Life with a Smile: I fear no sparkle slushy

Published 3:44 pm Thursday, May 4, 2017

By Kate Snyder
Contributing writer

I could charitably be described as risk-averse. You could also call me a wimp without hurting my feelings. It’s totally true. I have no aspirations to skydiving and you will find neither bungee jumping nor cliff diving on my bucket list. Driving fast makes me nervous and I once broke down in tears when asked to briefly hold a hand gun because I was sure I was about to inadvertently kill someone. Said gun was not loaded at the time. I don’t even like aggressive board games like Monopoly because the stakes feel too high, even when the money is fake. And let’s not discuss how I feel about haunted houses.

However, you should not assume that my instinct to avoid danger means that I never walk on the wild side. I just seek my thrills in different venues. For example, last weekend I took my daughters plus two of their friends to see Disney on Ice and I would pit that experience against a monster truck rally any day in terms of relative levels of chaos and adrenaline. There are just more sparkles at a Disney event.

I’m pretty sure I aged several years during the minutes (hours? days??) I spent shepherding my young companions through the throngs of glitter-bedecked humans hawking expensive trinkets. The girls were enchanted, of course, which made them even harder to corral than usual. They kept wandering off, lured by the siren song of $12 slushies in crappy commemorative cups. Or the psychedelic light-up magic wands. Or the floral headbands with long golden braids attached, guaranteed to immediately transform the wearer into Rapunzel. If I had a nickel for every time I said the word “no,” I could have bought one of the plush Snow White dolls my younger daughter coveted.

Email newsletter signup

Having successfully navigated the merchandising gauntlet, we then faced the restroom dilemma. When the four-year-old needs a mid-show bathroom break, do you haul the three eight-year-olds out of their seats and drag them along or leave them there with strict orders not to move, breathe, or make eye contact with anyone? What are the odds that the nice-looking family sitting next to you are actually psychopathic child-snatchers? Probably not real high, but I’m inclined to distrust any adult wearing Mickey Mouse ears.

The truth is, the show was fun and totally worth the drama for the joy it brought to the girls. I can handle Disney on Ice. Even when it rains and I find myself trying to escort four small children wielding umbrellas – including one who is clinging to my back like a monkey and stabbing me in the head with her umbrella – through a crowded parking lot while also holding four crappy commemorative slushy cups (yes, of course we bought them!). I’m tough like that. Just don’t ask me to go snowmobiling with you.