Lola went through a phase two summers ago when she could very easily fly across the monkey bars, but, for whatever reason, just could not bring herself to try the very similar monkey rings, just not trusting that she could do it.
The first time she refused to try, we kind of brushed it off and figured she'd be more ready the next park visit. Then, we got more irritated when she refused the second and third times. By the fourth and fifth times, we were well into negotiation stage. Ice cream anyone?
After that failed, I decided to see if she could think of it another way. I told her that I'm often afraid to try certain things myself but then actually love doing them. Look at me and TV!
You will feel so great afterward, I said, when you finally challenge yourself to do it.
She just looked at me, "Mom, you were too afraid to go on the Yeti at Disney World."
This is true. In 2015, I didn't ride Expedition Everest, which was at that time the most thrilling roller-coaster there that Lola could ride. (And, really, as far as coasters go, Yeti isn't super duper extreme either. I just hate drops. Hate.) I rode it in 2013, twice actually, and did enjoy it. But the difference, or so I told myself, was that in '13, I could ride with Ray. I didn't have to be the brave adult, as I would have had to in '15, when I would have had to ride only with Lola (Millie was too young/short).
"Fine," I told Lola that summer. "If you do the monkey rings, I'll ride Yeti with you. I promise."
I folded my arms, confident I'd called her bluff and still thinking about that ice cream.
But. Kids. Darned if Lola didn't look me square in the eye, jump from that stupid platform and fly across those stinkin' rings. Leaving me well in her dust.
"Mom!" She ran over to me, shrieking with excitement when it was all done. "You have to ride Yeti with me now!"
"Uh-huh," I agreed, not so convincingly.
"You promised," she warned. "The next time we go."
She repeated that a lot in the last 18-some months. But since I stopped working full-time, we've been pretty insistent with both girls: No more big trips until Mommy goes back to work. It became a kind of refrain in our house: Maybe when Lola is 10...
But then came Christmas, when, yeah, we surprised them again: 37 days until we would return to Mouse-land.
"Mom! You're going to go on Yeti with me!" This was almost the very first thing Lola said when she learned we were going. The girl forgets nothing.
Ugh. Have I mentioned how much I hate drops?!
Take a look at this: This is me on the new Frozen ride. Seriously, this "drop" is teeny. Tiny, tiny. Not much to it at all.
But, yeah, I promised. And, really, as much as I moan and complain about them, more often than not, I actually do enjoy the rides once they're done, once I know what to expect. It's just getting me on them that's difficult.
Take me on Space Mountain: I love this ride. But it scares the crap out of me. Every time. Meanwhile, Lola looks almost bored? Ha!
Anyhow, on our fourth day down there this trip, I finally did it: I rode Yeti with Lola.
"Mom, put your hands up!"
"Um, no, I think I'll be just fine with my arms down here."
"I'm going to put my hands up."
"OK, you do that. I'm going to sit here and keep my eyes closed the whole time."
But then, it was done. I survived. And Lola had a great time, which was most important. She asked me if I liked it and I said that while it is not my favorite, yeah, it was pretty fun. But, no, I do not want to go again.
So what was my favorite? My favorite is also Millie's favorite: the less-extreme-but-super-fun Mine Train ride. Which tells me I'm in trouble when she finally does get tall/old enough for Yeti... Eek.
Gosh, we had fun.
So much fun.