A Pyrate’s Life For T (Or–Not)

Fortune Red Pyrate 


Pyrates Are For Parents? (Arrrrrrr…)

On a recent trip to Disneyland…
On a recent trip to Disneyland with an eight month old who hates his stroller…
On a recent trip to DisL in 4000F…

On a recent trip to DL in high summer with a 25lb eight month old who hates his stroller, one fraying Baby Bjorn, one valiant husband with a sore back, one vanishing sippy cup, one stroller carrying not the baby, but the baby packpack and bags of the four fabulous, visiting-us Brits, the fabulous Brits I follow with our laden stroller as they run, with fixed, scary smiles, for the gates of the happiest place on Earth, on this very recent trip to DL I realize that sleepless mothers really do see all kinds of things.

Sleepless mothers do not see:
1. the inside of the Enchanted Tiki Room
2. where the sippy cup was flung to for the last time
3. husband and child when the man in charge forgets to mention he’s heading for shade behind the faux-trunk of the rambling treehouse
4. pyrates doing their song and sway inside the infamous, Deppian ride, my favorite ride

Sleepless mothers (and fathers!) do see:
1. the Exit for the Enchanted Tiki Room
2. the Exit for the Pirates of the Caribbean
3. fast food joints near Exits (fritters! corn dogs!)
4. the Pirates gift shop (several, all selling basically the same skulled and cross-boned items, shops connected by a cool, delightfully unpeopled faux-Caribbean walkway)
5. The Mob in all its sun-exposed, scantily clad splendor

And if I wasn’t a sleepless mother at DL with visiting-us Brits and a cranky eight month old, I certainly woulnd’t have seen Fortune Red, the latex pyrate who will speak to your child from inside his creepy glass case and eventually vomit a fortune with text so tiny and lengthy you don’t bother reading, but toss it immediately into the trash before your baby rips it from your fingers and puts it in his mouth because now he’s bored with Red, even though at first he maybe wanted to cry when Red arrrrrred on unintelligibly. And I never would have tried those sugary fritters. Nor would I have purchased the babyfood food bowl shaped like a great pyrate ship’s wheel and decaled in Disney characters wearing pyrate regalia (Pluto holding the jailer’s keys in his mouth—why did I find this offensive?—Mickey should have had the keys in his mouth?—or Goofy?—well, I suppose Pluto is the obvious choice…).

And if I wasn’t a sleepless mother at DL with an eight month old with powerful marshmallow thighs and a passion for keeping on the move while pulling my hair out, I wouldn’t have heard or noticed the faux-pyrates across the excellent lake, fully miched and singing pyrate sea shanties, singing their faux-pyrate hearts out and captivating my boy, calming those deadly marshmallow thighs partly because of the deep harmonies echoing across the water and partly because the sleepless mommy, hefting T in her arms, danced her heat-wrung-heart out, like the crazy wench she is now, attracting puzzled, or concerned looks from The Mob (except those Mobbers with red-faced babies passed out in their arms).

Still, by the time we spotted the Brits stumbling from the Pirates of the Caribbean Exit, their faces damp with the ride’s misty, waterfalling features, their eyes blinded by California sun, their expressions disappointed because they’re back in the real world, the pyrate’s world still ringing in their awed, Britty ears, I couldn’t dance anymore, my son beyond fussy—he was pseudo-fuss-boy, fuss-ga-ga and it was then my husband and I worried about heat stroke and once again had an OOPS realization: what in pyrate’s booty were we thinking, bringing an eight month old to an intensely-summered Disneyland? Hello? Didn’t we learn our lesson with the Ramona Pageant in the heat of a Hemet pre-summer? Didn’t we learn after Santa Barbara’s broiling June Solstice Parade, when we took refuge from the heat and the terrifying drumming in a shady, boring, non-parade-afflicted alley? Excuse me? No? We had to learn it again? In the most crowded place on Earth? Arrrrr!


And then I remembered it. I’d had the presence of a tiny bit of mind to Google DL before we left home. Near the photo developing place on Main Street, across from a café and between the First Aid station and the corn dog cart—yes, yes! THE BABY CENTER. Truly the happiest place on Earth, within the happiest place on Earth. Here’s why:

Pleasantly freezing air the second we opened the Ma and Pa Kettle country-kitcheny door. Greetings from the kindest senior citizens that have ever lived, Mabel and Wilma. When we forgot to shut the door, the precious, crisp air escaping, did they scold us? No. Wilma slipped tactfully by us and shut the door with a quiet, knowing smile as Mabel continued the Welcome. The epitome of old-fashioned hospitality in their immaculately ironed Victorian pinafores, Mabel and Wilma, two ladies straight out of Mary Poppins (I wouldn’t have resisted if they’d offered spoonfuls of sugar), assured us I could change our baby, breastfeed our baby in privacy, or lounge on the chairs with our baby for as long as I wanted. Your husband can stay here, too! they told us. Ah. Ahhhhh. I collapsed in a stripy lounge chair with T passed out in my arms and gazed at old fashioned lamps and old-fashioned lace-and-flower window dressings and old-fashioned portraits of small old-fashioned children wearing clothes you just don’t see anymore. I wondered if the portraits were of Walt as a baby, but didn’t ask for fear of waking my own. So quiet. So cool. When Scott left to purchase a corn dog for me so I could survive the drive home, my eyelids actually dropped. Safe and cool in the Magic Kingdom.

Okay, their names were not Mabel and Wilma, not that I know of, anyway. I was so worried about T, I forgot my manners and didn’t introduce myself. I simply took what they–Mabel, Wilma, Hortense, Prunella, Drusilla, Florence–offered. Which seemed to make them happy.

And then we left. But not before Scott presented me with the best corndog I’ve ever eaten in my life. No mall corndog, this. THIS dog was freshly well-battered and deep fried. Hot to the tongue! Moist, yet crispy. So bad for the system. So appreciated by a sleepless mother.


One Response to “A Pyrate’s Life For T (Or–Not)”

  1. PB says:

    You know, pb, you’re probably going to block me from leaving anymore comments, but I have to say it: you’ll feel really, really badly if your son gets heat stroke. Be careful, pb! Beware! Arrrrrrrr! Whatever.