M. Giant's
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Tuesday, May 31, 2011  

World's Largest

One thing we've tried hardest to teach M. Edium is that he's not going to get what he wants by throwing tantrums or having meltdowns. If anything, it controls our behavior by forcing us to do the opposite of what he wants. Fortunately it doesn't happen very often. And he's learned that the best way to change our minds is to make us laugh instead. That totally works.

Anyway, when we were in Orlando a couple of weeks ago, he wasn't that interested in Disney World or Sea World or Universal Studios or anything like that. But among the tourist brochures on the rack in the hotel was one for the World's Largest McDonald's, right there in Orlando. M. Edium was sold.

Looking at the map on the brochure, I got the impression that it was pretty close to our hotel, and thought it would just be a short cab ride there. So I was a little embarrassed when we showed up with twenty bucks on the meter. Good thing we were having dinner at McDonald's, so at least the food would be cheap.

M. Edium loves McDonald's, but he also loved everything non-McDonald's about this place, from the full deli menu (not that he took advantage of it), to the giant fish tanks we ate our dinner in front of, to the giant creepy animatronic piano-playing moon-faced dude from the 80s McDonald's commercials to the Chuck E. Cheese-style game arcade, complete with ticket dispensers and a little room where you go to redeem the tickets for what ends up translating into being ridiculously overpriced crap.

M. Edium had only played a few of the games before he visited this room and saw a few Pokémon mini-plushes, which he wanted to adopt with the same passion that has forced me to ban Trash from pet stores. It could be had for the low, low price of 640 tickets. Which, given the rate at which he was earning them (he's not so great at thee games), would translate to approximately one-point-seven car payments.

I got him out of the room and tried to distract him by cutting him loose in the giant child-Habitrail, but he was both adamant and inconsolable. "I'm going to win enough tickets for that if it takes me all night," he vowed. I told him that it would, but that wasn't an option. I could tell this was going to get ugly, but I wasn't sure this was the hill I wanted to die on. At least not on vacation. This wasn't just about getting a new toy. This was about rescuing a sentient being from a noisy, tropical purgatory.

Fortunately, I saw an out. Unlike at most of these kinds of places, you can also buy the prizes outright for a number of pennies equal to the number of tickets they cost. I proposed this option to M. Edium: "What if we didn't spend all night earning tickets and we just bought the Pokémon?"

Through his tears, M. Edium said, "That would make it seem cheap."

Bless you, kid. By cracking me up, you allowed me to make this a win-win situation. He didn't have enough tickets to earn the prize he wanted, but the eleven he was able to contribute seemed to satisfy him.

On our twenty-dollar cab ride home (seriously, round-trip cab fare plus tip on this outing ended up being almost as much as I paid for the rental car the next day), he told me all about Turtwig's powers or whatever. It's a turtle with a twig on its head, I don't know. But Turtwig became M. Edium's favorite "friend" for the whole rest of the trip. It even got to go with him to the Kennedy Space Center, in favor of "Shuttle" (a stuffed space shuttle with stuffed external fuel tank and stuffed SRBs) getting to return to his native home. Turtwig was adopted into the elite corps of stuffed friends who had gotten to come along on the trip, but M. Edium couldn't wait to introduce him to the rest of the family when we got home.

So of course we ended up leaving it in the hotel room.

The good news is that M. Edium is not unaccustomed to having his "friends" occasionally return from vacation a day or two after he does. And he doesn't ever have to know that this time, Turtwig didn't come from our Orlando hotel, but from Amazon. I just hope he doesn't find the spare that I also ordered.

posted by M. Giant 9:18 PM 1 comments

1 Comments:

Hee! at a stuffed shuttle. Like M.Edium and hundreds of other kids, I was quite prone to leaving my stuff behind in hotel rooms. We didn't always get it back, though!

By Anonymous alex, at June 1, 2011 at 6:48 AM  

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