Not the Beach Final Installment

Another amazing accomplishment by the folks running Silver Dollar City--a clean, nay, spotless, and relatively odorless "barnyard" (petting zoo).  There were hand washing stations outside of every pen, the people supervising were kind, friendly, and non-creepy.  

This is how Spencer felt about it--excited with too many things to say to smile for a picture. 
We couldn't get him to leave the "barnyard."  When he would leave one pen, instead of saying "bye" to the animal, he'd excitedly say, "I'll be right back, goat (or chickens, horse, dog, etc.)!"  I think he went in and out of the goat pen at least ten times one day.  And, yes, each time he left we washed his hands.  It's a wonder they weren't raw.  Have I mentioned that he loves animals?  

I cannot stress how helpful and kind the staff were.  I went up to a popcorn stand with a sippy cup, and before I could ask to buy a bottle of water, the man working inside asked if he could get me warm water for a bottle.  I told him I actually needed water for my older one child, but that I appreciated the offer.  It might be a little cheesy, but I'll take cheesy, over-helpful, polite, decent people over the opposite any day.  Just call me Polly Anna.

Jonathan joked that we really brought down the median age at our hotel, and that was true.  But, again, it cold have been much worse.  Spencer only escaped our room once, and just like two years ago when he first did it, I was stupidly surprised.  He waited until I was celebrating his successful toilet encounter and then darted down the hotel hallway wearing only a jammie shirt.  I know it's not funny for your preschooler to be alone in a hotel hallway half-naked, I wasn't laughing, but I couldn't believe I let it happen again.  I've really lost my edge!

In quite the twist of irony, Spencer picked our first road trip in over a year to begin letting us know multiple times a day that he wanted to use the potty.  Not wanting to go on record as every having stifled his desire to leave diapers behind, we dragged him to a toilet every single time he asked--Wendy's, Silver Dollar City, 10:30 at night in our hotel room, etc.  He's far from potty trained, but this was the most he's every been interested.  Interestingly, his interest has waned considerably since we've been home.  However, one morning when he woke up, we encouraged him to go use the bathroom; he insisted he was ready to go downstairs to get pancakes.  

We pushed him a little, but he insisted that he did not need to use the bathroom and that he was hungry.  We were all exhausted by this point, so we just went with it.  He's still wearing diapers full time (don't judge--you're welcome to come over and give potty training a shot), so it didn't really matter.  My mom had encouraged me the day before we left town, that when things weren't going how I would have wanted them to go at home, just try to tell yourself "we're on vacation!" and go with it.  Much wisdom.  So, I was trying to do that.  We got him some pancakes.  He devoured them, and then announced as he was polishing off the last bite, "I need to tinkle in the potty!"  We quickly went back up to our hotel room, where he promptly used the toilet.  Clearly, it's time.

In my effort to "pack light" (bahaha!), I didn't bring the benadryl cream that we use when Spencer gets mosquito bites.  They swell up to the size of a half dollar and itch him for days.  They do the same to me.  Consequently, he got a huge mosquito bite and we had no cream (at least we saved all that room on the trip up by not having that tube of benadryl cream).  As my dad pointed out, no vacation is complete without some sort of medically related detour.  Thankfully, we didn't pay a visit to an urgent care facility. I'd take Wal-Mart over that any day.

As I was taking pictures one day, Spencer told me, "Oh, but, I need my camera!" referring to my point and shoot that he's been allowed to use a couple of times.  I think I will let him take pictures next time we go.  I'd be interested to see what he chooses to document.

Spencer was surprisingly unsure about not going back to his own bed and his own toys after we left Silver Dollar City the first day.  He finally decided that the hotel was not the worst place to be, but then switched to begging to sleep in "Mommy's bed," or for me to sleep in "his" bed.  Jonathan and I knew that Evelyn would probably be up often (unfortunately we were correct), and I was worried that Spencer was going to roll off of the bed, since he still sleeps with bed rails at home, so I finally acquiesced to sleeping in "Spencer's bed."  It wasn't as bad as it has been the few times I've slept with him in the past, but it was a lot of work.  Every time I woke up, part of him would be hanging off the bed.  I put pillows down his side of the bed, but he kept kicking  and pushing them off.  He, however, thought it was very fun and special; so that was sweet.  Evie Rose thought her hotel say was neither fun nor special.  It wasn't as sweet.

I don't think we ever managed to extricate Spencer from the park without tears.  We should have helped him pace himself, bless his heart.  He'd just run himself ragged and then crash, punishing everyone around him.  I have no idea from whom he learned or inherited that sort of behavior--perhaps from the person who thought it prudent to take a preschooler and a baby to an amusement park multiple days in a row.  Oh, memories.

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