Before I can get to the meat of this post, I have to quickly share that I set up Ryan's jump-up today. I give it an A+. Easy to assemble. Easy to install. And easy to use!
I was born in Alaska and I have very few memories of the place: the design of my parent's kitchen floor, mooses eating the crabapples out of our front yard, my pre-school indoor playgym, and my jump-up. I was probably only 3 but I remember the jump-up vividly. My dad set it up in our garage and I jumped to my hearts content. Funny how our brains pick and choose what memories to carry on into our adulthood.
Anyway, the jump-up was a hit. For both kids.
Then we hit up the last day of our county fair. I pretty much abhor three things in life: (1) long lines, (2) crowds, and (3) un-openable children's toys. Luckily, I didn't run into any of these things today! The crowds and lines at the fair were very manageable. I guess everyone else was fair-ed out or something.
At the entrance of the fair, some people were giving camel rides. Imagining the experience to be adventurous, romantic, and thrilling, I've been wanting to ride a camel for quite some time. Since my husband (who usually tries to talk me out of my "ridiculous" ideas) stayed home, there was absolutely nothing standing between me and my happy, humped friend. So Jacob and I went for a camel ride.
"Ride" is a very generous word. It was slow, lumpy, and guided. Not at all like the exotic adventure in my dreams. I think it would have been better if the whole thing had stayed a fantasy.
After that whole let down, we fed our camel a carrot of thanks. Well, I fed the camel. Jacob had a carrot fumble:
Carrot: "I'm freeeeeeeeeeee!"
Thank goodness the other rides were more exciting. This is the first year that I've taken Jacob to the fair where he could actually go on the rides. Two years ago, that measuring stick was our worst enemy. Yay for passing the 40 inch mark!
I took Jacob and my nephew up the Super Slide. The plan was to all go down holding hands. But I guess Jacob wasn't quite ready. My nephew and I went down in perfect formation. We got to the bottom and saw Jacob stuck at the top, twisted up in his mat and crying frantically for help.
Not one to waste 3 event tickets, I was about to run back up to the top and situate him properly when he suddenly lost grip and fell down the slide. He had all the spectators laughing hysterically.
By the time he got to the bottom, he was laughing along with the rest of us.
Halfway through the trip, Jacob began to get crabby and refused to pose for pictures. In fact, he went out of his way to make sure the back of his head was turned to me everytime I took the camera out. I quickly outsmarted him:
Me: "Jacob, please look at me for the picture."
Me: "Oh my gosh! I have a huge candy bar!"
That trick worked more times than you would have imagined. (Really, Jacob? You didn't catch on the first three times?)
My favorite part of the fair was seeing all the guys dressed in their best cowboy boots and hats. Second best was the fair food of course! My sister and I spent more time fighting over the proper pronunciation of the word "gyro" than we spent eating said gyro. Either way you say it, it was delicious.
I ordered a cheeseburger for Jacob. I was shocked to discover that the $5 burger was as thin as a pancake! Absolutely most ridiculous burger patty I've ever seen! And, of course, within one minute of setting it in front of Jacob, it was all over the floor of the food court. I picked that thing right up, blew the dirt off, and set it right back on his plate, with no objection from the King of Crabby. When you have kids, you have to learn to let go of your germophobias. Especially when you are paying good money for food. To me, being afriad of germs is being afriad of tiny invisible specks that are completely harmless. At the very worst, what, you catch a cold? You're more likely to get e-coli from lettuce at the grocery store!
My parenting advice for the week: let your kids eat dirt and fall down slides. Life is messy. Embrace it.
We finished up our trip by petting the farm animals. If our house had come with more yard, I would totally get the kids involved in 4-H. That would be my excuse for purchasing a pygmy goat. I'm sure owning a goat is far more awesome than riding a camel.
Watch out for grumpy beef: