Sunday, May 12, 2013

Isabelle in Nationals for Clogging 2013: Part 3

Well, we wandered back to our car.
That was an adventure.
I love finding a white minivan in the land of white minivans. All those darn Mormons, sheesh.

Sambo made sandwiches while I fed Henry and the kids cleaned up the car some more. (Isabelle spent last Wednesday cleaning out my car and vacuuming it and everything so it didn't take much to tidy up.)

Then Belle got her clogging outfit on, did her hair and Sam did her make up. Don't laugh, we all know he is better that that than I am.
Ready to dance!

We trekked back to the park and found our stage and waited.
Sitting by the sign for her competition.
Ozzy did pretty good waiting.

Oh, what's that?

That is a stroller.

But, you babywear, you say? Why would I use a stroller?

Because I'm in an amusement park all day and it is hot and I want to pack stuff under the stroller and contrary to what I have heard some crazy people say, there is NOTHING WRONG WITH STROLLERS! True, I rarely use them, but doesn't mean they aren't awesome. If you are one of those people who think I'm less of a babywearer because of it, go find a hobby as you most certainly need something to occupy your time.
I would at least stop reading this post because in a minute you're going to see a picture of my brand new baby in the stroller and your brain may go kablooey and that sounds like an awful mess.

Mom and Sis waiting for her chance to compete.
Belle's bff.
I love this girl. Love her. We got to keep her for an hour at the park and boy, she is a gem. If I could adopt her I would. Boy, she is such a good little dancer too.
Now it was their turn to dance.

The way they do solos is you have lines of dancers and each line does the combination and then they get out of the way for the next group to do their combination. The music repeats over and over so they can keep going and the judges watch each line and rate the dancers.

It is important to note that while they are competing with each other, really they are mostly competing with themselves. They need to get a certain number of points to rate as "First Place" or "Second Place" etc. So, if ten dancers each score high enough individually to be ranked in the "First Place" category, they all get that rating. This means you can have a lot of dancers who get first place. But, you also get a dancer who is the overall best dancer and that is pretty neat too. That overall thing isn't even something we worry about at this point. It is only her second year dancing and her first big competition and we just wanted her to maybe get a second place on one of her solos (she did five solos total).
Here are the girls prepping for another solo combination.

I want to make mention of the fact that Isabelle did all her practice for clogging on her own. Sam and I made a point of encouraging her, but other than that we wanted her to be self motivate. When she qualified for Nationals we told her we thought she should step it up a bit, but it was up to her. She worked really hard every day and practiced all the time. She really wanted to do a good job.

She did, she really did.

Once she was done competing, we rode more rides and waited for the results from the judges.
Xander and Oz rode some rides while Belle, her friend and Buddy rode big kid rides.

It was fun, but we were getting hot and tired.
Some of us started to melt down a little bit.

(This cryfest came courtesy of the Bomburra roller coaster not looking the same as Xander remembered it which meant it was not the same and therefore defective. It was exactly the same. Sigh.)
Some of us fell asleep.

Some of us (me) just stood around packing a snoring infant and pushing a sleeping toddler in a stroller and wishing for a chance to ride another roller coaster. Ah well.

Eventually Oz woke up and Henry and I were both a little tired of snuggling,so I put him in the stroller for a change of scenery.


You know, I think he liked looking around at things for a bit.

It was around supper time by now. We were tired and hot and I could just feel that the crankies were coming on. I myself was feeling a little grumpy. I had been wearing Henry all day and I only got to ride one ride and I was starting to feel sorry for myself.

Then, something happened.
Not this. This is just Ozzy being annoyed because he has to wait his turn on the teacup ride.

It was right before this.

A family wanted to ride the ride but only 4 people are allowed on and they wanted six people. The ride attendant refused but did offer to let them split into two teacups. Apparently this wasn't acceptable so the mom walked out in a bit of a huff.

The other five got into a teacup. However, there weren't enough seatbelts for all five of them (remember, only 4 to a ride?). On top of that, one of the kids had special needs and could not hold himself up so the dad was carrying him everywhere and holding him on his lap.

(Personal thought and honestly it is none of my business, but if I had a kid who had such low muscle tone and special needs, I would think long and hard before putting him on a ride that whips his body around. If I can't put a baby on it with the same muscle tone, I just would worry about potentially hurting my kid. But, I am not the parent, I don't know the physical abilities of my kid and really it is none of my business so I should just blow it out my ear.)

The ride attendant told the dad that someone had to get out of the ride, there weren't enough seat belts. Oh, he got mad and made comments about not accommodating people with special needs. Then he picked up his child and got off the ride very angrily. Both parents sat and stewed.

Now, first off, I looked at it and clearly saw the attendant did not discriminate at all. You have to have a seatbelt or you can't ride. That is a fair rule that everyone should respect.

More importantly, I saw these parents who were so mad over, what, 120 seconds of their day? It was a two minute ride and it clearly ruined the rest of their trip. Why? In the grand scheme of the day, of their life, that teacup ride means very little. How they react is what matters.

I realized right then that, yes, it wasn't fun that I missed out on riding some rides.
However, I got to see the faces of the kids and of Sam while they got to ride. That was just as fun for me.

I'll get the chance to ride all the roller coasters as the kids get older. Sam doesn't love them as much as I do and they kids will only be this little once, but they will be big and wild and crazy for years and years. This was just one day in our lives and I really didn't want to let myself ruin it over a silly couple of rides.

As I stood their watching Sam act silly with the kids and everyone laughing, as I watched Buddy and Xander try to work together to turn that teacup ride so they could spin themselves dizzy, I understood that I had the best seat in the house for the day. I got to see all the memories the kids were making and see how much fun they got to have with their dad. That was totally worth it. I was really happy that things went exactly the way they did for the day.

With that in mind, it was time to go home before anyone fully melted down.

We made our way out the door and I could tell the timing was perfect. Ozzy was getting cranky and Xander had his whine-o-meter set way too high. I was struggling to be patient with him as he complained that he was thirsty ("I know, we'll get a drink when we get to the car") and he wanted to ride more rides ("We'll come back again and ride more then, but now it is time to eat and go home") and he was mad that I didn't buy him an Icee and decided to tell me I was dumb. Yeah, that one didn't go great for him because I decided I was too tired to buy him an Icee right then or even at the gas station. As I was trying to keep him from throwing a fit while we left, Isabelle thanked Sam and me for taking her to Lagoon for the day. I nearly missed it through the whining of younger kids, but a lady by us heard Sis and made sure to tell us what a wonderful daughter we had who would thank us for taking her to Lagoon. I was grateful to that lady for making sure I noticed something I very nearly missed. Another reminder that every situation depends on my attitude to be craptastic or pretty great.

We loaded up (found the car easily this time), got some drive through dinner (ugh, my stomach was sick after that) and drove home.

17 hours total. Long day. But great day.

Oh, I nearly forgot to tell you how Belle did!
She did five dances, got one second place and FOUR first places! We are so proud of her! She worked hard and really earned this!

Yep, awesome day!

This next week Sis tries out for the Intermediate team and if she gets it I think we'll have another chance of her qualifying and getting to go to Lagoon again. Better keep practicing, kid!

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