Friday, October 17, 2003

Verbal Momorrhea 

(Day 5, Walt Disney World Vacation)
Anybody who comes to WDW can expect large numbers of people; that’s a given. And in any large crowd, it is also a given that some people can wear on your nerves faster than others, right? Like the people who think the resort “quiet pool,” means that everybody except them and their cells phones should respect the desired tranquility. Or people who not only let but downright encourage their children to use silverware as drumsticks in a restaurant. (I believe that parenthood brings with it a very large loss of hearing.)

However, few things get on my nerves as badly as Verbal Momorrhea. Yesterday I endured what seemed like a very long bus ride with a woman afflicted with this disorder. I’m sure you have seen the malady’s symptoms before and just never knew the correct term for it (unless of course you actually have this condition, in which case you would not recognize it even if you saw yourself on film doing it for 3 hours straight. In fact, you would think it was engaging and cute.)

We boarded a very crowded bus to Downtown Disney. It was so crowded that we had to stand. No problem. Unfortunately, we picked the wrong person to stand in front of. A couple in their late 20s/early 30s, along with their 1-year-old son were seated about 4 inches away from where we were standing. The woman never stopped talking for the entire trip. Most of her barrage was directed towards her child. It went something like this:

Mommy: (in singsongy voice suitable only for Teletubbies) “Ryyy-annn…are we going to Downtown Disney? Do you want to go to Downtown Disney? What are we going to see at Downtown Disney? Can you say “Downtown Disney’? Here we go…the bus is moving! Can you feel the bus moving Ryan? Can you?”

Ryan: (silence…he is, after all a one-year old)

Mommy: (now the baby talk starts, intermingled with the singsong) “Rye-Rye! Is Rye-Rye hungry? Does Rye-Rye want something in his tum-tum? Is Rye-Rye’s belly empty? What does Ryan want to eat? Does he want chicky fingers? Does he want macaroni and cheese? Does he want a cookie? What will Rye-Rye eat today?”

Ryan: (silence)

Daddy: (silence accompanied by a vague drugged expression)

Mommy: (motioning to the man sitting next to her with his daughter on one side of him and a perfect peaceful baby sleeping on his shoulder) Ooooh, Ryan, look at the cute little boy sleeping on his Daddy’s shoulder! Isn’t he cute! Can you wave hello to the little boy’s Daddy?

Ryan: (silence; no wave)

Whereupon the woman attempts to engage the sleeping child’s father in a deep and meaningful conversation about his sleeping child. A conversation he studiously tries to avoid since he was enjoying his ten minutes of peace. I will not bore you with the details, as I am sure you can gauge the content of the conversation from the previous excerpts.

Ryan’s daddy never uttered a word, and neither did Ryan.

Today we spent the entire day and evening at the Magic Kingdom. We even stuck around to see SpectroMagic (nighttime light parade) and the new fireworks show called “Wishes.” AWESOME!

Today’s award for worst example of parenting goes to the father ahead of us in line for Space Mountain. While his daughter tried her very best to stand up tall so she could meet the height requirement, she fell short a good inch. The cast member doing his job said she could not go on because it was not safe. The father plucked his daughter from the line and loudly announced to the cast member “You should feel good now. You just ruined a little girl’s entire vacation.”

If the little girl’s vacation wasn’t already ruined, I am sure it was then.
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