So my friend John and I went to Disneyland recently with our boys in the middle of the week, because while Elana is working at the studio she gets a free Silver Pass to the theme parks. This causes some confusion, because I guess Silver Passes are also what they give to the people who wear costumes and stuff at Disneyland, and when you go to the gate the ticket-taker asks you “Who’s the cast member?” and you stand there wondering what the hell that means, and your friend has to whisper, “That’s you.” Sometimes being the husband of a V.I.P. isn’t what you thought it would be.
Anyway, here is a capsule version of driving to Orange County with two toddlers who are playing some kind of weird “You wind me up, then I wind you up!” crying game.
We took the boys on two rides — It’s A Small World, which Henry found delightful, and Peter Pan, which he did not. I think he found the swooping through fields of stars in Peter Pan disorienting. Or maybe he was just really, really charmed by the kitschy yet sincere plea for international harmony of the first ride — I know I was — and the pirate combat of the second brought him crashing back down to earthly realities. Anyway, here’s the beginning of IASW. It cuts out abruptly at the exact moment I realize I am shooting with my cell phone and not the special high-speed rig Kubrick used to shoot Barry Lyndon by candlelight.
But there’s also a petting zoo at Disneyland. It’s called Thunder Ranch, which is a pretty grandiose name for a pen with some goats, but we like goats and grandiosity, so that was all right. (Actually, Goats and Grandiosity is the name of my forthcoming Jane Austen pastiche. It’s the story of a country maid who realizes that the puffed-up goatherd whom she initially couldn’t stand is actually nobler than the charming swineherd with a dangerous secret.)
In this video Henry signs “goat,” if you’re a little liberal about your signs. To sign “goat” you make horns with your fingers and touch your chin and then your forehead. You can see it performed here. Our little bear’s version is simpler — he just kind of raises his hand to his forehead in a sudden motion — but he certainly knows what he’s saying.
Finally, here are H. and his friend again, living the rough-and-tumble lives of men on the ranch. I.e., there’s a slapfight, and then you stand around and look at goats.