Rainy day at the park

2 Oct

 I am filing this one under “Megan”.   It’s about my Megan.   Except that my Megan is two people.  And, well, both are boys.   Neither is called “Megan”.  But, if “Megan” means, “those people I love, enjoy and am proud of” it is accurate.   I’ll let Kev figure out if there should be a different category for all of our “Megans”.

One rainy day we were all in the car on the way to a small local amusement park.  When I say rainy, I mean buckets of water falling on the car.  Being in the passenger seat, I was free to use the cel phone to call ahead. Who wants to drive a long way only to be told that “Wally World” is closed?  “Are you guys going to be open today?”  “Oh, yes.  We are putting a tarp over the picnic area now.” 

Add this to the fact that our kids (four and two) have never been on amusement park rides.  I had no idea if they would get upset at the rides or not.   My suggestion was to turn back home.   Note the “I was in the passenger seat” comment above.  We pushed on.

We drove through the rather large parking lot.  As it was fairly well uncontaminated by parked cars, I realized that we weren’t the only ones worried about the weather.  We were one of the very few families to brave the rain.

The park was drenched, but the rain had reduced to a light drizzle.  As we walked in we saw some other little kids in bright raincoats and rubber boots.  We made a mental note to get some for our kids this winter.

This park has a lot of little kiddie rides.  Some are basically carnival rides, some, like the train, were much larger.  All were virtually empty.  We chose as our first ride one that has those little buckets that go around in a circle.  There is at least one of these rides in every amusement park in the world.  This particular one had canvas shade covers that had the added feature of dripping water on people in wet weather.  Since this “feature” was only apparant once the ride was moving, we all got a good soaking.  Well, we parents got soaked while shielding our kids!

That done, we tried the Carousel (I am one of those people who think that there is a difference between Carousel’s and Merry-Go-Rounds).    Only my older boy (the four-year-old) wanted to get on.   I was a bit worried.  I had visions of asking the ride operator to stop the ride or trying to calm my son down if he got scared.  Instead I got the biggest smile in the world!  I stood next to him, having the time of my life.  I got to hear “yaaay!” as the ride ended and see him disappointed that we had to leave.

Next we went on a small train ride they have.  It circles the park.  The first time was literally their first time on a train.  And, boy did they like it.   Thomas the Tank Engine (well, not really, but that how I sold it!) for real!

The second time we went on the train we walked up just in time to watch the train pull away.  Oh, my!  Two young boys crying for their train that has left without them! 

The best  rides, though, were the least “flashy”.  They had some really small rides.  Basically the sorts you would see in a travelling carnival.   Little cars that only small kids can ride in, going around a circle.  Nothing big, but ooh, was I scared.  What if they didn’t like it?  What if they cried and wanted to get off?  I wouldn’t be there with them like on the carousel.

 Well, it  didn’t matter.  Remember the rain?  No one was there!  We had the rides all to ourselves.  If there was a problem, just ask the guy to stop the ride. Simple.  Simple and unnecessary.  The kids loved the rides. 

It doesn’t sound like much, but it was great fun.   We left the park fairly early in the day.  The sun was coming out, people were starting to arrive in greater numbers.  They didn’t know what they were missing.

14 Responses to “Rainy day at the park”

  1. Sullivan October 2, 2007 at 03:51 #

    I freely admit to being inspired by Bullet!

    Here’s my own inexpert account of a good day for us.

  2. Steve D October 2, 2007 at 04:04 #

    You know what, Sullivan? That sounds like a damn good day to me.
    I recall taking my two older boys on their first amusement park trips, and also recall the first time my oldest son experienced more enjoyment than fear, more pleasure than sensory overload. Nowadays, at the ripe old age of almost-6, he has transformed into some sort of roller-coaster thrill-seeking daredevil. Some expert out there probably wants to ascribe this behavior to him being autistic, I think its because he just frankly loves the thrill.

  3. Ms. Clark October 2, 2007 at 04:23 #

    Thanks, Sullivan. That was just as soothing as the pieces Bullet has written, and a very nice break from the intense autism quackery/epidemic stuff.

    I think I would have enjoyed the park minus the crowds, too.

