Pure Hell: A Guide to Toddler Torture

Last weekend was all about how my husband and I could torture our little boy. We started with taking him to our local amusement park. Because it claims to have ‘Fun for All.’

Although the park does not have the latest and greatest thrill rides, it is a quaint place where every child who has grown up around this region is guaranteed to make fond first memories. How dare we try to make first memories with our child? Especially at the place where his Mommy and his Grandfather worked their first jobs. I was unaware this type of behavior is forbidden in toddler world. What to do next since we are at a fun place? Well, if you are even remotely familiar with Camden Park it is a must-do to eat the local fare known as the “Pronto Pup.” So with anxious hearts and stomachs, we purchased our son’s first Pronto Pup. He snubbed his nose at it and decided the Larabar we had brought with us was a much better option than a deep fried corn dog. Yes, in theory he is right. But this was supposed to be a treat.

Can you imagine the torture of being offered a rare fair treat? How dare we do such a thing? The final act of torture to culminate our first family adventure to the local fun place was something absolutely horrendous. Since we were scared to leave him on a kiddie ride because he has no fear and severe separation anxiety, we….ohhh, I can’t even type it. Hanging my head in shame at this very moment. We took him on a carousel ride where I could hold him. 

You read this correctly. We took him on a ride. Not a ride where you throw your kid on and get adorable pictures. Because we knew if we did this he would barrel back to us with all his strength and put others and himself in danger. 

As we climbed on the carousel. I chose a cream colored horse and attached the safety belt around him. He begins what we call ‘meltdown mode.’ His next great move is to hurl his body weight off the horse directly to me with the death grip on my shirt. As I look around, I notice an empty bench on the carousel and decide that may be a better place to enjoy his first ride. I unbuckle his safety belt and begin to move towards the empty bench. A bell rings signaling fun is about to begin. There isn’t enough time to make it to the bench before the carnival music begins and we go spinning round for what felt like forever. I immediately grab the bar attached to our chosen smiling horse and bear hugged my son. Other children laughed and posed for cute carousel pictures. Mine screamed, round and round we went with a red faced waling toddler.

We were done with fun for all after this. So on the next day, I followed the horrific event known as an amusement park with something equally as traumatic. He was treated to his first haircut. Here he also screamed while throwing his body weight around, except this experience had more snot involved. And did you know the phrase ‘spitting mad’ is not just a phrase? If my child is angry enough, he spits. First time parent learns yet another lesson. So here you have it, your very own guide to toddler torture. Amusement park, deep fried food, a carousel ride, and one hair cut is all it takes to thoroughly piss off a toddler.


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This I understand as every outing turns into how to torture my child with versions of fun. The only summer pursuits that have been deemed fun and not meltdown worthy have been a trip to a new park with a waterfall and a shallow pool to swim, a water park/ playground that we all loved, and watching Minions while enjoying copious amounts of popcorn in a dark theatre. 3/300 isn’t too bad of a record. 😉

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