Actually the Animal Kingdom, to be exact.

Ginny and I took the kids there a few weeks ago. We had passes that were about to expire, so I took off one Friday to go. Great plan! We got there early, rode some rides quickly, and made our way around the park.

As the day started getting longer, we all started getting worn out. We decided to walk through one of the “jungle trek” deals that they have. You know the one where you walk along a path, and every now ant then there is an animal behind plexiglass? Well, we were waiting to see the tigers, and Josh didn’t want to wait. He kept pulling on my arm and pulling on my arm and pulling on my arm and pulling on my, well, you get the idea. Finally, I popped him on the butt and set him down for a little break. He was not happy about this.

Apparently, neither was Edna <name changed to protect the guilty, and because I can’t remember her real name>, our friendly elderly tour guide. She took it upon herself to “fix” this situation. So she decides to talk to Josh, my 4 year old, and ask him what Daddy’s problem is. Bad choice of words, Edna. You just became Daddy’s problem. And, by the way, I am the adult. You should have tried talking to me.

I stepped up to check Edna’s credentials. I mean, maybe she was Dr. Phil’s grandma, which would still not qualify her to tell me how to be a parent. As I approached her, I got that look from my wife. You know the one. That look that says, “Be Nice!” I hate that look. There’s some kind of witchcraft behind that look.

So now I have to be nice. Great. There goes Plan A-J. So instead of addressing her with, “Look, Lady” I decided to address Josh instead. I told him he needed to be patient and obey Mommy and Daddy when we speak to them. Then Edna explains that we don’t want anyone upset, because this is supposed to be the happiest place on Earth. I nearly lost it.

The happiest place on Earth? Seriously? Do you think I give two flips about the happiness quotient of Disney? What I care about is raising my kids to be productive, responsible, honest adults. And if that means bringing Disney down a point or two, I’m sorry. I don’t care if we’re in line at the Department of Children and Families. If my kids are misbehaving, I will deal with it. Not because I get off on disciplining my kids or making them cry, but because I love them. And they need boundaries.

Anyway, I let that one go. And now we were ready to go. It was then that Edna asked, “So is everything OK now?” What!? OK? Everything was OK before you showed up. Just because my son was unhappy for 3 minutes didn’t throw the world into a lurch. If anything, I’m worse off from having met Edna and “been nice” to her. So I said “yes” and we moved on.

The next 10 minutes were not happy for me. I made the comment about Edna not raising kids in 75 years or so. That earned me another one of those looks from Ginny.

I’m pretty sure my picture is pasted somewhere at Disney, labeled as a “discipliner.” Good. And Edna probably got a pewter pair of mouse ears for “fixing” a problem and returning the Happiness Quotient to 4,372.81. Know what I got for “being nice”? An ulcer. But at least I didn’t have to go to Mouse Jail.