July 31, 2016

the middle

Dealing with a birthday five short days after Christmas has always driven me nuts.  My special day has always been riddled with combo gifts, which is of course preferable to the also common no-gift-at-all.  Couple that issue with the impossibility of hosting a celebration at the pool in the dead of winter, and my dreams of achieving an awesome birthday evaporate as rapidly as snow melts on an unseasonably warm winter day.

Not only did my birth stink from a calendar perspective, but my arrival into a family with two older sisters was far from ideal.  With hardly enough time to settle into the family, the addition of two brothers the two consecutive years preceding my birth created an undesirable birth order ordeal.  Like it or not, I grew up a middle child with a birthday that not only landed right after Christmas, it now landed a few days after the second coming of Jesus . . . my Irish-twin brother. 

My older sisters' friendship was solidified before I even arrived on the scene.  They were exactly two years apart, and have always been close.  Our closest relatives, produced a girl cousin in between my two sisters.  Their close knit three-amigo relationship left little room for a pesky younger sister to infiltrate.  I grew accustomed to being excluded from roller skating outings, cousin sleep overs, and trips to the movie theaters.  I was told repeatedly that my age interfered with my inclusion.  Girl-cousin's two brothers attended baseball games and played lengthy games of running bases with my two brothers despite their even greater age difference, so the age argument left me scratching my head. 

With two years and four months between my next oldest sister and I, my family had a tendency to lump me in with my closer-in-age brothers.  As a result, my brothers played with me more frequently than my sisters did.  I longed to be included with my sisters, especially when my sisters invited friends over.  That just wasn't possible.  In order to play with my brothers, they assigned me the task of acting as the most undesirable character in whatever game we were playing.  When we played cowboys and Indians, I was automatically the bandit.  I was expected to assume the role of the bad guy by hiding out behind trees.  If either of them wandered past, I lunged out at them and chased them around the yard.  If I dared complain, my Irish-twin brother coldly threatened to release me from my duty of playing with them. 

The stories of when Mr. Irish-twin was born developed into folklore in our home.  Shortly after my birth, my organized, controlling, CPA father decided that he and my mother needed to change their breeding plan.  Rather than birth a child every other year, my Dad felt it was important to attempt to create a baby during the 'in-between' years.  He assured Mom that since the every-other-year thing had landed them three consecutive girls, this was their best chance at introducing a boy to their brood.  Their plan worked, and a few days after Christmas less than a year after I was born, my Irish-twin brother arrived.  My Mom's sister, mother of Girl-cousin who was my sisters' bestie, agreed to host a birthday party for me since Mom ended up still being in the hospital when I turned one.  My dad's parents had been caring for my sisters and I while my mother was hospitalized.  Back in the early 70's giving birth led to a lengthy week long hospital stay, so watching us was a big commitment. 

Grandma was a worry wart by nature.  She was troubled by my quick departure from the babyhood throne.  In order to compensate for what she perceived as my loss, she fed me - nonstop.  I guess you could say that she invented comfort food.  When my folks came to collect my sisters and I, the hood of my snowsuit no longer fit around my incredibly chubby face.  Grandma had overfed me all week and the results were visible. 

During the birthday party hosted by my Aunt, the adults plopped me on the floor in the middle of the scratchy, braided, wool area rug in my Aunt's basement.  Not exactly an early bloomer, I had showed no signs of walking.  The adults were presumably nearby, but while they were involved in conversation my Girl-cousin's younger brother who was a year and a half older than me approached me and took advantage of my sitting-duck status.  What I did to provoke him remains a mystery.  I can only assume I touched a toy that was within an arm's reach of my position on the rug.  Before any of the adults knew what was happening, he hauled off and punched me in the face.  The resulting shiner rounded out my less than cute and cuddly appearance.  The transformation I underwent during Mom's week long hospital stay shocked my folks.  My gargantuan size and blackened eye differed greatly from the perfect package the Irish-twin brother portrayed as he was cradled in their arms.

I spent much of my childhood begging my folks for a dog.  I felt I would benefit from a loyal playmate, who cared little about my gender or my age.  My middle child syndrome was interfering with my ability to gel with any of my siblings.  If anyone took sides, their close-knit brother or sister popped up to support them.  I had no one.  No one stuck up for me.  No one had my back.  I had to fend for myself and beg to be included in anything.  I didn't even have anyone to share my room.

