Theme Parks: Parents’ Worst Nightmare?

As a mom, I wear multiple hats, each entailing different circumstances in your kids’ lives. Call me a caregiver, friend, nurse, and fan and you would be right. Every decision I make impacts their future so I make them with great thought. As they grow up, new situations demand more of my attention and I must be creative and resourceful. Let me tell you what is currently on my mind.

For example, when my children are outside playing in the front yard, I am super vigilant and mindful of dangers. Cars can come out of absolutely nowhere. I also worry when they are in a pool, our own or that of a neighbor. I am terrified of drowning. All my children know how to swim and they know not to do it alone. Kids are in peril everywhere they go, even in the supposed confines of a fenced-in school. What scares me now that they are older and want to go to a theme park on weekends, is what can happen either on the rides or when they are just walking around. Danger lurks in every corner no matter how good the park’s reputation may be.

Kids like to go in groups, a practice of which I approve. Most times there is an adult tagging along. They don’t go at night unless it is daylight saving’s time during the summer and they must be home before dark. This is an absolute rule. My other demand is that no child be allowed to wander off alone, even if he has to go to the bathroom or get some food. There is an unspoken rule that he or she must be accompanied. If a child doesn’t comply, he is not allowed to go again. This proviso works well in my family and I have encouraged my neighbors to do the same.

A theme park doesn’t have to be a parent’s worst nightmare if you take precautions. There are pickpockets and thugs to be sure, but if you are in a group, an aggressor isn’t likely to approach you. If you are concerned, there are ways to safeguard your family and protect yourself in a busy environment. It only has to happen once for you to be grateful that thought about self defense ahead of time. You can carry mace which is fast-acting and will immobilize anyone if it is sprayed at close range. If would give you time to get away even though it isn’t lethal. There are stun guns, brass knuckles (made of hard plastic), collapsible batons, and LED lights on a key chain. Body alarms are becoming more popular. I have taught my kids to scream and yell if they are grabbed, even when walking by my side.

I will close today’s blog with a reminder to everyone, with or without children, to learn about personal safety and what might happen even near your own home. I don’t want to be a fearmonger but a voice of caution and reason.


Easier Late Night Bathroom Trips

Moms have to be clever. They have to have new solutions to old problems that really work. They must use their ingenuity at all times when they have kids. No matter how many are in the brood and how old they have grown, situations that recur seem like new occurrences. Hence the need to put on the mom’s thinking cap and be the source of all resolutions. The kids depend on this although they may have ideas of their own. Maybe they want a nightlight that is a favorite cartoon character and at least something soothing and not scary to encounter in the middle of the night. This works for some but what happens when the child wanders down the hall on the way to the bathroom and the light is no longer a source of illumination. Its range is limited to the bedroom.

Mom knows. She uses a rechargeable flashlight that she found here that doubles as a nightlight in the bedroom so the kids can pull them out of the outlet and carry them along to the bathroom if they wake up suddenly and feel the need to go at that very moment, no matter what time of night it might be. They love that they are never in the dark on the late night bathroom trips. Maybe the rechargeable flashlight isn’t as a cute as a cartoon character, but it is functional, practical, and it works. Okay, it is a bit cumbersome for the smaller children, but they soon learn how to handle the bulk. They would rather have it along with them during their nighttime forays than nothing at all.

You can depend on this light to never burn out. Thus it is better in the socket than having a small flashlight on the nightstand next to the child’s bed. Who knows what battery life is left? If you don’t want any accidents in bed, you better abandon this less-than-practical idea. Plus, no kid likes to fumble around when getting out of bed to get that nightstand version turned on. A rechargeable flashlight is the best answer. So mom, ever one step ahead of the kids, has decorated it festively to look like a teddy bear with flashing light eyes. When a child reaches for that familiar soft fabric, he or she feels safe and secure.

This is but one example of how mom comes to the rescue to make her children’s lives easier. She knows how to sooth a fevered brow, calm a nervous stomach, and make scary nighttime bathroom trips feel almost inviting. The kids love any excuse to use the teddy flashlight. It is an integral part of their bedrooms and each child has his own outlet. Some nights it is a parade of lights marching down the hall. If mom is up and witnesses the scene, she gives a little laugh out loud before returning peacefully to bed. Let’s hear it for the rechargeable flashlight, a device of many uses.