A few weeks ago, we headed to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure for my oldest daughter’s birthday. We were especially excited because some of our friends were joining us, and there is nothing more fun than watching little eyes light up as they immerse themselves in the magic that comes with being at the Happiest Place on Earth. Because it was my older daughter’s birthday, I wanted to make sure that we spent the day doing things that she wanted to do, but it was also important to me that Lola had fun too and wasn’t forced to spend the day in her stroller or on our hip.
Prior to going, I did some quick research to see what shows were taking place at the park. When my oldest was a toddler we took her to see a show at Disney California Adventure, and always said I would take Lola when she got a little bigger. But once I learned that the Disney Junior – Live on Stage show had some very special characters including Sofia the First, Doc McStuffins, and Jake and the Never Land Pirates joining Mickey Mouse and the rest of Clubhouse crew, I knew it would be a show not to miss. You see, my girls love Doc McStuffins, and I’ve got a soft spot for the doc as well. Thanks to owning her CD I know just about all of her songs.
But despite knowing it was a show not to be missed, I had come to the decision that we should probably pass. Since Lola was so young, I worried that it would be too much for her. I thought of all of the Sunday mornings I spend in the church lobby and various places where I had anxiously made an escape because my sweet baby was either squirmy, irritable or just way too excited (noisy) and therefore a distraction. I didn’t want to take her and she not even get to enjoy it.
While walking around, my friend shared that it was a great show and while the littles were sure to love it, even the big kids would. Turned out she was right. With my oldest daughter’s blessing (it was her birthday after all!) we made our way into the theater and sat on the floor criss-cross applesauce style (legs crossed). And my little one just days shy of 13 months old, had the BEST time. She pointed, and clapped and laughed. There were no tears or fussiness. Her eyes were filled with wonder and she smiled and danced to the music from the comfort of her mama and dada’s laps the entire time.
The characters were much smaller puppets (not life-sized), which I loved since for little ones sometimes the larger versions of their favorites, could be a little scary. It was also short and sweet which meant it held her attention the entire time.
As moms sometimes we miss out on the opportunity to experience things with our littles because we are worried that it will be too much for them, or us. When Lola is all over the place in public, I start sweating (I feel like I’ve told myself this before but I needed a reminder.) All of the worst-case scenarios cloud our head and we decide “maybe next time” or “when they are older.” But sometimes the best time is now. Sometimes our littles can handle more than we think. While it is possible Lola could have cried there would have been a simple solution – the same solution to restaurant dinners gone awry. We would make our way to the exit. But the thing is we’ll never know unless we try. And I can’t help but wonder how many things we miss out on because we are worried.
And then there’s also the fact that all of the other parents there were with their little ones too so if anyone would understand it’s them. Something to keep in mind when it comes to new adventures is the setting – if it is a place with lots of children, chances are in the event that your baby does start crying or making noise, they won’t be the only one.
By deciding to go after all, we gave Lola a chance to let me know whether or not she could handle it. On this particular day she let me know she could. And as a result I got to get a glimpse into the future. Concerts with this little one are going to be so much fun.
Some of the information in this post may have changed after this writing. Please visit Guest Services online at Disneyland or Walt Disney World, or ask Disney Parks Moms Panel to confirm current policies.