The room thing changed when I was in about 3rd grade.  One day my folks announced that they felt it was time for my oldest sister to have her own room.  I moved into the room with my next oldest sister, and began to sleep in the matching canopy bed that had belonged to my two sisters.  A few nights later, a noise coming from my old room woke me up.  I stumbled from my new room rubbing my eyes.  Next door in my old room my parents struggled to control a tape measure.  They apologized for waking me and sent me back to bed.  I later learned that they were preparing for my oldest sister's new bedroom set.  I had asked for years to sleep in a bedroom set that hadn't previously been owned by my grandparents.  Now I realized that they had ousted me from my room because they collected antiques.  They hoped to find an antique set for my room.  Knowing that I couldn't be trusted with anything so fancy, they chose to swap my sleeping arrangements with those of my oldest sister.

My story continues over the years with similar situations.  Twin-brother was allergic to pets, so I couldn't get owning a dog I could bond with was out of the question.  Oldest sister constantly criticized me for copying her talented artwork.  No one explained to her that imitation is the highest form of flattery, so the animosity festered.  I was sandwiched between my parents' two smartest offspring.  When one was being praised for achieving amazing grades, accolades to the other smarty pants came in the blink of an eye.  Both of my brothers enjoyed athletic success and their sporting events quickly became the focal point of our family.  Although I was the most athletic of the three sisters, because neither of the older girls showed any promise in this department, no one encouraged me to 'just do it' until any hope I had of developing into a contributing member of a basketball team became a favorite family joke.

Of course I wouldn't trade my family for the world.  My position in the family may still frustrate me, but in the end my middle child status forced me to become who I am today.  I don't let people push me around.  I make friends easily.  Most importantly my sense of humor is as sharp as a tack, because I have learned to find humor in most situations. 

July 26, 2016


I'm not an astronaut dealing with atmospheric issues and stressing about whether or not reentry will go smoothly after a trip to outer space.  Nor am I a world traveler obsessing over the possibility of losing a passport and the associated hiccoughs revolving around reentering my home country in this worse case scenario incident.

My reentry concerns revolve around my difficulties coping with life after a weekend out of town.  I took Mini to St. Louis on Friday where she competed in back to back Irish dancing competitions.  Since my summer has been riddled with travels out of town for Irish dancing, college orientation, and a lengthy family vacation, I was unenthusiastic about heading to St. Louis for the weekend.  I did not anticipate returning home would be so strenuous. 

Mini placed in the top half of her competition in Milwaukee the weekend prior to our St. Louis trip.  This trophy registered as a 'win' on more than one level.  First of all, I was greatly relieved that Mini's quest to qualify for the Midwest Championships was successful.  After two, very discouraging, not-even-close results in Indianapolis and Louisville , I feared that I would spend every available weekend this summer chasing from one city to another to try to capture a win.  Secondly, the fact that our upcoming road trip to St. Louis was no longer necessary awarded me inner peace.  Because Mini hoped to qualify for the big dance competition, I registered her for the two St. Louis contests because the deadline popped up prior to her shot at winning in Milwaukee.  I decided to sign her up so that our mission to check this annoying task off of our list wouldn't be interrupted, or at the very least so that I wouldn't be stuck paying hefty late-entry fees.  I explained to Mini that I was willing to eat the non-refundable registration fee, if we could skip the four hour drive.  I admit that although I invested in some private lessons and enforced a daily practice regiment, my confidence was shaky that she could pull it off.  Despite tough competition, her name was announced during the awards ceremony and in an instant Mini and I were celebrating with a tight hug.  Her big trophy was sandwiched between us.

'We don't have to go to St. Louis next weekend,' I said as I exhaled into Mini's ear.  While we sat around for hours waiting for Curly's turn to dance, Mini admitted to me that she was still interested in dancing near the arch.  At first I was baffled.  Gradually I began to accept that the long weekend out of town made some sense.  Mini could dance in a competition without feeling the added pressure of qualifying.  Besides, I had already paid for the registration.  She might as well compete now, knowing that I would be expected to bring her to other contests in the coming months.  Although Mini loves to Irish dance, the stress can take a toll.  I was witnessing a positive vibe from her and I hated to shut it down.  I broke the news to Coach that I felt traveling to St. Louis made sense.  He pointed out that from a budget perspective spending money on a hotel to recoup registration fees didn't add up, but my hotel wasn't too pricey and I assured him I would bring our meals and snacks.  The hotel informed me that they had a microwave in the lobby and a fridge in our room.  Done.

