You haven’t truly lived until you’ve taken all of your children to a Disney On Ice performance by yourself. And if you’re anything like me, going into this venture, you take all that you’ve learned up to this point and channel it at once because you know all too well the great challenges that lie ahead – this is not your first rodeo.

You’ve sprung for the good seats this time because last time those not-so-cheap nosebleed section seats had your children screaming because they couldn’t see the twirling, ant-size Elsa on the ice and they weren’t allowed to lean forward for a better look due to your reasonable fear that they would surely IMG_9425tumble to their certain death if they leaned over just a bit too far in Section Mt. Everest. You’ve already purchased and packed the coolest looking light up toys that 5 Below had to offer because you’re not going to get stuck shelling out the 75 bucks for those ridiculous raver light sticks like you did last time. You’ve packed drinks and snacks galore to avoid the hypnotic appeal of 2-day old cotton candy and popcorn. You’ve packed all their sweatshirts, just in case the numbing 65 degree temperature of that damn Disney On Ice arena envelopes your precious children like a snow squall on that good ol’ Mt. Everest. You’ve fed them all morning. You’ve left an hour and a half before curtain up to guarantee a parking spot close enough to the arena, so there’s no need to carry two and drag a third down three city blocks like last time, but that doesn’t cost you $5/minute. You’ve restricted their water intake and made them all go to the bathroom -at least 6 times – before getting to your seats because you’re flying this voyage solo and you can’t make a quick potty stop without having to drag the other two in tow. BUT, amidst all that masterful planning, YOU forgot to go to the bathroom YOURSELF! No problem. This so-called 90-minute-cost-me-an-arm-and-a-leg madness will be over before you can say Rapunzel – You can hold it, You got this! And this was my morning…sigh.

So alas, with all this comprehensive planning, we successfully make it to our section and ON time, no less. But, someone is in our seats! They don’t actually have tickets for our seats, but they’re part of what seems to be a charming little 5th birthday party and you’ve never been one to mess with someone’s birthday party mojo, never mind make 4 snowball covered four-year olds leave your seats when you can just take the 4 empty seats a few rows back. Fine. Grrr. I have to pee, so just get me to a seat anywhere so I can stop jostling my full bladder around this arena.

Then, the marching men waving their sparkly six foot staffs, bearing thousands of dollars worth of stale snacks parade by. So, never mind all those healthy-but-still-fun-and-FREE snacks I brought just to combat this. Cue the Mom guilt -they can’t fully enjoy this Disney experience without a $15 bag of cotton candy. Each. Oh man, I really have to pee.  Fine, give me forty-five dollar’s worth of cotton candy please. Then I notice we are surrounded by Moana light sabers and Flashing Belle wands, so obviously my miniature magic spinning flashlights (essentially) don’t make my grateful girls feel quite lucky enough. Oh, gosh, my bladder. I can’t take this. Fine, we’ll take one light for $30 that you all can share. Clearly, my bladder is clouding my acute awareness of the fact that sharing is NOT caring in my house. So, I just bought $30 worth of tears. Great. And oh hell no…I don’t think I can hold it anymore!

We make it to intermission. The line for the bathroom runs like a river through a valley of Disney bling that would make even Mickey’s head explode, so forget it, back to our seats we go, bladder still oh-so-painfully full. The second half is always shorter than the first, right? I can DO this. The show commences, the girls are screaming and need to sign a treaty to properly allocate that light-up lucifer lasso that I threw $30 bucks away on, so of course, I have to place my 4-year old on my lap to avoid the battle of bitches that always commences in times like these. Yes, I just called my beautiful babies….bitches (and I’ll likely say it over and over again throughout the course of the next decade or two, thank you very much). My legs are now numb from my bladder pressing up on all my nerves, as my 4-year old now happily bounces up and down on my lap. Up and down. Up and down. Oh my…I don’t think I CAN do it! So yes, I’m just plain over it all at this point. And yes, this battle of bitches and bladders can now just go stick it!  So here we are, crying, complaining, bouncing on bladders to the delights of Disney right before our eyes. It’s quite the two and hours (yeah, forget those quick 90 minutes) of the glamour & glory you thought it would be. A magical marathon of Mickey & Minnie mania indeed.  And at long last, I make it to the finish line – empty wallet no less – but dry pants to boot. We bolt out of our seats and b-line for that majestic Womens’ Restroom: that far off place I’ve fantasized about for hours. And as I close the door to that less-than-sparkling-not-so-Disney bathroom stall, I am simply and all-consumingly grateful.