Three years, for three years I’ve been stumbling my way through this parenting gig. You would think that by now I would know enough to check my facts before making promises to my girls. We spent an intense 24 hours near Lake Placid doing grown-up stuff for Daddy’s work. The plan was that we would return home Saturday and rest. Then Sunday we were going to Saratoga for maternity clothes for my ever-expanding middle and horse rides on the carousel for the girls.
There is a sweet carousel in Congress Park in Saratoga, alongside of which there are ponds with ducks, statues and beautiful gardens. We figured even if the grounds were covered in snow and ice, the expanse of lush park viewed atop a shining, fairy tale steed would be a delight. Our hopes were momentarily dashed when we came down the hill to see a very dark carousel in an empty park. No worries, we’d go to the carousel at the mall where I was going to hit up H&M’s awesome maternity line.
We drove to the mall, assuring the girls that the horses there would not be sleeping.
~~~You know exactly where this is going, don’t you? Why then, were we like the teenagers in the slasher movies, oblivious and trusting?
We pulled into the mall and the girls were nearly biting their way out of their car seats to get to the horses. Crossing the parking lot, we passed a gentleman that appeared to be having a scholarly discussion with a man in a passing car, something about the merits of driving at lower rates of speed. Despite the exposure to exceptionally colorful vocabulary and unofficial American sign language, we felt pretty incredible to be making good on our promise and taking the girls for a child-centric activity.
We passed through the requisite plumes of second-hand smoke just outside the mall doors and walked into a billowy mixture of movie theatre popcorn and perfume.
“Here we go!” Sean and I bleeted as we swang the girls.
“Horsies. HORSIES!” They squealed in unison.
I swear I gasped and time stopped as we entered the food court and saw an enormous empty space where once had sat a garishly embellished carousel. We looked at one another and stopped short of rubbing our eyes to see if perhaps they were playing tricks on us.
“Are we going tot he horsies now?” Briar asked, blue eyes wide and trusting.
“Uh-horses. Uh-horses, now. Yay, Dank yoo, dank yoo mommy-daddy,” a song of thanks from Avery.
Once again, we looked at each other helplessly. Clutching a fistful of singles we walked over to a cluster of amusement park rejects and tried to paint a picture of Disneyworld come-to-life. I am always able to find a silver lining and turn a bust into a blast, but even I found the rides lackluster and the atmosphere anything but magical.
Our shoulders slumped and spirits broken, we perched helplessly on the periphery of the odd, amusement parklette. As they are wont to do, the girls demonstrated an uncanny and humbling ability to derive satisfaction*, delight even, under less than adequate circumstances. So while the absence of horses and subsequent non-existence of ANY maternity clothes at the mall, we made our way home feeling as if somehow we had actually succeeded.
*Wondering now if perhaps their synchronized waking and refusal to sleep from 2-7am this morning might in fact have been payback for defaulting on the equine promise…
Man, I love it when kiddos prove how flexible they can be. But you're right…there is some kind of payback for this flexibility, including reserving the right to be inflexible, like in the middle of the night?
I'm sad the horsies galloped off too. My kids are big now, but they still get a kick out of a good merry-go-round.
That sort of thing makes me feel terrible – and yet it really should be a consolation to know that my children have all been TERRIFIED of the merry-go-round.
OMG why would they remove it??? Ice cream is a good sub when in need but still!
The best laid plans…
So sorry about the horsies and the middle of the night wakings:( There's a cool merry-go-round at the State museum, but don't take my word for it, it might be closed too (and much more of a production to get to).
Oh what a bummer!!
Luckily kids are quite resilient, eh?
Hope you find maternity clothes soon! They always have cute ones on eBay… 🙂
They should have to send out an announcement before they remove coveted fun equipment from public places. Sheesh. That's a credibility-killer.
That's like taking Tink away from Peter.
What were they thinking?
Wow, what sweet children you have. Mine would have been so upset and I know there would have been tears. I'm so sorry the horses disappeared.
How sad that the horsies were gone.
I'm glad your cherubs were ok with it but it doesn't hurt any less knowing that your plans went bust.
Here's to finding a new merry go round and some quaint maternity clothes outlet next door.