…has been what both my boys have been chanting for over a month. “But you’ve NEVER been fishing!” has been my response over a billion times. I had no idea where this was coming from. I can’t remember anyone fishing in any of their shows, video games or books. When I asked, “Why do you want a fishing pole?” hoping to get to the origin of the idea, all I got was, “Duh, Mommy…so we can fish! Hellloooo!!”


I knew they would be sorry they “wasted” a Santa wish on a fishing pole, 7 minutes into their first cast. I knew all to well the pain of “The Year Of Regret” so I wanted to shield them from making an uneducated decision. When I was 8, I asked Santa for a microscope. A freaking microscope!!! I saw it in the Sears toy catalogue and had visions of hours and hours of “discovering new species undetectable to the naked eye”. That was a direct quote from the catalogue. 7 minutes of straining my eyes to see a piece of my hair x 50 (which is all the strength $19.99 could buy you in the 1970’s) I was crying my eyes out, “Tell Santa to take it back! I don’t want a microscope! I want a Chrissy doll! Tell Santa I’ll trade the microscope for Chrissy!” No such luck. I was stuck. Stuck with the worst gift ever and had no one to blame but myself.

Trying to steer my boys away from making the same mistake I made, I devised the, “Mommy saves christmas” plan. Mark & I would take the boys fishing with rented poles so they could get it out of their systems. Let them see that fishing takes LOTS of patience they don’t have yet and let’s be honest…boring as all get out. 30 minutes of staring at a bobber in the water should do the trick! I needed to rent some poles. Luckily, there are two such places at Disney. I chose Fort Wilderness Campground. It would cost $12 bucks and some worms to save christmas. Worth every penny.

First glitch in my plan: We went to see Santa BEFORE we were able to go fishing! Standing in line to meet Santa, I asked Zeke:

“Hey, what are you going to ask Santa for?”


DOH! I had to think fast:

“Hey, Guys, why don’t you let Mommy & Daddy buy you a fishing pole for christmas and you can ask Santa for something REALLY cool!”

“But a fishing pole IS really cool, Mommy.”

“I know, Nate…but Santa’s Elves aren’t really known for their fishing pole making skills…they’re much better at making other stuff. Isn’t there anything else you wanted?”

“I want a skateboard…”

YES! “The Elves are REALLY good at making skateboards…I’m pretty sure Tony Hawk uses a Santa’s Elf board.”

“REALLY? I thought he used a Tony Hawk board.”

“He does…a Tony Hawk board that was made in Santa’s workshop!”

“Zeke, What are YOU going to ask Santa for?”


“Right, sorry. Listen, Zeke…if Mommy & Daddy get you a fishing pole and Santa gets you a fishing pole, you will have 2 many fishing poles. Why don’t you ask Santa for something else?”

(Grrrrowwlll) “OK, Ok, ok…”

Then they proceed to sit on Santa’s lap.

“Ho, ho, ho…What would you like, Nate?”

“I hear you make good skateboards, so I’ll take one of those, please.”

“OK, what about you Zeke?”

“Well, since Mommy told me I can’t ask you for a fishing pole, I guess you can bring me a Lego set. The one with Batman, Robin, Poison Ivy and they’re in a fun house with a slide.”



Wew! Not counting Santa’s confused look, that went surprisingly well. On to the next step: Ft. Wilderness.













2nd cast in the water, Nate pulls out a fish.

2 minutes later, Zeke pulls up a fish. (NOTE: Weird perspective photo. Fish was NOT as big as Zeke’s torso.)

Mark pulls out a fish seconds later.

My fish? It was the one that got away. I lifted it out of the water and it did a swan dive off the hook. Swear.

Time elapsed: 6 1/2 mins.

“Zeke, here’s your rod. It’s all ready to go again. Get up off the floor, please.”

“No thank you, Mommy.”

“What do you mean, ‘No thank you’? Don’t you want to fish anymore?”

“No, I already caught a fish.”

“Yes, you did…a big one! Don’t you want to catch another one?”

