It's beginning to look a lot like... Fair Time! The smell of cotton candy and funnel cakes, the taste of candied apples, and spectacle of lights and the mud-slinging Derby are just a few of the fun and exciting things we enjoy about the county fair. This year, after much debate, we decided it was time once again to venture out and spend (ick, ugh, blegh) money on a little entertainment.
As a penny pincher, I absolutely loath spending money on whimsical nonsense. But, I'd just about go in debt to see my children smile. If those memories cost a little green to make, then so be it. But, now you understand why it's been 5 years since we last attended one of these shin-digs!
It was pretty warm, I am not going to lie. The humidity was up, but for the most part, there was a gentle breeze at times, and a little cloud cover every now and then which helped keep us cool. Thankfully, one of the main buildings was air conditioned, and we sought reprieve more than once!
We started off with a visit to the livestock exhibit. We saw goats, sheep, cows, bulls, pigs, rabbits, roosters and hens. Our favorite was the pigs! Hubby had a rooster crow at him, and Kelley held a staring contest with a hen. I'm not sure who won, but she was fully entranced with her. I'm not sure what the hen thought.
The rides were typical this year, but several favorites were replaced with less than comfortable alternatives. Tle Ferris Wheel, Carousel, Zipper (Scrambler in my day), and Pharoah's Fury were there. The Paratrooper was replaced with the Glider. There was no Octopus, no Zipper, and no Tilt-a-whirl. Instead, the Rock-o-planes, the Moby Dick, and some sort of Dino-spinner were brought in.
While I am not one for rides that go upside down (unless it's a roller coaster), I avoided those rides. The boys were enthusiastic, but after seeing the length of the line and how long it took to get on, they diverted to another ride. Kelley rode the ferris wheel for the first time, accompanied by her older brother, and smiled from ear to ear. Later we rode it together, and she called me a scaredy cat. Probably because I was flipping out! I don't like heights and the ferris wheel reminded me of that as soon as we got to the top.
Then we took on the carousel. That was easy and my grandmother's favorite! Then she rode some kiddie rides, took on the Fun Slide more times than I could count, and then we rode the sizzler. Now. Here is where I recall the 'fun' of rides... and also when I realized I am no spring chicken, but rather, a fat goose whose time was up! That ride hurt! I am still hurting from it. Not because it slung my head and neck so far to the right that I have a muscle spasm. Not because it went so fast that the ride didn't last long at all. But because my belly has gotten bigger and the ride barely closed! How embarrassing. What's more - the attendant said he'd have trouble getting me out of it. Well, that sealed my fate right there. By the time the ride was over, my lower belly was hurting. Not like a stomach ache hurting, but like I had been kicked in the gut repeatedly. It was tender to the touch and truth be told, I should have gotten off when I realized how tight it was. But then, I looked at my daughter, who was having the time of her life.
"You can do this, woman! Muscle up and handle this!" I said to myself, as my daughter began to get more excited as the ride started up. "Thirty seconds to one minute. I can handle this."
Nope. By the time the ride ended, I could already feel my lower half brusing. "Just imagine what it's doing to your insides!" my anxiety screamed at me. "You and your love for your kids. It's gonna kill you, ya know?" It rattled on some more. Finally, we were off the ride, my knees were shaking, I felt sick to my stomach (probably due to the heat and large water consumption), and I needed to sit down. The boys took Kelley back to the fun slide so I could rest for a minute. Then the anxiety got ahold of me again. "What if she falls off the slide?". Gathering both chairs (hubby had gone to the restroom), our backpack filled with water bottles, I nearly ran to see her getting to the top, all smiles and laughing as she slid down on her rag rug.
After having spent over 6 hours at the fair, we were exhausted, tired, hot, and some of us were in pain, but we decided to stay for the derby. It would start in thirty minutes. We headed to the arena and were approached with a high volume of people returning to the midway.
"Derby is cancelled folks. Sorry for the inconvenience," a man said.
"What? How can they cancel the derby? There isn't a rain cloud in sight!" was my reply.
"Well, they only had three people enter, and that isn't a derby." He said.
"We. Are. Going. Home." Came from all three children and myself. A few steps later, my husband stops and says, "Wait. Now just wait a dog-gone second." We stop and turn to look at him, the sun scorching our faces, our eyes tightened to see him.
"What about the cotton candy?" He said in a very disappointed tone,
Mind you, we had paraded up and down the midway until my feet felt numb. Kelley couldn't walk any longer.
"Kanon, Kelley and I will take this stuff to the car. Here is some money. You and Kody walk back and get it. I'll have the AC on when you get back." I said to him. I mean, really, I wanted cotton candy, too, and we had refused to pay outrageous prices on carnival food in order to have our really favorite item: That pink and blue, fluffy, sugary, send my A1C into a tizzy, yummy to the tummy goodness called cotton candy!
By the time they returned, we were hell on wheels to get out of the parking area and back home. And upon entering our apartment, three things I was certain:
1. We are all introverts in this house. Too much stimulation and we go into mental and physical shut down.
2. Central Air Conditioning is something we will never take for granted again.
3. The next time fair season rolls around, we'll drive out of state if we have to, so that the weather is cooler and more enjoyable!
In all, a good time was had and memories were made. We took this morning off from school because we were all still recuperating from our adventures. I told my husband that I felt like I had been in a car wreck - my body still hurts. The kids, too, have been moving at a much slower pace today -- they haven't even argued! I guess they are still too tired!
The point of this post is lacking, but I'll try to summarize it here.
When given the opportunity to make memories with your kids, do it. Just be prepared for the unexpected and take it with every bit of grace and poise that you can.
Welcome! My name is LaVonda. I am the wife of Rodney, the mom of 5 remarkable kids (well, 2 are adults now), an avid homeschooler, blogger, and sociologist. I am blessed with the ability to spend my time sharing our homeschool and life experiences with you. It is my hope to provide you with motivation, ideas, and some candid stress-relief through my blog - Mom's Scribe! Grab a cup of coffee, sit on down, and make yourself at home!