The other thing that I meant to write about from Marine World was how delighted my five year-old daughter was to be 42 inches tall.
I haven't gotten any taller in about 20 years, so I've somewhat forgotten the joy of being able to reach new heights. When my physical dimensions change, it's generally a width or depth issue. No biggie though, I didn't really want to wear those old jeans anyway. They're not cool like these stiff new jeans. Mmmmm, crackly.
Anywho, 42 inches is an important height at Marine World. It allows her to ride many rides accompanied by an adult and a few others by herself. So, every time we got into a line, regardless of whether it was for a rollercoaster, or the merry go-round, she'd bound up to the measuring stick and see how tall she had become. This was cute the first dozen times.
This constant self-measuring is totally in-line with her personality. She's always gotten more satisfaction out of an activity if there was some sort of grade or measurement put on it. If she was outside playing with her hula hoop, then she wanted it to be hula hooping class. Bouncing a ball? I get to be the ball bouncing teacher. Honestly, there was a long period of time where we couldn't even get her to crap unless she got a gold star for it. Congratulations babe, you're a world class crapper.
One skill that I'm forced to give her an "F" on is whack-a-mole. For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, this is an amusement park game that you'd see alongside the ring toss, or tossing a baseball trying to knock down milk bottles. In whack-a-mole, however, you grasp a novelty mallet and stand in front of a counter with about 10 holes in it. Small mole-shaped figurines randomly pop out of the holes, one at a time, and you have about one second to slam down the mallet on their heads before the little cowards disappear back into the holes.
This is a great game for getting out your mole rage.
So, we spy the whack-a-mole game yesterday and this appeals to me because it's a game that my daughter can physically perform. You don't need great strength or pinpoint accuracy to nail one of these moles. Furthermore we were the only two playing and the mole guy informed us that there was a winner each time. So, it would be easy for me to play poorly and let her win a prize. So you'd think anyway.
The game starts and I lackadaisically pummel a few moles. I take it easy to ensure that she'll win. You have to whack 15 moles to win the game. I look over at her score and see that she has earned a whopping zero points so far. She appears to be bringing down the mallet just as each mole burrows back into its hole. When she does get there in time, the mallet seems to just gently rest on the mole's head. More of a mole petting than a mole whacking.
I spend some time aimless whacking the counter and give the guy running the game a sheepish smile. Meanwhile my daughter is grunting with effort, gingerly caressing the moles with her mallet, using all her might. Somehow, she scores a point.
At this point I give her a few tips and note that my mallet won't reach over to her counter. She's on her own. I keep slamming the counter while she sloooooowly accumulates points. 2....3....4..............
Seasons pass, glaciers melt, Haley's comet stops by for a few visits. Before you know it, BLAMMO, she's whacked her 15th mole. The lights flash and the whistle blows. My daughter, worn out from her herculean whacking, screams with glee when she realizes that she is the victor. She clutches her newly-won Tweety pillow with ferocious pride.
This is all a lot of words, but it comes down to this:
Mole whacking + crappy rides + cotton candy = fun
Marine World may be a crummy amusement park, but my daughter adored it. Wooo! Spring break