We just got back from the local 4th of July carnival. It's set up at the local airport about three miles away. M and I splurged on the unlimited-ride wristbands for the boys. We calculated out how many rides they'd get with just tickets and this was a better deal. We got there as soon as I got home from work and stayed for two hours. Each boy got to go on 18 rides, including repeats.
Each boy has his own favorite type of ride. R loves the small rollercoasters that look very fast to me -- it was big enough for both adults and kids to go on it. He had a grin from ear to ear the whole time. T is a different story. He likes rides that whip him around, fast -- not up and down. He'll go on a ride that whips around the corners and he laughs so hard, while R looks uncomfortable and nearly turns green. They had a very nutritious dinner of funnel cake and snow cones (it's a carnival, after all!) M ate a pickle which reminded me of my youth when my folks sold pickles at the county fair and tried to use a photo of me as their advertisiement. The problem was that they wanted me to take a bite and smile for the camera, but I hated pickles (still do) and couldn't manage more than a grimace for the pictures.
But, I digress.
R also went on the climbing rock and did pretty well. The guy helping out was really nice and gave him lots of help. He made it up about half way to the top two times. T also tried, but found it to be too dificult; "I'm never going on that again!" I said that maybe he could try when he was a bit bigger and he said that he would think about it.
About the staff at the carnival (aka "carnies"). There were four that seemed normal and were nice to the kids. Five of them were missing more than two teeth. About half of them were chain smoking. Three didn't say a word to the boys, but just motioned with their hand where to get in the ride. Then, there were the game carnies...my worst nightmare. They would yell to the kids that they'd get a free game and a winner every time. After we passed the first one and I nearly lost R to the sirens of the carnies' calls "Hey boy, you look like you can win this. Come on over here and give it a try. It's okay. you can do it. Don't worry, you're mom will let you, won't you mom?!" Aarghh.... From then on I held their hands tightly. At first I got down to the kids' eye level and explained that these guys try to trick you into giving them money for the games and we weren't going to fall for their tricks. Then, after barely making it by the fish-for-a-duck game, M explained that we spent all of our money on the ride wrist bands and had none left for the games. That did the trick, thank God. After that talk, R would tell the carnies"We can't. We don't have any more money." Whew. Boy, I've never liked those carnies and I'm sure that my dad and mom were never like that when selling his pickles, sea monkeys, and photo buttons.
But, all of that is forgotten.
When we walked into the house, R said "I feel like we've been on vacation today. We went golfing, swimming in the lake, and to that cool carnival. Thanks mom for taking us there." Awww.
By the way, have I mentioned that R is taking golfing lessons? He loves it. While he takes the lesson, M plays nine holes, with T driving the cart and putting. Too cool.