When Disneyland is “a little worse than my last vaccine”

An unexpected roller coaster connects two unpleasant experiences. And unlocks the magic of a child's mind.

When Disneyland is “a little worse than my last vaccine”

When Disneyland is “a little worse than my last vaccine” 892 668 Looking out Loud

This is 60-second Dadspeak—daily reflections on becoming a dad, while still growing up myself. You can find the full mini-pod audio list here.


My kids just got their second pediatric COVID vaccines. They hardly flinched when the shot when in. And the rest of the day, it was as if nothing happened.

This vaccine experience reminded me of a trip we took to Disneyland in Paris some years back, when my kids were 5 and 8.

We rode lots of age-appropriate rides that the kids loved. Buzz Lightyear and Slinky Dog were favorites.

Then the line finally died down for the indoor Finding Nemo ride called Crush’s Coaster.

“Let’s go!”

We had no idea it was a rollercoaster—who’s cars spun around backwards, zipped around corners, clanked up hills, and flew down drops.

I love rollercoasters, so I spent the whole ride holding and trying to comfort my 5-year-old with a huge smile on my face. But everyone else was some combination of terrified and/or sick.

When it finished, we exchanging our horror stories. When asked what he thought, my 8-year-old said matter-of-factly:

“It was a little worse than my last vaccine.”

He said it with a straight, thoughtful face. It was so unintentionally hilarious that we all burst our laughing.

It’s so funny the kinds of things kids say. And it’s so amazing the way they connect experiences and language at young ages.

If you have or are around kids in that 3-8-year-old language space, enjoy those little trains of thought. And if you’ve got any funny language learning or word play stories to share, I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

→ The day after their vaccines, they were tired, but fine. The perfect spot for a non-routine treat.



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