Posts Tagged ‘lines’

Queue Quota

15 May 2011



Dear J-

If you go to many of these tourist attractions you’ll soon grow to dread the lines and the testing of wills and patience. After a few times through the lines you find out what kind of person the kids are made of: are they stoic sufferers, voluble complainers, comic geniuses, or some kind of sociopath? The longer the line the better an opportunity. No one likes having to wait but is there anything you can change about it? Think about the difference between action and reaction. We can coach and cajole but there’s only so much learned personality you’ve developed at four and if it’s not happening right now, figgy’s not going to listen to your rational explanations in lieu of wish fulfillment.

She passed by the carousel initially and said she wasn’t interested but as the day wore on we kept circling back in decaying orbits until she declared that she just wanted to watch. Watching turns into wanting and two minutes (and two bucks) later she’s on a zebra ready to ride in circles. Glad times indeed; after a day that starts off extra-early thanks to Calcifer’s inconsolable fuss, she finally brightens the day with a smile and the sun comes out after a brief drizzle. Longer days lie ahead and more dramatic lines — we plan on hitting up the big theme parks in SoCal later this year — so the lessons won’t go unlearned.

We had a recurring zebra theme today in fact. The moment we walked in we watched a show put on by an animated zebra who explained that zebras were black with white stripes — you can tell because the nose is black. After she rode the zebra we got back in line for the tram to see more ill-tempered beasts (cape buffalo and zebra outside, figgy within) and eventually we came upon a baby zebra lying at its mother’s feet, either too tired or not able to stand, and it reminded me that no matter the sophistication of her speech or the depths of her tantrums she’s four and it’s too easy to start concentrating on the black and white of actions leading to consequences leading to reactions leading to escalations. Gotta nip that in the bud.