Mini danced beautifully in the two back to back showcases.  She won something each day.  We relaxed with friends at the hotel pool after Saturday's competition, watched TV in our room while eating the dinners that I brought with us, and slept like babies in our separate beds.  Allowing enough time to attach a ridiculous wig to my child's head, navigate the drive to the dancing venue, and waking up my dancer in enough time to be ready without racing is historically not my strong suit.  This weekend I timed everything right and we had ample time to pin on her assigned number and warm up before she was called to line up to get on stage.  Despite the fact that our hotel room was inconveniently located in the farthest possible position from the lobby and I am confident that I was the only guest utilizing the microwave . . . repeatedly, overall it was a good experience.

Curly called my cell from home after Saturday's awards ceremony.  She was crying because Coach had put a movie on for she and Reggie while he went to workout and she had accidentally bumped the remote - shutting down the movie.  She insisted that I share the TV parental code with her so that they could continue their show.  I refused but solved the emergency by informing her about a DVD that I had just borrowed from the library.  'You can watch that movie instead,' I instructed her.  This small interaction in addition to a few text messages with Coach was the limited communication I had with home for most of the weekend.  The break was refreshing.

Coach had texted me asking me to send him cell phone numbers of a few parents who might have a kid interested in using a White Sox ticket.  I didn't mind that I had dodged the White Sox game bullet.  Sitting out in the incredible heat without access to a pool was not my idea of a good time.  I felt a bit bad that Coach needed to find willing game-goers to attend the game that my entire side of the family had decided to attend together months ago.  Coach recruited friends to use the tickets that Mini and I abandoned when we left town.  Additionally, he handed out Laddie and Eddie's tickets because they had opted to caddy.  He was busy tracking down folks with an open calendar while Mini and I trotted down to the distant lobby to purchase ice cream bars from a freezer next to my familiar microwave before our movie started.  Life felt good.

I suppose the 48 hours I was gone could be considered the calm before the storm.  Two and a half hours into our drive home, we ran into a horrid thunderstorm.  I struggled to see the road in front of me, which was made worse as my eyes darted over to the GPS where the minutes I had carefully cruised thru began to re-accumulate in our 'arrival time' window.  Coach was apparently on a conference call for one of his online classes.  Just as the storm started to let up, Tetenka began calling me with insignificant (and I suspected incorrect) information.  He claimed that he had bravely defended a few pieces of pizza so that Mini could eat them when we got home.  For his next trick call, I endured an audibly frustrating chase followed by what I assumed was a wrestling match.  His shrieks of laughter alternated with those of terror.  He tried to convey a message that despite his best efforts the remaining pizza leftovers had been eaten.  Next he alerted me that three trees had fallen down in our yard.  I demanded to speak to Coach, but was told he was unavailable.  The nonsensical phone calls were beginning to make sense.  Fabulous.  If my knuckles weren't already white from gripping the steering wheel, now they were white from being balled up into fists.

We arrived home to the kitchen table scattered with plates and half empty milk cups.  Kids were playing cards in the family room.  Accumulated piles of crumbs littered the kitchen floor.  When I asked Curly if she had (finally) finished her book, Curly screamed at me, 'No!  Because Daddy is fun!'  A bucket filled with dirty water still sat in the corner of the kitchen with a dirty rag in it.  In order to avoid getting stuck in traffic on our trip to St. Louis, I had failed to empty the water after I scrubbed the kitchen floor.  Of course washing the floor on my hands and knees moments before leaving out of town was not originally on my 'to do' list, but Reggie spilled most of a container of orange juice and his clean up efforts were unimpressive.  Kids mouthed off to me when I requested that they help unload our luggage and the cooler from the car.  Mini and Curly were reduced to tears when they realized I would not allow them to stay up past 10pm.  10pm!!!!  To Coach's credit, a load of laundry had been started, but several more begged- at the very least- to be sorted.  Someone with wardrobe challenges after a shower had left a wet towel in a heap atop a stack of clean laundry on the dryer.  Laddie expressed relief that I was home so he could eat a real meal, which reminded me that I would need to hit the grocery store first thing in the morning.  Reggie admitted as he marched up to bed that he had neglected to collect his baseball equipment and uniform needed for baseball camp bright and early the next morning.  No one had been able to figure out what forms needed to be printed off the computer in order for me to fill them out and drop them off with Reggie at the camp.

