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The theme of Max’s trip to Ontario? Transportation.

1. First, he got to ride on a BIG AIRPLANE. Sweet action.

But I soon realized flying Porter, with two stopovers en route to Toronto, was not the smartest thing I’ve ever done. (The smartest thing was taking the iPad; Porter doesn’t have TVs.) When we pitched down in Halifax, Max simply could not understand why we were not getting off the plane. I mean we had landed, there was an airport right there, others were getting off, but we were just going to sit here and rot??? WTF, MOM! Let’s get off this hunk o’ junk and get the apple juice flowing already!

I managed to keep him in his seat until all the Halifax-bound passengers had gotten off. Then, with 20 minutes to kill, I let him march up and down the aisle for a bit to stretch his legs. But soon there was congestion at the front of the plane: a lineup to the lavatory, a flight attendant sorting through her pretzels, a pilot emerging from the cockpit to drain the main vein. I lost sight of that orange head I’ve grown accustomed to seeking in crowds, so I began to make my way to the front of the aircraft. When I got there, I saw Max standing near the door on the verge of tears. I asked him, “aw, were you afraid you had lost mommy, honey?” He replied with a pout, “No, they wouldn’t let me get off the plane!”

2. Next up – the much-anticipated TRAIN RIDE. If you know Max, you know he has two obsessions: popsicles, and trains. (Forget the popsicles – focus!) Here in Newfoundland, we haven’t had any moving trains since the 1980s. And there are only so many popsicles you can give your kid to compensate. So we were really looking forward to this ride on a classic steam engine. Running from Waterloo to St. Jacob’s, the railway is operated entirely by volunteers. One of them – playing the friendly old conductor – even punched our tickets.

3. Next on the agenda – AMUSEMENT PARK RIDES at Canada’s Wonderland. (It’s okay – this time I’ll be kind to the wankers.) Max rode all sorts of things here, from Snoopy’s airplane to a high-flyin’ (not really) swing.

4. And then there was the ride to end all rides. The GHOSTER COASTER. Now before you get caught up in what is quite possibly the world’s most hilarious photograph below, let me explain. We were in Snoopy Land or Snoopy’s Village or Snoop Dogg’s Crib or whatever the frig they call the area of the park for little kids. It is total snoozeville – strollers everywhere, toddlers on lame-ass rides, nobody is over four feet tall unless they are pushing a stroller or handing out cotton candy or a giant ass kid who was born with a full set of teeth. So Max and I happily make our way along the various rides, trying this one, lining up for that one, having a time. Eventually we come to a ride – yes, still right here in the land of the teacups – the Ghoster Coaster.

Now for those of you quite familiar with Wonderland and are now gasping with shock – bite me. I didn’t know the Ghoster Coaster was a 4 out of 5 on the scary scale. I couldn’t see the rickety old track from the ride entrance. At a glance it looked fine to me, and the other kids lining up to get on were not much bigger than Max. Surely if the ride was located right here in the land of bunnies and clouds and babies, it was suitable for Turbo Ginger. Right? Right?

By the way, if you’re wondering where daddy is during this moment of weakness, daddy was lining up to ride the Leviathan – the freaky new roller coaster at the other end of the park. If he had been with us instead off getting his thrills elsewhere, he probably would have prevented this epic mistake. But he would have also prevented this picture…

So it turns out Turbo Ginger is not fearless, after all. But it’s okay, son. Your mom – the love child of Carrot Top and the Incredible Hulk – will protect you.

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