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Another Day, Another Milestone

So I have fallen behind on my posts this week. It’s week 2,374 in MK time (Multiple Kid time) that my husband is working late every night and things have been especially busy with the end of the school year approaching. You know how sometimes when there is just so much to get done and so little time to do it in you just don’t do anything at all? It’s like the deer-in-headlights indecision – “What the hell do I do now? Right, just stand here staring at the headlights blankly!” That’s kind of where I’ve been the last couple of days. That, and making dinners for James’s teachers, baking bread and pastries for the rest of the school staff, and traipsing all over Coney Island with my dad and three kids.

I don’t even have my packing list done for our vacation next week – now you can appreciate just how serious the situation is. But, I did want to take a moment to tell you about my trip to Coney Island because something amazing happened there that deserves recognition. I’ve been too wrapped up in the “now” to reflect on an “achievement of the decade” that James made yesterday.

We arrived at the Brooklyn Cyclones stadium to sing the national anthem with DMF after coming down early to visit the Coney Island boardwalk. “James went on the Wonder Wheel,” I said excitedly to the first DMF member I ran into. “It’s the first time he has ever stepped foot on a ferris wheel, and not for lack of trying.” “That’s great!” said the woman with a friendly smile. I repeated this announcement to no less than five people that evening, and everyone professed congratulations with the same polite enthusiasm. Nobody gasped in shock or exclaimed “that’s amazing!” or even gave James a huge high five.

It was an amazing milestone, achieved after 10 years of begging, bribing, cajoling, explaining, pleading, threatening and even tricking James did not work to get him in line for the ferris wheel. We couldn’t even buy tickets without him totally freaking out in a loud and public way, which drew stares and halted our passage to what I considered the epitome of a family ride. Last year I offered him any Wii game in the entire store if he would stand in line with me for the ferris wheel in the Times Square Toys R Us. He flat out refused. I upped it to any toy in the entire store. Still nothing.

So yesterday my dad bought tickets to the Wonder Wheel. I almost stopped him because I hated to think he was wasting the money. We all walked over to the enormous wheel (my 2 yr old practically floated over) and James said, “Can I play some arcade games after this?” Though I had an anxious pit in my stomach, I forced myself to be casual. “Yeah, I guess this ride is worth 2 arcade games, but only 2 because it is so slow.”

We stepped into a stationary car (versus the swinging option they have on the Wonder Wheel), my dad and James in the front and me and the babies in the back. We stepped into the car! Hooray! James asked, “Is the car going to drop? Is the ride going to go fast? Will the ride be slow? It’s just slow? Is it over? Can I play 2 games after this? Can we be done yet? Are we done after this time around?” and other such variations on a theme. It didn’t matter. He was riding the freaking ferris wheel. Amazing.

Let me clarify – I’m not being critical that nobody else, including James, was as excited as I was about this amazing, huge, terrific success. Seriously. How could anyone possibly feel what I was feeling as I experienced something for the first time that most families completely take for granted? The ferris wheel is not a big deal by any standard. In fact, some people (including my husband) don’t relish handing over $30 to send their family into rotation two puny times. But I do feel that 10 years of effort, tears, frustration, anxiety and full-blown hysteria coming to an end is at least worth a post.

I told James that since he “learned how to ride the ferris wheel” he’d be able to go on it again when we went to the beach and boardwalk for vacation next week. No big deal, right?

  1. June 24, 2011 at 8:29 am

    WOW! That’s wonderful!!! Is there a chance of a relapse or do you think he’s ‘over’ it now and will ride again? I guess you’ll get the chance to find out next week, eh? Great post!

    • June 24, 2011 at 8:32 am

      Definitely the chance for a “relapse,” but I have high hopes because we will be able to try again so soon. Often we don’t get to do it again for a few months, giving him the opportunity to build it back up again in his mind. It also helps that his little sister is so spastically excited about it!

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