Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Amusement (Park)

In a previous moment of navel-gazing I mentioned that I am not sure how I well I will share with Ada the amusements that my parents taught me to disdain. Well, maybe their training was not as thorough as I previously imagined, because Ada and I had a fantastic time at Oaks Park, an old-fashioned (in both the good and bad senses) amusement park on the south end of town.

Through this month, Oaks Park offers pre-school aged children two hours of full access to the kiddie (and as they refer to them, "intermediate") rides. For $6 every Tuesday and Wednesday, the kids can ride the carousel, train, "rockin' tug" and other rides.

When Ada rode a carousel 18 months ago, she looked half dazed and half frightened. Both those emotions are gone, replaced by a joy so complete that she almost shakes.

Zebra and Ada
Please note I have sacrificed here, showing not the "best" picture, 
but the one that gives a glimpse of Ada's permanent carousel-grin.

This week's trip to Oaks Park is our second in as many weeks. Last week Ada cried when we got off the carousel the second time, saying "I don't want to get off. I want to STAY." This week she realized that some of the other rides are just as fun as the carousel (if less picturesque). The balloon ride was a big hit - we rode it three times today. The whole frame rises a few stories into the air, and spins the balloons in a circle. Each basket also spins independently, to Ada's great joy.

Balloon Ride
The balloon ride may be Ada's new favorite.

Purple Motorcycle
A purple motorcycle, what could be better?

Last week, 11:30 came too quickly, and we were caught unaware that the end of ride time was upon us. Not anxious to repeat the tantrum that followed the abrupt end, this week I was careful to tell Ada that the rides were ending soon.  For her last ride, Ada chose the Rockin' Tub, a boat that swings and sways and looks like this (image borrowed from the oaks park website, which OP management should not be upset given all the nice things I am saying about the park):

Before climbing up to the boat, Ada told me I should wait outside. What? My cautious child, telling me to hang back while she climbs in to shake and shimmy? I was floored. Since this was the last ride, I convinced Ada to let me on, albeit two rows behind her.

Rockin' Tug

The family in the row between us commented on how brave she was. She looked very proud of herself. I was thrilled for her, but to be honest, I could have used someone holding my hand a bit.


  1. Ah, how they grow. She may not always hold your hand, but she'll always have your heart . . .

  2. I loved this. Thank you.
    And I have had moments too when my boys have been too grow up to hold my hand when I could use a little reassurance...;-)

  3. Next year prediction: Screamin' Eagle!!! :)

  4. I have been following your blog for quite some time. I have Google Chrome and it has my favorites across the top. You are in the #2 spot.
    It's funny to see Ada on those rides. Growing up we got to go to Oaks every year. The only other amusement park I ever went to was Six Flags over Georgia in the 1970's!
    My kid's beg to go to Oaks every time they see the commercial.
    Fun times!

  5. She's awfully cute. Nice photos.

  6. The greatest moment of my parenting life (and I am not exaggerating one but, nope) was when my children grew old enough to ride the carousel without me. Because that thing makes me sick.

    We have a similar kind of park here, you know, should you ever choose to vist ....

    (Oh yeah, that kid of yours is awfully darling, too).

  7. I don't know what it is with carousels and little girls; it is like flies to honey. Cute pictures.

  8. Nice when they come up with new material, hey.

    And, that's a good deal.

  9. (un)relaxeddad9/18/2008 4:16 AM

    Beautiful pictures! Dudelet has reached the age for really loving these rides too. Could certainly do with one of those special offers, mind. I think I like the purple motorcycle one the best.