I have this love for the state fair. For one, it’s usually an indicator that the heat of summer is over and fall is underway. For another: FOOD. I have a weakness for all of the fried, terrible foods.
(Except the Krispy Kreme burger. I’m sorry, but no. I love Krispy Kreme donuts, and I love sloppy joes, but put them together, and just the thought makes me want to hurl. I actually saw someone eat one of those and I couldn’t stop the involuntary gagging.)
Catie loves the state fair, and Lucy had never been before. This past Friday, the kids’ daycare was closed for a teacher workshop day, and it was Catie’s last day of her track-out break (she started her 2nd term of first grade today). So since I had no childcare options, I decided to take the day off work and take the kids to the fair.
And this is where I learned two major down sides of taking a two year-old to the state fair:
* The stroller. OMG the stroller. The fair is far too big and spread out to NOT bring the stroller, and it is damn near impossible to navigate the crowd WITH the stroller. I usually have a “bob and weave” approach to crowds, I like to move quickly to get where I need to go. Pushing a 30-pound toddler with a 20-pound backpack (supplies for the day) in the storage compartment makes it impossible to move at anything other than a snail’s pace.
* The rides. I didn’t realize this, but all of the rides, even the tiny baby rides, all have minimum height requirements. So we go to the Kiddie Land part of the fair (because Catie is a chicken about rides and won’t do anything too adventurous or scary anyway), and they both see this ride that is basically five little boats that go around in a circle at about 4 miles an hour.
So they both see it, and they’re both, “BOATS!!” Ok then. We get in the line for the boat ride, and when we get to the front, the ticket lady points at Lucy and says, “She’s too little.” Wait, what? This is one of the most babyish of baby rides! How can my ginormous toddler be too little for it?
Because the minimum height is 36 inches. And Lucy is maybe 33 inches tall at the most.
So Catie got on the ride and Lucy cried, “Boats! BOOOOOOOOATS!” the whole time. It was pretty awful.
(And I mean… seriously? Look how HUGE Catie is on that ride? It was DESIGNED. FOR. TODDLERS. WTF, fair people?)
That continued for pretty much the rest of the day. Lucy could only go on the rides where I could go with her (so, the merry-go-round and spinning teacups and things like that), and she sobbed and wailed for all of the rides that she couldn’t go on. I felt awful for her.
[Aside: one of the rides that Lucy and I did together? Was a little mini-ferris wheel shaped like a fire truck. Lucy freaking LOVED it, and it scared the crap out of me. I am not a fan of heights. And Catie takes after me in this regard, because she stayed on the ground with Chris while Lucy and I rode the fire truck, and looked at us like we were crazy.]
On Saturday, Chris was going to the fair with his kids and his two nieces, and we decided to drop Lucy with my parents so Catie and I could go to the fair to meet up with them. I felt bad leaving Lucy, but she loves getting her grandparents’ attention all to herself, and I figured that I was saving us all a lot of frustration by not bringing her. No stroller, no worries about height requirements, we’re good to go.
(For the record, that boat picture above is from Saturday. I didn’t take any pictures at the fair on Friday when I was trying to comfort Lucy the whole time.)
So! Me, Chris, and 5 (count ’em) kids at the fair. Although, his nieces are 11 and 12 years old and they’re SO well-behaved, there wasn’t really much supervision needed there at all.
Catie really likes Chris’s kids a lot, and she seemed to like the nieces too, but the problem was that the other 4 kids are a lot braver than she is about trying new things, so while Catie would’ve been happy to stay in Kiddie Land the whole time, the others were wanting to go on rides with names like the Ring of Fire and the Zipper.
I talked Catie into going on the Tilt-a-Whirl with me. It was one of my favorite rides as a kid, and I figured, hey, it’s not scary, right? It just spins you around, but it’s not like it involves heights or flips you upside down or anything.
I took a selfie of us right before the ride started.
Ok, so I forgot that the Tilt-a-Whirl kinda sucks. Catie screamed, “OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OHHHH MYYYY GODDDDD MOOOOOOMMMMMMYYYYYY!!!!” the whole time. (Note that she NEVER says “oh my god,” ever, it’s usually “oh my gosh,” so this was basically my kid’s version of major profanity.) I held onto her tightly and kept laughing the whole time so she’d think it was ok, but seriously? I was ready for the ride to be over after the first 30 seconds.
When it was over, she said that she hated it and she was never going to trust me ever again about trying new rides. Fair enough, kiddo, I’ll be ok if I never go on the Tilt-a-Whirl again either.
I told her that I was proud of her for trying it, even though she hated it, because that’s what life’s all about: you try new things. Sometimes you find something you love, sometimes you find out that it’s something you hate, and you never have to do it again. But at least you’ve tried it, so you KNOW.
It started to rain on us before we left the fair on Saturday, but we didn’t really mind it all that much, and overall it was a really great day.
Hopefully next year, when Lucy is a little bit taller and we don’t rely on the stroller as much, it’ll be even better.