Is there a child in the world who doesn't consider fair season as their favourite? Right behind Halloween season, of course...
When I was a little girl, my parents would dress my brothers and me all up (and I am talking smocked bishop and jon-jon's) and make us go watch sheep being sheared, cows being milked and various other agricultural demonstrations at the mid-south fair. I think we had to log approximately 2 full hours at the animal exhibits for every one hour we were allowed to ride. Not to say that I didn't like the animals, but...after a while all I could think of was the Ferris-wheel and the fair food. Don't think for one minute that I miss the irony of it now that we actually live on a farm and do some of the things we used to only watch.
So I vowed, not to make my kids watch any animal exhibits at the fair if they didn't want to. We did see some cute rabbits one year and they almost talked me into getting one, but thankfully there were no slick salespeople there at the time and I had the presence of mind to resist.
Our Annual Fair Excursion took place last Wednesday night. Even though the Mainbain was out of town on business, we went with lots of cousins and aunts and uncles to help keep up with the hordes of children in our possession.
We crossed a threshold this year. Stringbain and limabain are actually big enough to ride REAL rides. You know the ones - they spin and they roll and bump and onlookers wonder if they are going to throw up. There are actual teenagers getting on and off of the rides they ride. My brother (32) goes with them and he comes back breathless. It is so much fun to watch them have so much fun. Kind of like Christmas, but without the huge outlay that takes to produce.
I head over to the smaller rides for 3-5 year olds. At the very first ride feel like I should have brought a pocket full of dollar bills to bribe the carnies to let almost tall-enough butterbain (2, going on 12) on the rollercoaster shaped like a - and this is soooo scary - caterpillar! No dice, they won't let him on, and as I explain that he's too little he puts his hands on his hips and stomps his foot and says rather loudly -"I am NOT LITTLE, MOM!" In an effort to avoid receiving therapy bills at some point in the future, I eagerly try to mitigate his concerns - "No you're not little, just a bit shorter than your brother. See, on this post it says you have to be this tall....and you're not..." my voice trails off and I pause wondering if he's going to buy this argument and miraculously he does. Crisis averted we head off to the race cars and not only is he mollified, he has to do "that one again, because they go so fast!"
Time flies at the fair and before you know it the cotton candy crash begins. Almost on cue, they all start begging to go in different directions and ride just a few more rides. I can't resist staying with the older boys since my saint brother and sisterinlaw offer to take butterbain home with them. We map out our final loop and mexcianjumpingbain is actually tall enough to go on one of the REAL rides with his brothers. Am I crazy to say that I am proud that he rides that REAL ride by himself?!
The final ride is the zipper and there is a long line - I almost try to talk them out of is since it's a school night and it is late, but the fair is only once a year and they are so desperate....so Mexcianjumpingbain and I go off in search of adventure while they wait. We find a fishing game, and he has his own money, so he does it. You know what it is, right? There's a pool of water with fish that have magnets and he sticks his pole in and catches one and wins a prize. Only he can't get his prize after just one fish is caught - he has to catch fourteen fish to win. Afterwards he tells me he "really worked up an appetite with all that fishing," that's why he could finish his foot long corn dog.....
As we get back to the zipper, stringbain, limabain and cousin E are finally boarding. I really hadn't looked at this ride closely, but it's terrifying. You are locked in a metal cage that spins and turns through the air and there's not much to hold onto in the cage. We watch them go up and try to watch their cage, but can't tell where they are - just hear their screams and I wonder if this was a good idea. They are literally breathless as they get off, saying that it was the BEST.RIDE.EVER.
As we head to the car, they all take turns musing why the fair doesn't come to town every week or month and the conjectures continue all the way home.
Since we stayed until almost closing and I let them ride the zipper, I was bestowed with that most coveted of all mom titles - The Alien Mom. She's the one that looks like your regular mom, but says yes a lot more than no...
Being the Alien Mom is the BEST RIDE EVER for me -