It sometimes can be tough being the younger sibling.
Watching your older brother or sister be able to do stuff you can’t just because you’re a few years younger can be a crushing blow. I know of what I speaketh of.
I’m nearly three years younger than my brother. When we were kids, that had its disadvantages. Mostly because he could whup my butt whenever he wanted.
For our three year-old daughter, being the youngest means she usually gets the shaft at theme parks. (newsflash: we go to theme parks alot)
I mean, Cindi and I do our best to make sure Talia doesn’t become a victim of Second Child Syndrome, but we have no control over Disney or Universal’s height-requirement policies. Which means every time we have gone to Disney World, Alexia the six year-old gets to ride the Snow White Seven Dwarfs Mine Train as many times as we can stand…and poor Talia has to wait outside, rejected due to the cruelty of Disney-fied regulations and her own family’s height-challenged DNA.
Go ahead. Try to to imagine anything more soul-crushing than seeing your three year-old daughter crying outside a ride at Walt Disney World, as that ride keeps circling and the joyful screams of the Disney faithful reverberate across the park. All because she’s a quarter-inch shy of the required height. And no matter how friendly the Disney cast members are, they’re not making exceptions.
It happened again during our most recent trip to Disney, for Alexia’s sixth birthday. It included a visit to EPCOT to experience the Frozen Ever After ride at the Norway pavilion. That’s an all-ages boat-ride experience, so no height-requirement worries to deal with. Talia sat with Alexia and their cousin Lilly in the front row with me.
(They’re all drama queens. The ride is as perilous as Pirates of the Caribbean)
Back on topic. It was a four-day trip, so we were hitting Magic Kingdom twice. The first time, a great day was abruptly hijacked by Talia’s rejection. The second time we went, there was no way I was dealing with that again.
Let me backtrack to explain that, the only way I got her to stop crying the first day was to a) buy her a Mickey Mouse ice cream, and b) promise her she would be tall enough the next time we came to the park.
OK, so how did she miraculously grow a 1/4 inch in less than 48 hours?
Call it a miracle of nature. and that’s the story I’m sticking with.
There is absolutely NO TRUTH to the rumor that I had her wear her Skechers sneakers with extra thick soles, and that we did her hair up that morning like she was going to an 80s revival. But, when you’re the parent of a child thisclose to being able to ride something at Disney World, well…you do what you gotta do.
Whatever the case, you’ve never seen a happier face than Baby T skipping down the ride’s interactive queue — or a more relieved dad than yours truly. When we got up to the ride, we had the chance to go in the front row. Talia was having none of that. She was happy to let her big sister ride with me up front. And she had a blast — although maybe this photo doesn’t quite capture her enjoyment.
She absolutely loved the ride, which is now officially the Avila family’s favorite Disney World ride, and had an ear-to-ear grin afterward.
That was a good day.