This summer my Princess, my Baby, and my Grouchy Husband and I went to a carnival that was in town for a couple of days. You could see the carnival on a road I drive by often and everytime my Princess saw it, it made her even more excited to go. She was so happy the day we planned to go…I love to see her like this.
Even my Baby was happy at the carnival. She didn’t do much besides a lot of people watching but that was enough fun.
The first ride my Baby went on was a train. It was slow, you could walk faster then this train moved. She didn’t feel any of the excitement she usually feels on rides so when we asked her if she wanted to ride on the roller coaster, she jumped at the opportunity. This would be my Baby’s first roller coaster! It was a mini roller coaster, small enough to take on a traveling carnival. When it was her turn in line to be measured, she was an inch shorter then the height requirement. The parents of the other children that were not tall enough ignored the conductor’s warning and let their kids go on the ride. I was unsure what to do. Though I should have seen it as a sign when the conductor singled me out to personally tell me that the height requirement is to make sure their arms are long enough to grab the front bar or else they will miss it and get a bloody lip, I ended up giving into the peer pressure from the other parents and let her go on the ride.
The ride starts and within ten seconds it’s too fast and my Baby is crying. The ride goes around a few times…she is balling. I am trying to calm her down from behind the gates, but the roller coaster is too fast and she is scared. The conductor finally sees her crying and stops the ride. He helps my sobbing daughter out of the car and she has a bloody lip. He was nice, he didn’t say “I told you so”, which just made me feel worse.
After a lot of hugs and kisses and paper towels, my Baby finally stopped crying and her lip stopped bleeding. She didn’t want to go on anymore rides but we couldn’t leave the carnival because this tragedy might scare her from going on rides forever…even the super slow train!
After much convincing and her watching the speed of this car ride, she decides to go on. I think it was the pink sparkly car that really convinced her. She can’t resist anything that’s pink and sparkly. My Baby was still a little cautious being on a ride so soon after her tragedy.
After a couple of times in the pink sparkly car the memories (or nightmares) of the roller coaster were gone and she was all smiles on the rides for the rest of the night.
What I learned at the carnival:
- I am the protector…and even if other parents are telling me it’s ok and my daughter is begging me with her puppy dog eyes, I need to trust my gut and always do what will keep my babies safe.
- The height requirement on rides is not phony. It’s there for a reason and I should abide by it always.
- Don’t create fears. They will come naturally so I should eliminate as many as possible by creating great experiences.
A parent who survived a tragedy at the carnival,