Luckily, all of this is relatively transparent to the kiddos, but I swear, I am tense beyond belief after walking around all day, my daughter in hand, and seeing scores of near-misses by:
- overly excited tweeners
- electric-buggy-riding morbidly obese buffoons zipping from corn-dog stand to turkey leg stand to cotton candy stand. Seriously, ever notice the ratio of truly mobility-challenged people to people whose mobility is limited by the extra couple hundred pounds of ass they have? Maybe if they got up and walked once in a while, they wouldn't have so many foot/knee/back problems requiring them to ride vs. walk. I forget, of course, that every last one of them is afflicted with a genetic problem causing them to gain so much weight--none of them are responsible for their condition.
- retrogothglampunk teens racing from ride to rid--all the while forgetting, of course, that having fun is not cool)
- roaming mobs of adult Japanese tourists who absolutely MUST get the perfect shot of some of the most photographed landmarks in southern California with their 5 gojillion yen Lecias
- Moms and Dads with their baby carts, carting more equipment than the entire Donner family on a mountain holiday. Couple that with the parents who have yet to figure out when their "baby" has really outgrown the stroller, and is ready to upgrade to their own electric buggy, lest they have to exercise. Here's a tip: the sooner you make them walk, the faster they get tired and burn off energy, and they'll actually sleep at night. If your kid isn't drinking most meals from a bottle, wearing a diaper, or is over the age of three, it's time to let them out of the stroller and carry their own weight. (It's amazing how little they determine they "need" when they have to carry the weight.
If I must administer a crash course in manners, awareness and courtesy to a kid, I will likely do so until their parent/guardian arrives, and then administer another block of instruction in child rearing and discipline to the adult.
You see, when the four of us traipse through the magic kingdom )or any large crowd), we do so in a staggered pair--mom and I on opposite sides, one in front, the other behind, each with a kid in hand. We do this for several reasons: one, we create less of an obstacle to people traveling opposite us than if we were to walk four across; two, we maintain positive control of our children in a sea of hands, arms and legs ; three, we can control the kids in a sensory-overloading by design environment.