By the time Coach exited the study after his unexpectedly lengthy, unscheduled conference call, my brain hurt.  Turns out I would take the mile long hike thru a maze of confusing hallways to reach a microwave, so long as it was a microwave that I didn't need to clean- located inside a hotel that changed sheets and picked up towels. I wasn't sure I was ready to reenter my real life.

July 18, 2016

teenage lies

Despite what my offspring believe, I was a teenager once - as was Coach.  Coach and I were both raised by strict parents, who expected us to work hard and save money for college.  We spent time with friends, but more time was allocated to our jobs.  Coach worked as a caddy alongside my two younger brothers.  The three of them made great money hauling golf bags around for members of an exclusive golf course.  I funded my pricey private college education by caring for other people's kids.  I babysat so much, I feared that I would find raising my own family boring.  Update:  boredom is not an issue. 

Laddie, Eddie, and Tetenka caddy at a private golf club less than 15 minutes away from home.  By showing their faces consistently and waiting for hours on end, they have built a reputation at the golf club.  Some golfers have occasionally requested them.  They typically make good money.  If they don't show up, they don't make anything.  Because they get paid in cash, it is hard to track what they have made.  Coach created a spreadsheet on the computer to assist them in calculating their earnings.  If they input dummy information, we would be none the wiser.  That wouldn't typically be an issue unless your teenage son, who is about to go off to college, has trouble with honesty.

Laddie prefers not to wait around for a loop.  He enjoys swimming in his friend's backyard pool.  Workouts are instrumental to this future college football player.  He lives his life around his college issued fitness program.  Meanwhile, his dirty laundry piles up in the hallway outside the laundry room.  I have refused to wash his clothes since the fall when he treated me with disrespect and displayed an entitlement issue concerning the things that I did for him.  While he regularly desperately tries to wiggle out of his caddy job, he certainly isn't utilizing his time to organize his room and clean his clothes.  Lounging on the couch in the cool basement playing Xbox or toying with his always entertaining phone consume his free time.  Littering the bathroom floor with soiled boxers and inside out sweat socks happens to be another one of his strengths.

Although we don't live in a very affluent area, I'm becoming convinced that his friends don't have jobs.  Perhaps they secretly have trust funds brimming over with cash.  Why work if the trust fund is poised to handle any tuition needs that arise? 

While Laddie might claim that his parents are slave drivers, his social life is far from deprived.  I can count on one hand how many times this recent high school grad has been home in the evening.  He manages to have plans with friends every night of the week.  It's mind boggling.  The number of graduation parties he has attended is staggering.  I wasn't even aware that he knew this many kids in his graduating class. 

A few weeks ago we caught him in a lie.  He claimed that he caddied, but the timing of the loops his brothers got and the loop he pretended to have didn't jive.  The thing about lies, or at least the thing about Lad's lies, are that they are never fool proof.  Our oldest son may think we are fools, but he is as wrong there as he is in believing that he is entitled to more time with his friends.

Because I was once a teenager (I swear it happened - I even have the bad hair pictures from the 80's to prove it), I remember trying to squeeze out as much fun with my soon-to-be-dispersed-around-the-country high school friends.  There were nights I wasn't able to go out.  I had prior babysitting commitments.  Unlike carrying a guy's golf clubs around at the last minute, promising to watch a gaggle of kids is no easy responsibility to shirk.  My parents drew a line.  So did my friends' parents.  We didn't expect to string together countless nights of fun peppered with day trips to the beach or the mall.  All good things must come to an end.  I'm hoping that if we come down hard enough on Laddie that he will learn this lesson. 

As Laddie and Eddie traveled home from their mission trip Saturday, I texted them to let them know that Tetenka had added their name to a list of caddies available to caddy in a 27 hole tournament today.  Mondays are usually a caddy's only day off.  Knowing this, I scheduled two doctor appointments for Lad that needed to be handled before he went away to school.  Because there have been a number of missed caddy opportunities thanks to weather, mission trips, and friends, I agreed to reschedule the doctor appointments when Tetenka called from the caddy shack to ask if he should sign himself up along with his brothers who were still away on a mission trip. 

