As soon as we walked into Sea World (FREE TICKETS! WOOT!), Starboy noticed the obviously-for-kids Sesame themed area. The "flying fish" ride was visible well over the hedge. All he knows about Sesame Street is what he's picked up from Grandma's Fisher Price people (ca. 1976?)...he knows there's a Cookie Monster (but does not know the fantastic way in which he gobbles cookies), a Mr. Hooper and a Gordon (though Grandma never gets Gordon's name right). There's a Susan, but Grandma doesn't really know that she's part of the set. The rest of the set seems to be missing. He hasn't seen Sesame on TV or computer, and other than walking by (but not stopping to study) toys in stores, he doesn't really know what it is.
So he sees all of this branding. [Branding that might be illegal in Sweden, Norway and Quebec, I think to myself, sighing.]
And he says: "Look Mama!"
And I say, flatly, "Uh huh. A lot of monsters." Then, brightly: "Let's go find the whale show."
Starboy says, "I like the red monster."
"Really." (With no expression, hopefully.) "Why do you like the red one best?"
"I 'unno. I just like him."
"Do you know what he does?"
(He makes something up. He doesn't know anything about what Elmo does. Or even that his name is Elmo. So at least we have that.)
We managed to avoid the Sesame area all day, until we were walking out, and the flying fish were spotted over the hedge again. "I want to go on the FISH," he said. My son. The one who won't ride-on toys, won't try a balance bike, hates the swings, won't play on the spin-y structure at the park, and avoids anything with any vestibular stimulation whatsoever.
"There's a long line, and we're going to have to wait," I said, thinking, And you are so overstimulated already after six hours in the park you could melt down any second, and I have no idea how I'm going to get you to the car if that happens.
"I want to WAIT."
So. His first "Ride" was "Elmo's Flying Fish." (All of the cars are Elmo as a cat fish, a pig fish, a dog fish, etc." And before it came to a stop, he said, "I want to go AGAIN, with DADDY. I went with you Mommy and now I want to go with DADDY."
And he waited again. And luckily, did NOT melt down when we steered him away from a THIRD turn.
"Were you wanting to ride on the flying fish ALL DAY? Did you see them when we first came in?"
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