I used to LOVE the County Fair. I looked forward to it every year… Dad always made sure I came home with a blow up hammer (or pony or ball or unicorn) and a bag of cotton candy. We rode rides and saw all of our friends. We browsed exhibits and came home exhausted.
As a parent, I couldn’t WAIT to take my daughter to her first county fair. Taking Lacy that first year was fun… it was such a novelty, and we didn’t CARE how much we spent. Danny forked over more money than he’d like to mention to win her a little stuffed horse.
But Lacy was adorable. See? See how bald and wonderful she was? As we added Trenton to our family, so did we add the Demolition Derby to our “must do” list at the County Fair.
The fair always falls somewhere very near his birthday.
I am digging up old “County Fair” posts from my older blogs, and it’s making me remember what it felt like to hold my babies when they were babies.
“A few posts ago, I posted a picture of Lacy and I on the Carousel at the County Fair. I’m only telling you that because I have a few more pictures to post from the county fair and I’m not in any of them. Neither is Trent. But we were both there.
I was mostly behind the camera and Trent mostly hated the whole idea of the fair. I thought he was getting sick, but he wasn’t. He was just really angry that we hauled him to a place that was not only cold, but too loud and too busy as well. We went two nights in a row, and he cried two nights in a row.
Lacy, on the other hand, loves the fair. This was her third time going, and every time we go she goes nuts.”
Trenton always loved being home more than being away. Lacy? TOTALLY opposite.
This year was Alice’s FIRST year. As the years have gone on, the fair has changed. Prices have gone drastically UP, but our bank account has not. Last year we spent close to $100 in one night. We went home sick over it. This year, we seriously considered not going because
#1) The cost
#2) The grungy feel that’s hung around the fair lately. It smells like fried stuff and smoke and feel like an alley in a dark street.
#3) We had a third kid and suddenly felt like getting out of bed required a strange amount of inconvenient EFFORT.
In the end, we gave into the kids begging. Trenton has long since outgrown his desire to BE ALWAYS AT HOME and was wanting to go more than anyone. He had his heart set on the Ferris Wheel and a bag of cotton candy (he is SO my boy).
Danny and I relented and pulled our life savings out of our bank account (kidding. kinda). We didn’t go to the rodeo or anything like that… no Demolition Derby this year, either! We ended up saving a bundle and having the best time we’ve ever had!
Maybe it was because the older two weren’t into every pig pen and begging for toys. Maybe it’s because Alice seems to make everything seem fresh and brand new. Maybe it’s because every time I walk by the booths, I start humming the theme song from “State Fair” and that always makes everything better.
Maybe it was the fact that Lacy was the most popular kid at the petting zoo.
Maybe it was the way Trenton panicked when he was rushed by a small gaggle of goats.
“I hate this! I hate this! I want to throw my food!!!!”
Alice, on the other hand, was THRILLED with the sheep and goats. She couldn’t wait to get her hands on them, and because I was busy keeping her in my ARMS so she wouldn’t dive head first onto the back of a billy goat, I don’t have pictures.
Danny does. He should give me one. But he sometimes forgets how obsessed I am with pictures of babies petting goats.
Prolly cuz I’ve never told him.
The kids tipped the Statue People and took a picture with them in the which they don’t look uncomfortable or creeped out at all.
Trenton was a bundle of fun, making battle noises and wandering all over the place. He couldn’t WAIT to ride the Ferris Wheel, and when the time came he hopped on with Danny and Lacy.
I stayed on the ground and made a grown man very uncomfortable by breastfeeding next to him.
I used a cover.
But if you’re ever nursing a baby, you can have yourself a really good time by making eye contact with grown men as they walk by. FREAKS them out.
After the kids and Danny got off the Ferris Wheel, we decided to make one last round of the fair grounds before heading home. It was almost 10 in the PM, and the kids were just BEAMING with energy and happiness. Trenton was twisting his bag of cotton candy and skipping along as happy as I’ve ever seen him.
“Who would have thought eight dollars would bring so much happiness?” my husband laughed, “Four bucks for the cotton candy, four bucks for the tickets to ride THE Ferris Wheel.”
We had a good laugh. And then we had a good cry because we remembered how it used to cost half that for the SAME STUFF.
At the end of the fair, I talked Danny into a big cup of Homemade Mint Oreo ice cream from THIS BABY:
It was SO good! Homemade ice cream at a county fair! Mint! Oreos! It was my own version of Cotton Candy and a Ferris Wheel. After the ice cream was gone, we walked out of the fair and piled into our car where I took my ONE SOLITARY (sorry to be redundant, but I’m trying to emphatically make a point)… picture of Alice.
It’s of her wristband… we put it the only place it would stay, and stay it did.
The older two kids fell fast asleep as we drove home, forty dollars poorer. We remarked what a good time we’d had, how enjoyable the evening was, and giggled as our littlest baby piped in her two cents now and then… because she DIDN’T fall asleep on the way home. She refuses to be the weakest link.
We curled up as a family in the living room just after 10 pm and started a movie. The older two woke up and downed enough cotton candy to keep the awake through the entire movie. Mom fell asleep almost as soon as her head hit the pillow on the living room floor. Dad made Ramen noodles. Alice got her kicks trying to scale her mother.
And then at 2:44 in the AM, I woke up and found my entire family asleep in the living room together. It was just about the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen. There’s nowhere we’d rather be, really, than snuggled up on the living room floor -close enough to kick and hug and share cotton candy.
Today I feel like there’s lead in my feet and all I want to do is sleep! Maybe I just need to put “State Fair” on to up my Motivation Levels. Cheesiness has a way of delighting me.
Cheesiness and baby-petting-goat pictures.