Lessons From Disney World

So, back in March my father in law announced that he wanted to take the whole family to Disney World. Our family, my wife’s sister and her family and my in-laws. Twelve people total. He insisted on paying for the park tickets, rooms, meal plans, etc. which was an awesome offer since it turned out to be about a $10,000 trip.

We left out at midnight on Friday the 23rd and got back the next Sunday. Now that it’s over and we all survived, all I can say is….

Damn you, Mouse. Damn you to hell.

"You didn't enjoy your trip? Well, it's paid in full and non-refundable, so...suck it!!

“You didn’t enjoy your trip? Well, it’s paid in full and non-refundable, so…suck it!!

Actually, it wasn’t that bad. But it was an awesome opportunity to put some of our Big Dick philosophies into practice. So, here’s what I learned.

1. Men have got to take the lead.

I need to explain a bit about our family dynamic. My wife is a stay at home mom. Her sister is a high level civilian employee with the Air Force. Her husband is a really nice guy. You would enjoy having a conversation with him. But the truth is, sister is in charge and it is wearing her out.

This trip was supposed to be her chance to relax. Everything was planned and paid for. The grandparents were there to babysit their two year old. All she was supposed to do was show up and have fun with her kids.

But guess what happened? Disney World is freaking chaotic. It’s non-stop running and on the fly decision making. And all she got from her husband was, “Whatever you want to do dear.” He made it clear from day one that he was there to push the stroller in whatever direction she pointed him.

So, sister-in-law was miserable and stressed the whole time. Brother-in-law just wanted to go home.

How was it on our side? We loved it.

We loved it because we worked together to figure out exactly what we wanted. I made a lot of the tough decisions, especially the ones my wife feared would hurt someone’s feelings and I made sure I was active with the kids every minute of the trip. We split up quite a bit as our 7 year old just wanted to see the princesses and the older two wanted to ride the rides.

The contrast between the involvement of the husbands was so stark that my father-in-law actually brought it up to my wife, expressing how thankful they were that I was participating and enjoying myself.

2. Raising great kids is a long term project.

Every day you watch your children grow. A little at a time. They develop so slowly you almost don’t notice. That applies to their emotional development as well as their physical growth.

We are raising our kids in a very rural area; sandwiched between two small towns with a total population of less than 500. To put this in perspective, each day a single Disney World theme park has nearly 40,000 visitors,  four times more people than our entire county.

This is not an environment that our kids are used to. We took an 11 year old, 9 year old and a 7 year old and threw them in the middle of a small city for 12 to 15 hours a day. Oh, and it was 95 degree heat and about 10 miles of walking each day.

And they were awesome.

They listened, they cooperated, and the whining and complaining was kept to a bare minimum the whole time. We never had to worry about where they were. They didn’t get overwhelmed by the crowds. They just followed the rules and had a great time.

Then they endured a 21 hour car ride home without a single complaint.

That doesn’t happen overnight. They endured a 10 day trip with 42 hours of driving and they did it with great flexibility and an upbeat attitude the whole time. It was a natural reaction for them. We’ve tried our damndest to raise them with those qualities and they proved themselves to be amazing kids.

3. Find time for sex when you can and accept when you can’t.

Never had sex in a hotel bathroom before.

It was somewhere between

bathroom-sex_o_267183

This

and

this. Much closer to this.

this. Much closer to this.

“Kids, turn the TV on… Louder.”

“Honey, turn on the hair dryer while I get naked.”

And try to get done before the hair dryer causes heat exhaustion.

That was Saturday, on the drive down. The rest of the week, we were sharing a two room suite with three kids and mother in law. Sex wasn’t even a consideration and that’s okay. We were focused on other enjoyable opportunities for our family and marked “hotel bathroom sex” off our bucket list.

4. You appreciate things more when you are personally invested in them.

This was one of my few struggles on this trip. Father-in-law wanted to pay for everything. Again, a wonderful gesture, but I’m a strong proponent of the idea that people have a hard time really appreciating things that are completely free.

The whole family wanted to drive together, mainly so father-in-law could control paying for all the gas and hotel rooms. I don’t mean that in a negative way, but it was true. We didn’t like the travel schedule they wanted to keep, so we chose to go our own way (an example of stepping up and making a tough decision). We paid our own expenses, which ended up being around $700.

Sister’s family did not. They allowed the parents to pay for everything including every purchase at the parks. Father-in-law purchased the photo package where the park photographers take pictures for you and they are all saved to a website for you. It was a neat deal, done mostly for sister in law since my wife takes a thousand pictures anyway.

We downloaded the pictures and realized we had taken over 250 and sister had taken around 75. Father-in-law was not real happy that they hadn’t utilized something that he paid good money for.

Please understand, this is not a “we’re better than they are” post. It’s an exploration into how different mind sets can yield predictable results. Sister got an all expenses paid trip to Disney World and just wanted it to be over. We accepted the prepaid portion, paid our own way for the rest and had an awesome time.