“Nope. I already did. I’m all done.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yup, I’m sure.”

“OK. Do you still want a fishing pole for christmas?”

“No thank you. I already caught a fish.”


7 mins. in and Mission “Mommy saves christmas” is complete.

…or is it? Stay tuned…



1.  Go to all the parties with your family, but don’t let the kids bring a toy sword if there’s sand for them to bury it in.

2.  If your son wins a prize at Animal Kingdom’s DinoLand Fossil Fun Games…..

….be prepared to stay and play until the other son wins something.

3. When your son meets a new friend, be thankful his parents are really cool to hang out with.

4.  Book Disney’s Art of Animation Resort early because it’s so amazingly cool, it will sell out fast!

5. When your kids are wearing mouse ears…take their picture! (Whether they want you to or not.)

6. Check out the hills and terrain of the paths BEFORE you promise to rent a bicycle surrey for an hour.

7.  When your “boss” has no microphone, rethink telling her to “Talk into my boob.”.

8.  To improve your online savvy, you can’t just own Chris Brogan’s book…you have to read it.

9. Hand your camera to strangers so you can be in some of the photos together. (Be prepared to chase them if they take off with it.)

10. I have the best job in the world. (Right under the person who gives away free Ghiradelli chocolate at Downtown Disney)

PS  Thanks to Disney and all the amazing “Moms” who made this conference one for the record books.

PPS A special thanks to the Mom-to-the-rescue who had all the right “supplies” one would need in a ladies room. I owe you BIG time.

Mark’s a consultant Art Director for Disney. What’s that mean? That means we have to buy our own health insurance, we have to buy season passes to get into all the parks  just like all the rest of you regular Joes and Mickey left my kid hanging when he went to give the mouse a high-five.

It’s funny how many times we’ve gone to the parks this month already…since we’ve realized our passes expire the end of this month! Somehow, we’ve got to get our money’s worth. It doesn’t matter that it’s almost  100 degrees with 99% humidity…it’s only free until the end of the month! Stop whining, Mark…you’ve lost 27 pounds already and it’s only 11am. Wipe up that puddle of sweat you’re sitting in and let’s go! The fun’s not gonna have itself!

It truly was a death march. When you start thinking, “Sure, it’s totally worth $47. for one of those fan spray bottles…”  it’s time to go home.

But then we had one of those “Magical Disney Moments” the company paid advertisers to come with. Pinocchio was out for a meet ‘n greet but he was hidden behind lots of lattice. I spotted him and was shocked to see there was NO LINE to meet him! “GET THE KIDS…GET THE CAMERA!” I screamed at the puddle that use to be Mark. We had a private Pinocchio encounter that was worth the price of the season passes:

Pinochio challenged Zeke and Nate to a race: "On your Mark...get set...Go!

Pinocchio challenged Zeke and Nate to a race: "On your Mark...get set...Go!

The race is on! It's a close one...may be a photo finish...

The race is on! It's a close one...may be a photo finish...

OH NO! The wooden kid trips the real kid with his big-ass shoe!

OH NO! The wooden kid trips the real kid with his big-ass shoe!

Zeke won. Luckily, he fell forward over the finish line. Pinocchio apologized (at least I think he did…he’s not allowed to talk, so he was grabbing his head with his hands and shaking back and forth. Maybe he was gesturing, “Oh, no! There goes my cushy meet ‘n greet job…back to CEO of Disney!”)

I thought all was forgiven…then we posed for our photo with Pinocchio:

Revenge is sweet, puppet-boy!

Revenge is sweet, puppet-boy!

Mark and I have come up with soooo many captions for this photo…we’ve laughed till our sides hurt! But I’m not gonna post them…not yet. I want you all to post yours first. Come on…I dare ya! Make me laugh! (but please remember that this is my darling son…) Just leave your captions in the comments for this post. Mark and I will pick a winner 6/30/09 (when our passes expire!) and send a little gift.

On your mark (or as Nate says, “Are you Mark?) get set…comment!