Solution: You drag them along and tell them they will like it or else. But as a concession to them, you do let them bring along a book.
Yes, this is exactly how our Fair Day went down. MC and I did debate whether or not to leave the kids at home. What was the point of taking them if they weren’t going to enjoy it anyway? Sassy was the only one who was at all interested in going (At least, until she was reminded about the no rides policy. That’s what we have Six Flags season passes for.). As it’s supposed to be a family event, the choice was either the whole family goes or we let the kids stay home while us parents went. The kids would’ve been fine on their own but they are always at home. We decided to make them go if for no other reason then they could be bored away from home.
Upon arriving at the Fair, the first 15 minutes sounded like this (thank you, Bubba):
“I don’t think I like this parking space. We’re going to fall! I’m afraid to climb out!” (We were parked on an incline.)
“Hey, Bubba, you’re standing in an ant hill.” (followed by wailing and running)
“I hate this day! I hate bugs! Why does this have to happen to me?! Get them off!” (which MC proceeded to do since Bubba refused to swipe at the ants biting him lest he actually touch one)
“How long do we have to stay? Can you see everything you want in 2 hours?”
“Is it too late to turn around and take us back home?”
Howdy never said a peep as he had his nose buried in his phone.
I finally had to tell Bubba he wasn’t allowed to walk next to me anymore because I couldn’t handle another word of complaint. (Oh yeah, I’ve got Mom of the Year in the bag.) Gritting my teeth and silently repeating the refrain, “I will have fun. I will have fun.”, we finally made it past the gate and began the debate of what to do first. Since most of us didn’t want to be there to begin with, it was really a futile exercise but I feigned enthusiasm and we set forth on our journey of FUN.
We started off at the pig races where we cheered on speedy swine with clever monikers such as Piggy Monster, Jean Claude Van Ham, and Squealy Nelson. And we couldn’t help but wonder, what happened to the loser? Was he served up as dinner? And is eating a sausage on a stick while watching a pig race morbid?
At the petting zoo, we joined in the long line of people thrusting seed- and grain-filled hands in the faces of uninterested animals in the hopes of getting them to slobber all over us while eating said seed and grain. We threw out the appropriate animal puns (“Alpaca suitcase for our trip”, “Hey, Marty! Guess what day it is!”), oohed and aahed over how cute baby animals are, and then slathered ourselves in hand sanitizer before moving on.
My favorite thing about Fairs nowadays is that everything you can possibly imagine is offered up FRIED. I have to admit I’m a big fan of deep fried food. And deep fried dessert? Does it get any better? There is no limit to what can be deep fried anymore. We made a trip to the Texas State Fair and on various menus we found meatloaf, beer, brownies, pumpkin pie, s’mores, moon pies, lemonade (!), PBJ&Banana, cookie dough, butter (comes with a coupon for 10% off your next angioplasty), jambalaya, Snicker’s, Reese’s peanut butter cup (I may have to try making this at home), latte, cheesecake, and Nutella (hello, heaven!)–all preceded by the words “deep fried”. Some people go to the Fair to drool over the hottest new sports cars on display or get fired up at that adrenaline-pumping ride. Me? I like to salivate over artery-clogging sweets.
Once we were refreshed with cold drinks, we moved on to the Craft Pavilion. It was in this building that we saw 2 contest entries of space ships made out of differing materials. It was in the middle of debating whether the ships were from Battlestar Galactica or from Firefly that I realized I was having a great time with my family, despite our previous efforts to the contrary.
After the requisite funnel cake (see previous deep fried comments), we parked the kids with their games and books and MC and I checked out the new car display. Others may dream of Hemis or sporty looks or great sound systems; I dream of stow-and-go seating and an excess of cupholders. (One day I shall have that new minivan. Oh yes, I shall.) And what I discovered while there is that while giant Man Trucks have the option of a step up running board, it’s not an option for me. I couldn’t get myself up into a truck without help from the steering wheel, the door and my husband–much to the delight of a passing couple.
In spite of Bubba’s fervent wish, it did take us more than 2 hours to see everything we wanted to. In fact, it was only after spending 6 hours out there that we finally headed home…with happy children. I’m sure they would never admit it, but I think their day at the Fair with mom and dad was…not horrible. And that’s all I can ask for.