Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Kailey has a love-hate relationship with rides. She wants to love them, but until this last weekend, she mostly hated them. Of course, she hadn't tried many. The under 36 inches crowd cannot go on too many rides - other than the merry-go-round and the train.
The first time Kailey rode a train was on her 1st birthday, and she wasn't so sure about it. Since then, she has really warmed up to trains. She is fascinated by the fact that Eric and I take a train to work, and every time we pass the BART station she hollers, "TRAIN... TUNNEL... DARK". Yes, Kailey - that's the train station, and the train goes in the tunnel, where it is, indeed dark. Ever since she has connected trains with us and something we do every day (well, most every day) she is interested in riding them herself and quite enjoys train rides -- whether they be BART trains, zoo trains, or other forms of trains. In fact, tonight, a bus passed us as we were hiking around the neighborhood and Kai yelled, "TRAIN... TUNNEL... DARK." I explained to her it was a bus. She insisted it was a train. I said bus, she said train. I explained that buses go on roads and trains go on tracks. She paused, considering my logic. I pointed to the road and said, "see... road. No tracks. No train. Just a bus. Buses go on roads." She said, "TUNNEL?" I explained that buses and trains go in tunnels, to which she replied... "NOOOOO.... TRAIN!!" As if she has somehow found a flaw in my logic and now I was just being absurd. I let it go.
Anyway, so trains are OK. The merry-go-round has been another thing altogether. Kai wants to love merry-go-rounds. The first time she saw one - when we were in D.C. when she was a year and a half - she was excited about the prospect of riding one of the horses. That is, until she was sitting on the horse and it started moving. Kai started clawing at me and screaming "UP UP UP". I scooped her up and held her as we spun around for the rest of the ride. I figured that was the end of merry-go-rounds for awhile. But, I was wrong. Every time we'd go to the zoo, Kai would explain "RIDES.. ON" as if she were SO EXCITED about the prospect of riding the merry-go-round. But, she was not interested in sitting on any of the animals. Instead, she figured out there are benches, and would happily sit in one of those while we spun around. I didn't really see the point, unless - of course - the point was that she liked it. Which, I guess is point enough. We didn't push it - letting her go on merry-go-rounds and sit on the benches, rather than the animals. And, even though it didn't seem like Kai was getting the full "ride" experience, she would talk about rides with some frequency, insisting (in her way) that she loved rides.
So, a couple of weekends ago we went to a little park that has a bunch of rides that toddlers (even those under 36 inches) can go on. The first ride that you see when you walk in the park is the merry-go-round. Kai was VERY excited to go on the merry-go-round. Eric asked her if she wanted to ride a cat and Kai claimed she did. I didn't believe her, given our past experiences. But, Eric sat her on the cat, explaining it's many virtues, and Kai seemed ready to go. The ride started, and Kai got a look of panic on her face... but, she held on. By her second spin around, she was looking less tentative. By her third, she was smiling. And by the end, she was waving.
We proceeded to the little cars.
And, as with the merry-go-round, she looked a bit nervous on her first ride. But, she got off and wanted to go right back on. The second time, she was steering and honking the horn along with everyone else.
On her third ride, Kai was no longer that interested in the ride and spent the entire time peering over the side trying to figure out how it all worked (I know my Kai... trust me, she was trying to figure out what was making it go. If she could have taken it apart, she would have).
She also rode the flying bugs, which made me nervous. I thought they went too fast and that Kai was going to get completely freaked out. I was wrong. She loved them. It seemed Kai had conquered her fear of rides.
That is, until this weekend. Ever since our time at the amusement park, Kai has been talking about the rides and asking to go to the rides. We promised her we would take her to the zoo, where they have a few rides. And, this last weekend, I kept my promise and off we went. We started with the train, which was all fine and good. Then Kai took off towards the merry-go-round shouting "CAT! CAT!" (her favorite animal from the merry-go-round at the other park). We got on, she got on the cat, the ride started, and.... tears! Kai started yelling, "NO NO" and clawing at me and screaming. I tried to reassure her, but she was unhappy the whole time (although, she held on to the rail and did not insist that I pick her up). When the ride stopped, she clung to me. I asked her if she was scared and she said, "YESssss". I suggested we go see the animals and leave the rides for the day, and off we went. But, at the end of the day, as we were coming out of the zoo, she saw the merry-go-round again and asked to take another ride. I reminded her that she didn't like it earlier in the day, and she insisted that she wanted to go. I still had a ride ticket so I figured, why not? As we were standing in line, I quizzed her, "are you sure you want to go on?" "Yes." "Do you want to sit on a bench?" "No... PANDA." "The panda goes up and down... are you sure?" "Yes. Panda." OK. Fine. So, we got on, I got her on the panda, and scratched the panda's ears and told her what a great panda she had picked. Kai seemed pleased. The ride started and Kai looked a little nervous, but then started laughing. It was an odd laugh. Half terror - half excitement. But, she was holding it together. She even started waving at the people watching towards the end of the ride and yelling, "HI PEOPLE!" I was glad we had gone back and that Kai had conquered her fears... again.
When we got off the ride, I asked her if she had fun. Kai replied, "Panda... FUN! Cat... scarier."