Laddie called me from the van bringing them home from the Indian reservation where they had been all week.  He was distressed about the fact that he was expected to caddy today.  He couldn't possibly caddy.  He and his friends had made plans to go to the beach in the city.  I pointed out that he knew about the doctor visits weeks ago, so regardless of whether or not he caddied in the tournament at the course he still had doctor appointments which overruled a beach trip.  He begged and pleaded for  awhile, but by the time he arrived home from the mission trip, he seemed to have accepted his reality. 

Coach admitted that he felt sorry for Lad.  I reminded him that this was a kid who had assured us that he had written his graduation thank you notes prior to leaving on the mission trip.  When I grabbed the stack in order to stuff them in the envelopes that were already addressed and stuffed with Curly's First Communion thank you notes, I found that the cards were still blank.  Had Coach forgotten how annoyed he was that Laddie was hanging out with friends every night of the week?  I wasn't ready to feel sorry for a kid who drove our car, hung out with his friends, and had been recently pretended to caddy.  The situation was unfortunate, but if the golf course had a decent caddy master who alerted kids about upcoming tournaments in a timely fashion, then we wouldn't be struggling with this problem. 

It rained last night.  Most of our beach towels were on the deck drying.  Oops.  In order to go to the pool today, I raced upstairs to grab a spare towel that I knew was in the laundry room.  We had already rustled up a few other towels.  The magenta towel that had been been spared from the rainstorm on the deck was not on the dryer where I had seen it last night.  That riddle along with Laddie's willingness to fold were red flags. 

I took Reggie to the high school this evening for a swim team tryout.  The fact that our youngest son wants to add another high intensity sport to our hectic schedule is a subject for another post.  It is true that he does an excellent job swimming for our little summer swim team.  Another hefty financial and time consuming commitment in the shape of another sport isn't my idea of good sense.  Anyway - a high school kid showed up to tryout for the club swim team and waltzed through the door right behind us.  He was still wearing his caddy clothes.  I know him by name and I asked him if he saw Laddie caddy today in the tournament.  'No,' he said as he shook his head.  Then I asked if my other two caddies were present and accounted for, 'Yes.'  Interesting.  Timing is everything.  It was just that simple. 

Dealing with a sneaky kid who would rather not work, who is over committed to football, and who fails to recognize that any money he doesn't earn for college will need to be borrowed from a bank is far from simple.  Life was a hell of a lot simpler when I babysat for other people's kids. 

July 9, 2016

how to do Disney

It seems that most people fall into one of two categories:  Disney lover, or Disney hater.  I happen to love Disney.  It had only been a year and a half since our family took a vacation to Disney World in Orlando.  When the Irish dancing National Championships landed us back in Orlando over July 4th weekend, I couldn't resist stopping at the parks for a few days of fun.

Only Curly was actually competing, but I invited Tetenka, Mini, and Reggie along for kicks.  Coach frowned upon my generosity.  After surviving a particularly trying Irish dancing experience in the fall, I countered that my plan was to turn this Irish dancing event into a positive experience.  No matter what.  Besides, just because the older kids of the family no longer qualify for expensive Disney tickets doesn't mean that the younger kids shouldn't be treated to a bit more Disney fun.  Coach was quick to share that his willingness to participate in awesome Disney days expired after our last visit.  Curly is only eight, so if her devoted Irish dancing career causes us to end up down the street I feel like squeaking out a little more magic for her.  The siblings were entitled to jump in and join us because together they create lasting memories. 

I reserved a hotel room near the convention center that was hosting the dancing competition, and chose to stay there for all four nights of our trip rather than switch to a Disney property once Curly was done competing.  Since our rate was $150 a night, I couldn't justify an additional $300 a night to be on Disney property.  Our hotel boasted a free shuttle to Disney parks and a twisty slide in the enormous pool.  Done.

