Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Merry, He Goes Round

“It’s too crazy in there, he’ll get mauled…” Mike said under his breath as he watched me study the kids climbing within the play area, all around the age of three, stomping, jumping, yelling and rolling as if there were a fire nearby. This made sense of course, as most of them had been cooped up for days over winter break, their parents at their wit’s end, leaving the mall as the last resort on this 15-degree day.

“You’re right, carousal it is,” I said, assessing the money situation (two bucks for the thing to spin around a few times – robbery! But again…the whole stir-crazy situation makes this a priceless excursion).

So we wait in line, his little body perched on my left hip and I giggle as I watch his face glow in delight, asking him which horsey he’d like to ride and sharing with him what to expect. Because honestly, he understands every word I say these days…it’s scary…

The young gentleman (ok, yes, he was a bit creepy; it’s the eyes), takes our golden token and I catch a glimpse of a sign out of the corner of my eye that indicates kiddos his size must ride on a bench. Convincing myself to fall out of love with the chocolate and blue horsey we had our eye on, we perched on bench on the lowest level and braced ourselves for fun.

And fun we did have, whirring about at just the right speed, waving at Daddy at each smooth turn. Lifting his pudgy little cheeks up and down, simulating the experience as if he were horseback, he squealed with delight, then took in all that was happening around him, from children laughing (ok, and crying), to the bounce of the elephants and other animals around him, to the level above us and of course the smiles outside that circulated round, and round and round…

That’s when I think we both turned a bit green. This round and round business is not for the weak. Or the 15-month olds. Or the 30-year olds with heart conditions. I mean, it’s just a carousal, but at that moment, it might as well have been a 400-story roller coaster. As he began to mutter, “all done” about half-way through, I tended to agree and began plotting how much trouble I’d be in if I broke the safety rules and pulled a Bond move to get off this thing. I closed my eyes and tucked him close, praying it would be over soon, yet keeping my voice at “isn’t this so cool and exciting and the best idea Mommy’s had ever?!”

And then, it stopped. And we were both thrilled, rejoining Daddy nearby who laughed at the pallor of my skin and suggested we sit down. Plus, he made it up to me with pretzel bites, a trip to Nordy’s on my own and some train time with the little guy.

When it’s all said and done, each time we pass that gorgeous carousal, the little guy says “more, more” and emphatically does the sign language for it. Meaning he really, really, really wants to participate again.

Merry, he goes round…even if he was a little nauseous in the process…

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