put Riley and my cousin’s 4-year old daughter on a ride at a church festival. As soon as the hot air balloon toddler right started, he was frozen, expressionless, gripping the center bar of the ride. Ella was laid back without a care in the world. She later asked to go on the roller coaster.
So last year at the zoo, Riley and I rode the carousel and I thought it would be a lovely mother-son bonding time. I plopped him up on a horse and climbed on the one next to him. The ride started and he kept repeating that he wanted to get off. I thought he’d change his tune and start loving it, but he didn’t. He didn’t cry, he didn’t smile, he just kept repeating that he wanted the ride to stop and he wanted to get off. I tried everything I could to reassure him, but he was not buying it.
When the ride did stop, we got off and he told his daddy that he did not like the ride and never wanted to ride it again.
Fast forward a full year. We were at the zoo this weekend and when I saw how unbelievably long the train line was, I suggested the carousel. And my 4-year old actually remembered that he hated it one year ago.
I guess he gets his amazing memory from his dad.
After a little encouraging, he agreed but only wanted to ride in “one of those seats.” You know, the benches on the carousel for old people? Those.
“But the giraffe and the tiger don’t go up and down like the horses. I’ll stand right next to you. Want me to put you on a giraffe? Or look at that cool tiger?”
“No, I want to ride in the seats.”
So, we rode in the seats. And he loved it.
“I guess the carousel isn’t so bad when you’re on a seat!” he proclaimed.
“You’re right, buddy. It was really fun sitting on the seat,” I said, and I meant it.
Hey, I’ve got a lot of good qualities. I know just about every lyric from just about any 80s song. I can cook. I always use my blinker when driving. Hopefully Riley will inherit some of these qualities, too. In the meantime, maybe he and I will watch from the sidelines while Daddy and Charlotte kick it on the Gravitron.