Why does the fair always sound like a good idea? The swarms of people and the possibility I might actually run into someone I know is enough to send me into a panic attack. I hate the crowds, the pushing and shoving, the weaving, the “I’m going this way, no you are, no I will, no. whoa. excuse me.” dance I do with strangers in a silly game of chicken. So why do I get all excited to haul the kids over every year when the fair opens??
I don’t “do” rides (they make me sick now…a medical mystery), the games are far too tricky and over rated for me. Not to mention winning a giant overstuffed animal that we then have to walk around with for the rest of the night and get the luxury of finding a spot for amidst a bunch of already used and forgotten stuffed animals is not appealing.
I venture to say that it’s the food, and only the food, that drags my obese and lazy technology driven country from the comfortable confines of their sofas and reality tv into the mouth of the social jungle that is the fair grounds.
I say this for three reasons:
1. If it weren’t for the extra large, oil dipped, sugar dripped, cinnamon sprinkled piece of heaven we call the “elephant ear” I probably would not even bother going myself.
2. When I turned 16 and was old enough to start going with my friends, my mom started asking me to bring her home scones…and I’m pretty sure she’s never been back.
3. As I shared an ear of corn with my daughters we sat next to a handful of extremely obese fair goers eating enough food to feed a small herd of elephants. And I think they only went to the fair for the food because pretty much that’s what I heard them say. Butter and ice cream dripped down their chins as they walked away discussing what they wanted to eat next.
So food is the sole motivation for fair goers. OK, the food AND the memory making. I’m ALL ABOUT memory making and often agree to do things that are either messy or time consuming so that my kids will grow up and think they had a fun childhood. Or you can take the slightly morbid version of what I just said which is that if I die I want them to have lots of memories and pictures and letters showing how much I love them and how I am the best mom ever.
So I got the girls up Saturday morning and we were all excited about going to the fair. Them for the rides, me for that elephant ear. There was a possibility of snow, but it was a sunny morning and I already told them we were going so there was no turning back. By the time they were dressed and fed it was snowing. I don’t know what the deal is with snow in April lately. But. Whatever Mother Nature.
I tell the girls they’ll need warm jackets because it’s going to be freezing outside:
Maile: Noooo….I don’t wanna weara coat. I wanna be cold. Huh huhuh uhuuhuhuh. Nooooo, Mom huhuhuhuhuhuhuhu, I don’t wanna weara coat….
Blah blah blah. I ignored her and found her a coat and her whine escalated to a scream, at which point I stopped ignoring her:
“ENOUGH!!!! Do you want to go to the fair or NOT!?! I am YOUR MOTHER!!! If I say you need to wear a coat then you say “yes mom” and GO GET YOUR COAT!!! That’s how THAT works, NOW PUT YOUR COAT ON AND LET’S GO HAVE SOME FUN AT THE FAIR!!!!”
I could tell we were off to a good start.
Have I mentioned I am directionally retarded??? I don’t have A CLUE how to get places. I don’t do street numbers. I don’t do that whole “north south east west” thing. I drive the exact same way to and from places because I know if I try a “quicker” route that I will just get lost. Mapquest is my friend. When you try to give me directions and ask me if I am familiar with a certain area, or if I know where a certain street is, I enthusiastically nod my head yes, I’ll tell you that I know exactly what you are talking about. You will say, “oh Kathy, I read that blog where you said you lie to people and really don’t know where anything is” and I will lie to you again. It’s easier that way because if I say I DON’T know what you are talking about you go into MORE detail. Do I know this street? How about this one? It’s kind of close to the Fred Meyer at this street, do I know that!?! The answer is no. It will always be no. But I will always nod and agree in order to end the conversation that I hate having. Addresses actually work fine. I can mapquest the directions and we can avoid that entire conversation altogether.
Anywho, I have been to this particular fair at least once a year for every year of my life. I know exactly where it is. And I got lost. It took us maybe 45 minutes to get to a fair that is less then 20 minutes from my house. It’s one of those moments where I wish I could watch a map…the fair could be the X on the map and my car would be a little red dot driving in circles around it. I took a wrong exit off the freeway and ended up somewhere in the country where I didn’t know country existed. Lovely fields actually. Thought for sure I’d be able to spot a ferris wheel or something, but that wasn’t the case and instead of taking a turn here and there in the direction of the fair, I went ALLLLLL the way back to the exit and started over.
I just want to make it clear at this point that I am a college grad. I am not a stupid person…according to myself. And I communicate with elephants. I am THAT smart. So just because I am a little “challenged” in the direction department doesn’t mean I don’t know stuff. I know lots of stuff.
So we finally get to the fair and after getting to the front gates we had to go back to the car for my coat… and ended up taking Maile’s coat and shoes off to put her snow suit on and then took her shoes and coat back off and took the snowsuit off again (turns out she’s not a fan of navy blue). We unloaded the stroller that on second thought I decided we DID need and we were on our way!
We hit up the elephant ear stand first where I laid down 6 bucks for a taste of that sweet goodness. And it was worth every penny.
Rides were second on the list and it was so fun watching the girls run from line to line. This is the first time they’ve both been big enough to ride and they had SO much fun with each other.
Henry on the other hand, was having a tough time. Have I mentioned Henry? He was a little boy that happened to be on a lot of the same rides as the girls. I think the weather scared a lot of fair patrons from coming, because it seemed we were running into a lot of the same kids. Henry included. As I waited for my girls to emerge from the ball pit Henry came walking off the platform. Next thing I hear is Henry’s mom exclaim “OH HENRY!!!” At first I thought she found a candy bar, but when I glanced in the direction of her son I noticed a stream of water splashing down his pants into his rain boots. Aw man, sucks to be her I thought to myself. She’s gonna have to go ALL the way back to her car and change this little guys clothes.
Turns out that wasn’t the plan at all. Mama grabbed Henry and had a little pow wow with the Mr. and they proceeded to get in line for another ride. I think I just stood their staring…forgetting where I was until my children began tugging at my sleeves bringing me back to reality.
To the mom’s defense I will say, what was she supposed to do?? What if he didn’t have any other clothes?? Should she have taken him home?? Maybe bought some new pants at one of the fair exhibits? Stopped him from going on the rides? Still. I was glad the girls had finished up their tickets so that there was no chance of either of them sitting in a puddle of Henry’s piss at the next ride. I pity the fool who got stuck behind him…and poor Henry right?? Slushing around in pee filled rain boots for the rest of the day. Oh Henry.
When it was time to leave the hail started coming down. I tried to hurry the girls to the car, but getting them to move faster is like herding cats. I don’t think they know how to hurry. I noticed they take the longest to assume their positions in their car seats when it’s pouring outside. I think they wanted me to get as wet as possible as I waited to buckle them in.