Friday, June 4, 2010

The Next Best Thing

Last night Haley was filling the air in our house with laughter.  She was having a marvelous time.  I was upstairs and I could hear "WhoooHoooYay!" followed by riotous mirth.  I had to check it out.

She was sitting on the couch with the laptop perched on a pillow on her lap.  When I walked in and took a look over her shoulder she was watching videos of people riding amusement park rides on YouTube.  She was enjoying it as much as if she was on the rides herself. 

For the most part that is probably the closest she will ever get to riding on some of those rides.

The problem with amusement park rides is that Haley has either been too small to ride or too big to ride the rides that I feel are at her developmental level.  Now she is tall enough to ride the rides that have height restrictions, but I am not comfortable putting her on them.  It helps (me) that those rides seem to scare her. 

One of our favorite amusements parks is Silverwood in Northern Idaho.  Our family has a close attachment to it.  When it was first under construction my husband and I were dating.  We were driving by the site one day and we had to pull over to see what was going on.  We could see that it was under construction but the buildings looked like they belonged in the early 1900's.  From those humble beginnings the park has become a really great park.  It is like a giant country carnival and it has one of the best steam engine rides we have ever been on.

I like that at Silverwood the kiddie rides are fun and that parents can ride with their kids.  Haley and her Big Sis can ride them together.  One of our favorites is the Log Flume ride.  Last summer we decided that Haley was ready to try it.  Haley doesn't normally do well in lines anyway, but in this line she could see what was coming up and she seemed to get more and more nervous the closer we got. She saw all of the wet people getting off of the ride and I don't think it looked that fun to her. 

I just kept reassuring her that it would be fun and that I would be with her.  She backed into me a couple of times.  It was a little tricky getting her into the log but we did and she seemed to enjoy it until we got to the top of the big drop.  I was squeezing her pretty tight with my legs and I had my hands over her hands on the bar handles.  I could feel her shaking.  We were all yelling by the time we got to the bottom and when we stopped she said "Fun!"  When we got off the ride and asked her if she wanted to go again she said "No."

We took the girls to Enchanted Forest on Mother's Day this year.  That park also has a log flume ride.  We rode it, but I still don't think she wanted to.  She said "Fun!" at the end of that one too, but just like last time she didn't want to go again.  We also wanted to ride a roller coaster at that park, but she decided to stay with her Grandma and watch.

It doesn't bother me that she doesn't want to ride those big rides.  My Mommy instincts want to keep her on the ground.  I am glad that she gets such a kick out of the videos of rides on YouTube,  I think that they are close enough to the real thing for both of us.

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