Elmo’s Place

Last Wednesday, we packed up the car and headed up to Pat’s parents, north of Philly.  They happen to live minutes from Sesame Place, the mecca of the 1-5 year old crowd.  It took us 8 hours to get there…2 1/2 more hours than it should have.  But the kids were well-behaved and we finally made it.  At lunchtime, Jack didn’t even want to stop to eat because he just wanted to keep driving to Nana’s.  (He changed his mind once he saw the Play Place.)  The last time Casey was in the car for that long, she probably cried for 3/4 of the time, so anything better than that was well-behaved.
We went to Sesame Place on Thursday.  It was overcast and had rained all night, but Pat assured me it was going to be 80 and clear up.  That never happened, but the silver lining in the weather was that there were no lines for any of the rides.  In fact, Jack and Pat were the only two riders on the Elmo “bug” when they decided to hop on.
On the flip side, the water slides weren’t open and it was rather chilly in the other water attractions.  Jack really wanted to go into the Count’s new water area, so Pat took him in.  They lasted about 4 minutes and Jack’s teeth were just chattering when he came out.  He informed us that “it’s not summer in the water.”  
I think Jack went on every ride in the place except for one.  Pat even took him on the roller coaster.  I had tears in my eyes thinking of the poor kid being traumatized on there.  It’s not too crazy as far as roller coasters go, but he had no idea what was going to happen on that ride.  When they got off, he said, “All done now.  It was scary.”  But thankfully, there seems to be no lasting trauma.  I actually think he’s proud of having gone on it.
Casey went on a couple of rides but was pretty content to hang out in the stroller (as long as it was moving) and to walk around a little bit.  Give her a small step to step up and down on and she is entertained.  She’s convinced that she can learn to go up and down steps without really bending her knees.  She thinks she should be able to just keep casually walking and not have to adjust her balance and how she moves when she goes down a step.  So she keeps practicing that over and over.  She might be on to something, but I don’t think it’ll work when there’s more than one step.

Last year, we went to Sesame Place at about the same time of year, and the first thing we did was have breakfast with Elmo and friends.  Unfortunately, Jack was so scared of all the big characters that he wanted nothing to do with breakfast.  He got back into his stroller, strapped himself in and pulled the top of the stroller back over his head as soon as he saw Big Bird.  This is not a smile on his face… 
This year, we tried to prep him a little better for the big characters.  He kept telling us he was going to shake Big Bird’s hand this year.  When he saw how tall Big Bird actually was, he changed his mind about that.  However, he did enjoy Bert and Ernie.  That’s a real smile on his face…  

Cookie Monster was the first character that we saw but Jack was definitely afraid of him.  Apparently Cookie Monster is a bad monster but Elmo is a good monster.  Even though Jack warmed up to some of Elmo’s friends, when it was parade time, this is where we found him – 
He was back in the stroller with the cover pulled over him.  I guess it’s kind of like when a dog feels safe in her crate…Jack feels safe in his stroller.
I have many more pictures that I’ll get onto Shutterfly sometime this week. 
This morning, Jack pretended to go on all the different rides.  They were each in a different bedroom upstairs.  And this afternoon, he found the map of Sesame Place and he spent 20 minutes looking at it and saying, “I went on that ride…I went on that ride…I went on that ride.”  I think those are pretty good signs that Jack had a good time.