I began mapping out other ways to save money a few weeks before our trip.  I organized two boxes of food and shipped it to the hotel in advance of our arrival.  Boxing up granola bars, cereal, cookies, crackers, rice krispie treats, apple juice, granola, peanut butter, applesauce, trail mix, flavored popcorn, paper bowls, cans of mandarin oranges, plastic ware, and protein bars would make preparing breakfast, lunch, and snacks fast and affordable.  I limited the kids in the amount of clothes they could pack to allow space in our luggage for a soft sided portable cooler.  I froze enough of my homemade Sloppy Joe's to feed us two dinners.  Yogurt, cheese sticks, lunch meat, small milk and orange juice containers, Molly's prescription amoxicillin, and four apples were shoved into the cooler in the bag that we planned to check.  Bread and buns placed carefully in Tupperware containers to avoid being smashed rounded out my strategic menu packing plan.  The size of the in-room fridge delighted me.  Once our groceries were loaded, it looked like we were ready to stay for a week.

After the cold food was unpacked, I realized that I had failed to inquire about the shipped boxes during check-in.  A few days prior, I had confirmed that the boxes had arrived by using the tracking numbers.  When I called the front desk to ask where I could find my special deliveries, I was told that the package room was closed on Sunday.  I suffered a mini panic attack realizing that the next day was July 4th.  If the package room was closed on a Sunday, then surely it wouldn't be open on a holiday.  Suddenly my hunger pains increased.  I played my celiac disease card and informed the hotel employee that I needed my boxes as soon as possible because of my diet restrictions.   Besides, I pointed out, when I asked the staff if it was OK for me to ship boxes to the hotel in advance of my stay no one mentioned that I wouldn't be able to access the deliveries if I arrived on a Sunday.  The employee assured me that when the front desk wasn't so busy they would find someone to open the package room.

We ate an early dinner of Sloppy Joe's since our snack stash was still not on hand.  After a few more 'where are my boxes' phone calls, we hung out at the pool for a few hours.  Before heading back to the room, I stopped by the front desk.  No one knew anything about my boxes.  One of the bell hops agreed to take me personally to the package room.  We drove there in a hotel minivan, and I grabbed my boxes.  Tetenka and Reggie had accompanied me in order to help me haul the loot back up to our room.  I feared that my boys constant need to eat would lead to them ripping open the boxes before we had gotten out of the minivan.  At last our dry food stores joined our cold groceries, and we scarfed down snacks while kids rotated in and out of the shower in preparation for bed.

I packed enough snacks to get us through our day of dancing.  The boys whined incessantly begging for the dancing portion of the trip to be complete.  I reminded them that since dancing was the reason for our journey to begin with, they should zip their mouths and support their sister.  On one of his tours of the enormous convention center and hotel, Tetenka stumbled upon a spot where they were handing out free Popsicles to celebrate the 4th.  He and Reg circled back a few times to scam additional frozen treats from the employees.  Tetenka decided that after each shift a fresh, clueless employee would surface and if they played their cards right no one would realize they had already scored a free treat.  So proud.

With dancing behind us, we anxiously shifted our focus to our Disney adventure.  I loaded the small, insulated lunch box with sandwiches and cheese sticks, milk and juice.  Other draw string bags held our apples, banana, bowls, spoons, empty water bottles for sharing drinks, and dry snacks galore.  We arrived at the Magic Kingdom almost an hour early.  We staked out a spot on the pavement where I laid out bowls, offered the two varieties of cereal, poured juices, and dug out plastic spoons.  Just before I poured the milk a man standing in front of us with his family turned and observed us.  He stood dumbfounded until he finally said, 'I feel like I need to take a video of this and post it to YouTube as a 'How To' movie.  This takes organization and dedication.'  Although I was moving at a hectic pace to ensure the kids had time to finish their breakfast before the park opened, I acknowledged his compliment with a broad smile and a small chuckle.  I pointed to the bags and explained that I had lunch packed as well.  I told him I would have packed him a sandwich if only I knew what he preferred.  If he had only seen what lengths I went to to claim my box of food back at the hotel.  I shared with him that as a mother of six, I had developed many ways to save money when it came time to feed my clan while traveling.  I told him about the crock pot dinners we feasted on last month at Glacier National Park, and the Sloppy Joe's that sustained us for the last two nights in Orlando.

My kids ate their breakfast looking less than impressed with their budget conscious mom.  Because they are always envious of the families who enjoy meals at restaurants, they failed to appreciate the man's round of applause directed at us while I was clearing the disposable breakfast dishes and packing up any remaining food.  I reminded them that large families don't usually find extra dough in their budget to afford a visit to Disney World in the first place.