I just took the kids to a Halloween carnival thing. The carnivals or sort of my thing, either that, or my husband is a genius. Because, really, they are insane. He refuses to go which is why he must be a genius. I can't help myself though. Something about the smell of cotton candy and funnel cakes turns on the fond memories of spinning lights and ferris wheels. It is actually getting a little easier now that Kaiya is old enough to safely stay behind me or next to me as we navigate the crowds. CJ's role used to be that of baby in the stroller but this was the one of the first ones that he wanted to do everything. Wanted to being the key word.
Some events there was no chance in heck I was even going to let him try. So I would laugh, pat him on the back, and assure him that in a few more years I would let him scramble up the fifty foot wall and go down the zip line.
CJ usually loves bouncy gyms but for some unknown reason he refused to do the two designed for toddlers and wanted to do the big kid ones Kaiya was doing. I foolishly let him try one as it was more of a maze that was flat on the ground, not realizing that the final slide was a bit steep. I had to send the teenage kid in after him because some little six year old scrambled on top of him scaring him half to death. Eventually the poor teenager coaxed my son out and when he made it to the top of the slide he had this grin of pure delight. CJ had the nerve to point to the entrance as soon as he was at the bottom of the slide and I laughed.
Then we went over to the pony rides. At first I didn't even think about letting him try, mainly because they cost extra and I thought the petting zoo cost extra also but then I found out the petting zoo was included with the admission price. So after we all scrambled around terrifying a small assortment of pigs, rabbits, chickens, ducks, goats and sheep CJ kept pointing to the horses. We went back and I had Kaiya wait by the ticket taker and I prepared to walk around behind CJ. It almost worked. The problem was he would need both hands to hold on to the saddle and that would require putting down his sucker. Kaiya very happily took his spot and got a second horse ride.
The whole time I was frantically whipping out my camera to try and capture these moments (and no, I still haven't found the doo-hickey that lets me upload them to the computer) and it occurred to me that I was missing more of them because I was trying so hard to take pictures. Finally I put the blasted thing up and just enjoyed watching Kaiya's triumphant grin as she road a pony, like she was a conquering queen coming back from a great victory. Or CJ's carnival ride. The one where he ran circles around me over and over until he staggered off in a dizzy stumble. Even better, was when I let the events of the night unfold.
See our carnival routine is usually the same as most carnivals have these elements. We find bouncy houses of some sort and bounce for a bit. We then find either something free like a playscape or if they have a train ride we do the train. Then we find the petting zoo and harass some animals. If there is a horse ride and we can afford it we do the horse ride also. Lastly we sit and eat the lunch or dinner that mommy has sneakily brought via CJ's diaper bag and this is sometimes done as we watch a concert but always on our little blanket that is tucked in CJ's stroller. Finally for the walk out to the car we always have cotton candy. I just don't know what a trip to the carnival would be without cotton candy.
This time on our walk out the main walk-way goes past the zip line. They periodically stop you when someone is about to come and so the group was standing there waiting. And waiting. Some poor kid at the top was having a Come-To-Jesus moment and it was taking a bit long. We waited for a bit but after a while I looked over and saw our local Christian radio station tent. This tent always has a spinny wheel that Kaiya loves. OK. I love it too. Mainly because you can win t-shirts. I love t-shirts. So we staggered over there and Kaiya spun and got some candy. She found another one at a second booth and spun again. More candy. We then wandered over to where a rock band had just started playing. I figured. Why not? And threw down the blanket. We didn't stay much longer as eventually Kaiya leaned over to me, shouting, Can we maybe go somewhere else? That's not? Loud? I nodded. She went back to vigorously jumping up and down. No one has to teach kids that at rock concerts you jump up and down. CJ had two fistfuls of cotton candy and blue sticky stuff all over his face and torso. He looked up at me with a sleepy, sticky grin.
Careful. You don't want to miss it.