This is not just a correlation issue, this is a causation issue.The structure of our two families is drastically different and it was very evident on this trip, almost painfully so.

The concepts we discuss here at the Big Dick Chronicles work. We are working hard to develop a healthy productive way to live our lives and it seems to be working.

5. Belle at the Akershus Restaurant has a voice that could make a man do some bad things.

Meet Belle

Ungh.

Ungh.

This young lass is not bad looking; I certainly wouldn’t kick her out of bed for eating crackers, but that’s not the point. This woman had a voice. As the good daddy, I was holding all the autograph books when we stepped up to take our picture with her.

So I chatted with her for a minute while she signed the books. I’m pretty sure all she actually said to me was, “Oh, so you’re in charge of the autograph books, eh?”

But what I heard was, “You sexy stud. Responsible fathers get me hot.”

Hey, it could happen.

Afterwards, I immediately told my wife that Belle was my version of her infatuation with Sean Connery’s voice. I enjoy telling that story because I enjoy seeing my wife’s cheesy grin every time I admit that I’d gladly push an old woman in front of a Disney  World bus if that woman asked me to.

Women, work on your sexy voice. When you get it right, you’re damn near irresistible.

I hope you all enjoy your summer. We managed to get ours off to a great start. The rest of the summer will be focused on naked pool time.

Greetings from us. And Bill Fuckin’ Murray.

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7 thoughts on “Lessons From Disney World

  1. Quick question…too funny by the way…we were at Disney for Spring Break too. If your husband has a habit of saying “whatever you want dear” (partially due to the fact that you tried to control things for so long that it is what he expects…working on that, and partially cause he is just laid back and really doesn’t care), how can you get him to start making the decisions so you don’t end up exhausted and resentful? Sometimes he does great, others not so much. Our vacation was great cause we did a lot of the planning before hand and he was vocal about what he wanted. Then other times he is mouth zipped on decisions…any words to use to get him to make the decision without being disrespectful? Figure he just needs practice?
    Bea

    • Hi Bea,
      Thanks for stopping by and glad you enjoyed the post.

      Without knowing anything else about your situation, I would offer this advice as a sure fire quick start to get the ball rolling…

      Tell your husband you think its sexy when he takes control and follow up on it. Basically, reward the behavior you want.

      Even if you don’t mean it, give it a shot. If he responds, what you are likely to find is that you eventually DO find it sexy and it creates a positive spiral.

      We made our young married couples Sunday School class do some exercises related to this topic. One of the wives said she found herself enjoying complimenting her husband as they went through it. It was desirable to her to be married to a man in charge.

      Good luck and feel free to comment back if you want to have a longer discussion about it.

      Adam

  2. Bea,
    I just discovered you have your own blog this morning and I tried to comment there, but when I hit send, nothing happened. So not sure if it went through.

    Just wanted to say I enjoyed reading your posts and I see that you’ve been working on this question long enough that my quick response probably isn’t very helpful. I promise to give it some deeper thought and get back to you.

    Adam

    • Hey Adam,
      I moderate my comments…not really sure why, someone told me I should I guess…never had a horrid comment…have had a couple of spam…maybe I should change that. Anyway, your comment is there now…thanks for stopping by. I am glad that you are enjoying it, I enjoy reading here as well. Yes, I have been working for a while on giving Levi back his “pants” (Levi-pants-get it?, not his real name of course…kinda cheesy I know.) Anyway, sometimes he doesn’t pick up the pants when I wish he would…finances are a big one at the moment that we are working on. I pay the bills, make decisions on what bill to pay when, how much, etc. I don’t mind really except for a lack of input, and him having to ask me if we have the money for such and such…makes it seem like I am wearing the pants…I don’t want the pants anymore:) so, just curious if you had any thoughts on getting your man to lead where he doesn’t want to. I fully admit that this is partially my fault for fighting over the pants for the first decade or so of our marriage…working on that:)
      Thanks!
      Bea

  3. I figured Id throw my 2 cents in while surfing through here (you can thank jblondie for that).

    When it comes to going out to dinner we always ended up with the ‘whatevers fine’ or ‘you pick, i picked last time’ deal. However big ticket items like vacations I always took the initiative to get the hotels, flights and car taken care of. Outings were taken care of by her. If she got frumpy or agitated by something that evening, usually a good hug from behind and some whispering in her ear got her to shape up.

    She usually hated flying super early or late, but since vacation days are limited to me, id rather spend more time AT my destination than wasting the day traveling (ex; leaving for LA or San Diego on a 6am flight out of JFK, get to the west coast in time to catch breakfast, or Miami for that matter). If the trip went smoothly and the weather was pure sunshine, my treat was usually clothes off and in some sort of position before the suitcases were even inside the door 🙂

    And yes, hotel bathroom sex is amazing, whether it be on the toilet, or being seductive and slipping in behind her in the shower.

    • Hello Matt. Thanks for stopping by. The decision making process is always an interesting dynamic. I don’t think enough couples approach it with a set plan; it just seems to be some default assigned leadership roles that rarely work out well. Glad to hear you have a plan!

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