Why Would I kidnap THIS kid?! I Already Have One of Those.

when the orange county sheriff’s officer asked me, “how’s it going, sir?” i wasn’t the least bit surprised. 

 
i had just dragged my shrieking daughter across all of EPCOT, while she begged for her mother. 
 
the shrieking began some ten minutes earlier when she realized that the trip back to the hotel did not include mommy. it started as crying and devolved into screaming, hitting, scratching, and flailing.
 
i wasn’t stunned by the officer’s arrival. in fact, i had been rehearsing in my head what the conversation might go like, and mercifully it didn’t go as badly as i feared. (me: jail, anna: child protective services. IN FLORIDA.). 
 

i exhaled, with some frustration, and calmly explained that ‘we’ were way past ‘our’ 3 year-old limits and headed back to the hotel to get some sleep.

 
this all happened on the monorail platform, where moments before, i had walked up the ramp carrying this shrieking mini person. at the top of the ramp, when i went left to wait for the train, every single other living human being that wasn’t being paid to be there went to the right. 
 
afterward, i stood on the monorail platform reflecting on my encounter with the orange county sheriff’s officer. i was a little relieved that, while no one confronted me directly about what must have looked, at least a little bit, like an abduction attempt, someone definitely reported us to the authorities. strangers looking out for kids is good, right? 
 
but then we boarded the train, and as she calmed down i started contemplating the implications. what does it say about men and fathers that a man with a child and no woman in sight is obviously someone to report, or at least to suspect? 
 
if sarah were enduring our delightful girl shit monster shit monstering all over her, would anyone have thought anything else than, “that poor woman!”? and what does the data say? (hint: no one has ever been abducted from a disney park.)
 
and then she fell asleep, and i reveled in the bliss of a sleeping three year old, breathing steady and slow on my chest as we cruised through the sky together, alone. and all was forgiven. 
 
eventually she woke up — refreshed — and we played and had fun as if nothing else was possible.
 
we’ve had a magical trip, with just a little bit of magical shit monstering and just a little bit of magical police interrogation. 

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