  4. Do'C October 2, 2007 at 04:42 #

    Well, it didn’t matter. Remember the rain? No one was there! We had the rides all to ourselves.

    I almost hate to admit it, but that sounds absolutely ideal. Great account Sullivan.

  5. Kev October 2, 2007 at 06:02 #

    I’m honoured you chose to file this under ‘Megan’.

    Sounds like a great time ;o)

  6. bullet October 2, 2007 at 08:38 #

    It sounds a fantastic day :D.

  7. jypsy October 2, 2007 at 11:45 #

    My daughter just worked her first (summer) job at just such a place. She spent many a day on “the kiddie rides” and a couple of those in the rain. A quiet kid, never one to volunteer much information about herself, she enjoyed “autie spotting” and told the parents of every autistic kid she met that her brother is autistic too (she’s the youngest in the family with 3 older brothers, one Aspie, one autistic and one geek). She enjoyed these encounters and I can’t help but think she put these parents somewhat at ease as, in most cases, she has had many, many more years experience with autism than they have. I know a couple of times she worked out compromises with parents who were wanting to do things she wasn’t allowed to let them do (stand inside a fence or get on a ride with their child) and made the situation work for all involved without breaking any rules. She’d have had no issue at all with stopping a ride to let a child off, I don’t think that ever happened though. (I usually got quite a descriptive story of all her autism encounters at work).

    It was quite an eye opening experience for her to observe all the different parenting styles she saw. I’m thinking she appreciates her parents even more now! She got to hear my stories of how we dealt with taking 4 little kids, all roughly 2 years apart, including an Aspie and a non or barely verbal autistic, to Prince Edward Island’s amusement parks (and survive to tell the tale).

    She enjoyed the fact that she could speak French to the French kids and help them out and I think she was equally aware that her background with autism could be just as helpful. It’s my humble opinion that she was a great asset to this amusement park this past summer.

  8. Kev October 2, 2007 at 13:34 #

    Your daughter sounds like a truly wonderful person jypsy, you must be very, very proud.

  9. jypsy October 2, 2007 at 17:47 #

    She is Kev. At the moment, and for the past few years (she’s 15) she’d like to be a journalist “when she grows up”. If the subject of her writing were “autism” I’m sure she’d write some pretty great stuff. She has wonderful attitude and an incredibly health view of, not just the Autism Spectrum but, the whole spectrum of mankind.

  10. Michelle October 3, 2007 at 01:40 #

    Our sons first experience with kiddie rides was also on a rainy day with not that many people…So not needing to wait long was great! Only one of my sons is autie, he’s 5, the other one is 3 but likes to imitate older brother (he doesn’t know yet that is brother is weird…) so we’re often worried about double reactions…Anyway, they found out they liked going on rides, together was a bonus! So this summer when we got to the fair, on a bright sunny august sunday, we we’re anxious…But they remembered how much they loved those rides and they accepted the waiting knowing it was worth it (and knowing a fit would mean going home…) and we had a GREAT day and managed to do the rides 2 and some even 3 times and WAITING was not a problem!!!

    Man our kinds are great!

  11. AutieAuntie October 3, 2007 at 03:20 #

    Jypsy: your daughter sounds fantastic!
    Michelle: your comment about your younger son not knowing his older brother was “weird” made me chuckle. And smile. Sometimes, it seems like that the adults are the ones with the problems. Little ones seem a little better able to accept things without considering if they are “normal” or not.
    This was a lovely post. Thank you

  12. jypsy October 3, 2007 at 18:47 #

    AutieAuntie,
    Contrary to what Jerry Kartzinel would have you believe, she certainly hasn’t had her “life’s marrow” “relentlessly suck(ed) out”….

  13. AutieAuntie October 4, 2007 at 00:07 #

    Jypsy,
    Don’t you worry. I don’t believe that rubbish about autistics’ “life marrow” having been relentlessly sucked out of them. From my perspective, it’s been the relentless “snake oil salesmen” who have sucked the life out of many autistic kids’ parents. Blessings…

  14. navi October 5, 2007 at 02:31 #

    lovely post.

    I’m sure the spinning rides were enjoyable. My son likes them quite a lot. I’m not sure I’d have been able to stand the rain, though the rest of my family would be oblivious.

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