Fair or Carnival?
Confession: I have yet to take my kids to the fair. There. I said it. Usually I'm the kind of mom who is brave enough to tackle any outing with my kids, even as the only adult, and am more than willing to pile up more children to come along. My motto: Expect the worst so it feels like a huge success when only one or two things go right!
But I'm afraid of the fair. There are SO many people, so many overpriced games that my kids probably aren't able to play anyway, and it's dirty. I'm afraid of my kids getting lost or just being sorely disappointed they can't have and do everything, while their eyes are hearts are hyped up by all the lights. I'm sure it's not nearly as bad as I think it will be, and of course there are the animals and quilts and prize vegetables to combat all the grit. I just haven't been brave enough to face it. In five and a half years. On top of it, I don't think my littles are really aware of the fact that it's happening. They haven't asked to go, and I don't think they have any idea what they're missing out on.
[Insert the I-feel-kinda-bad-about-what-I-just-told-you-but-I'm-still-hoping-I-can-get-away-with-it grin here]
Maybe next year?
With that said, I try to choose kid outings wisely. I want to get the most bang for my buck, and I want the chaos to be somewhat controlled. Thankfully, there are plenty of other carnivals, outdoor festivals, and pumpkin patches occuring this time of year that I am NOT afraid of! So, when my sister-in-law invited us to my nephews' school carnival, I was up for the challenge.
Jenks East Elementary held a great event last Friday with several bounce houses, pedal operated go-karts, a cake walk, face painting, baloon creations, and even live entertainment all for $5.00 admission per child. Adults were free. That's my kind of carnival. Plus, since it was sponsored by an elementary school, I knew we were guaranteed activities aimed at children 5 and under.
My brother and sister-in-law live in a neighborhood near the school, in a home that backs up to a creek. If you follow the creek and pass through a patch of woods, you walk right into the grounds of the school. We love romping around in the woods behind their house, and the kiddos were excited about the adventure of walking to the carnival.
Once we arrived, the first thing we saw were the bounce houses. You can see the awe in this picture, can't you?
What's even sweeter is he wore his Mickey Mouse shirt that day. He stood there in front of the Disney bounce house and sang, "M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E!" What a cutie pie. I know, I'm biased.
There was also something precious about him being the smallest one in line, waiting patiently for his turn.
Both of my littles were brave enough to go on this super high slide! I was so proud of them. Here's Aidan at the top of the slide. For the life of me I couldn't get my camera phone to snap a pic mid-ride! That's what I get for letting my REAL camera battery die. Boo.
The second biggest thrill of the evening: go-karts. I've got to find out what company provides these. They are the coolest things!
No gas, just pedal! My littles needed a little help turning the wheels and getting them going, but they didn't mind a bit!
And (drumroll please) the number one attraction of the evening: balloon creations! We stood in line for-e-ver, even longer than the long line we stood in (3 times) to ride the go-karts! What did Aidan want when he finally got his turn? Ninja Turtle? No. Butterfly? Nope. He was very specific, "We want cool hats, swords, and belts to put our swords in."
They had no problem getting after the request! Here they are getting their belts sized. Hilarious!
And watching and waiting patiently for swords...
Girding up for battle. Sword one.
Ta-da! Notice their hats are connected. The balloon people were calling them brother hats!
Which inevitably ended up on my head because little man was annoyed by big man pulling him around. The best part about this is we were approached by a PTA mom who wanted to take our picture for the yearbook. I didn't have the heart to tell her we don't attend Jenks East. Is it bad that I secretly think it's awesome that we might actually end up in the year book? I don't think so.
Next up: face painting. Alec wanted "light savers." Yes, we've told him a hundred times it's not "savers," but I think he prefers that pronunciation!
Aidie wanted OU on one cheek and OSU on the other cheek. He's his own Bedlam rivalry! Have I ever mentioned we don't really watch much football at our house? Like...none at all?
And off to the cake walk. How does it always happen at events like this that I get stuck holding everthing while the munchkins play? Classic.
After a near meltdown from Aidan spending 30 or more minutes walking around that cake walk without winning a donut, the number calling lady finally had mercy on him and gave him one. Alec had long since scarfed his win. Bless his heart; I've never seen a kid so jumpy. Aidan didn't quite understand it's just luck of the draw with games like cake walks. He was trying SO HARD to listen and be on a square when that music stopped! Not sure if he learned perseverance or if he just learned that eventually someone will feel sorry for you and let you have a donut; either way we all left happy campers.
Just as the sun began to set, we ventured back towards the forest to head home for pizza. That's where the real excitement began. Poor Aidie, still trying to relax from the anxiety of the cake walk, tripped and skinned both knees and hands right at the tree line. He screamed louder than he has in a very long time. I unloaded everything from the stash in my arms to hoist him into a piggy-back ride just in time for him to simmer on his sniffling and say he was okay to walk. Thanks, kid. As if that all weren't enough, somehow he got too close to some branches and ALL the balloons attatched to his body popped and died. It sounded like fireworks! He was HORRIFIED, screaming, sobbing, and quivering he was so upset! He was definitely ready to be carried at that point.
After a great evening at the carnival, we arrived at Uncle Jesse's house, gobbled up some pizza and chicken nuggets to get our bellies full, and headed home. Cousin James even got to spend the night with us! I'd say it was a win-win outing.
Here's to Fall, and all the not-so-fair activities to tackle!
See you around town!