Tag Archives: family time

Snot at the Fair

I’m sorry, okay. Consider this a blanket apology on behalf of my entire family to the world at large. Or at least everyone who attended the Fair yesterday.

For the germs.

For the snot.

For the coughing and sneezing and general whininess.

And the kids were even worse!

I swear, we were on the mend when we decided to make our way to the Fair at the PNE. Pretty much. Close enough. Because Dad being able to take a weekday off entirely AND the cousins planning to go that same day AND incredibly wonderful benefactors arranging for 2 of our 6 tickets to be free… are all goliath-sized motivators in our household.

So, we dosed them all up with Tylenol Cough and Cold. We brought water and fruit and our absolute faith that rides and mini donuts and as-seen-on-tv-kiosks and mini donuts and rigged carnival games and, yes, still more mini donuts are worth all the effort.

Rides are a new experience for our boy. From his perspective it seems to go something like this:

  • watching from behind iron bars while other children do something fun (not cool)
  • climbing onto a large contraption that smells, feels and IS a completely Strange and Unusual Experience (also not cool)
  • something’s happening, there is movement and this May Possibly Be Fun
  • after a full minute of Possible Fun it becomes clear that this is The Best Thing That Has Ever Happened To Him and He Never Ever Wants It To End
  • at which point the ride ends and we pry his fingers from the bar and drag our devastated toddler to the next round

Poor kid. He was a confusing mass of excitement, exhilaration and disappointment all day. But he loved the donuts.

B spent the day coveting every painted face she saw. Particularly the kitty-cats. It was cute when she meow-ed and pretended to groom the lady sitting beside us in the shade. But all day we distracted her from her quest to get “a kitty…uhhh… MY cheek.” Because history has taught us that face painting is Not Her Thing. And I hate, hate, hate paying for that sort of thing. If only I had some eyeliner and lipstick in my purse, I could have done it myself. Cause I’m that kind of mom (I was thinking inventive, but yes, cheap is also accurate). She had as hard a day as anyone. Waiting is hard for her and she was tired and feeling sick and more than anything she just wanted her very own cat on her cheek. On our way out of the park we finally gave it a shot. And she sat as still as I have ever seen her while the lady painted a little white cat with pink sparkles on her cheek. And she danced all the way to the van. By the time we got home, it was smudged beyond recognition. Still, it was the best $3 we spent that day.

C is FINALLY tall enough for the big kid rides. At 10, this has been a long time coming, and she is a whole 2 inches over the 48″ cutoff. So, we tried a number of the big rides (for which my husband considers me a hero, despite the fact that I usually love them even more than the kids, except not so much with a head cold and a fever, so I will hang onto hero status with both hands). She loved almost everything. Except the boat. She did NOT like the boat. And she wanted to get off it almost immediately. And it seemed to go on and on as I coached her through it and held her close and assured her it would be over soon. I felt like the worst parent ever born since I was the one who convinced her to try it. This is a girl who loves the coasters and the dropping elevator rides, but NOT the boat. She talked through the whole experience, expressing exactly how she felt and what she wanted and what she Never Ever Wanted To Do Again. Apparently all those “use your words” talks are paying off. What a trooper.

L is too tall for the elephant ride. And the mini cars. And the boats. So basically, a gigantic hulk of a child. Or a willowy preteen and we just have trouble admitting it. With her out of the mix, there were quite a few rides which were out of the question for our littles. Although when the mood is right, B is quite capable. And when it isn’t, she needs a good deal of coaxing and encouraging and holding onto her so she doesn’t leap from the still-moving ride. We miss our helper-girl. Though the helper-young-woman is pretty cool too. Plus, she likes to go on all the rides with her mom.

The Dad, well, he’s a hero because he spent a lot of money (not his favourite thing, at all), and he held the bags and entertained the littles and even used the baby change room on his own more than once. The only ride he likes is the log ride. Which is yet another reason why we are a perfect match. Because I’m NOT a fan of wet underwear.

So here it is; the moral of the story. The wisdom we have gleaned during this great adventure:

Enjoy every moment, for they are fleeting. The ride is over before you know it.

Have patience; don’t be in such a hurry. When you get impatient ,you only start to worry. Remember that God is patient too, and think of all the times when others have to wait for you (as sung in my head over and over again today thanks to one of my very first records “Music Machine”. Yes, record, as in vinyl. Sigh, I’m so very old… and cheesy).

Finally, and perhaps most importantly:

Fishy crackers are always the answer. Always.

So here’s me: my feet hurt, my nose is runny, and it is clear that this head cold is here for the long haul, BUT I’m glad we went. People like us are the reason hand sanitizer is a good idea in public places. So sorry.

Holidays = Holy Days?

Right now I am watching a man named Captain FeatherSword dancing around in a lacey shirt singing “Ring-a-ding-a-ding! Ring-a-ding-a-dong!”

Some sort of nerd-girl Christmas porn? No. It is, however, the soundtrack to our Christmas vacation. We are watching “Santa’s Rockin’ Special” for the 3,463rd time. All so B won’t wake up her big sisters in the next room.

Someone should get some sleep. Sharing a room/bed/oxygen with B at night has not gone completely smoothly. Sure, it’s cute when she pokes the soles of my feet, giggles and then quickly pretends to sleep… At 10:00 it’s freaking adorable, at 11:00 it is mildly amusing, around midnight it begins to lose its charm. By 4:00 a.m. it is the most annoying torture known to man. I’m considering petitioning the Hague to add a special addendum to the Geneva convention to that affect.

Daddy to the rescue! Of course he managed to get her to sleep in only 15 minutes. Plus, he’s hardly ticklish at all. Totally unfair.

Since he also let me sleep in, even though he is still working all day long from the hotel room while we do fun holiday things, he is pretty much my hero! I shall call him Captain and he can ring-a-ding-a-dong anytime he wants.

Everyone has a role to play in the family holiday, like our own bizarre pageant played out year after year. This year’s cast also includes:

L as the oldest child and cousin. She is the babysitter, helper and all around gal Friday.

C bringing some teenage-like angst to every situation. Catching a smile on camera is the Holy Grail of holiday photographs.

My 90-year-old Grandma who naps most of the day, then apologizes profusely for being such a burden to us all. Mostly I’m jealous of her ability to doze off with impunity.

My Mom who dotes on all the grandchildren and expects others to do the same. She is deeply offended when waiters and store clerks do not respond appropriately to her questions. “Isn’t this the most adorable child you have ever seen?”

My Dad who provides the ice cream. Anywhere, anytime is a good time for ice cream. Also, the first real food for 2 of my 3 children thanks to Grandpa.

My Aunt who remembers all the old stories. Out loud. Especially the ones you may want to forget.

My baby sister, a younger, cooler version of myself (although equally dorky about all things sci-fi), who had the nerve to grow up. Now she is a mom. I only forgive her for making me feel so old because my nephew is the snuggliest, smiliest baby in the world.

My brother-in-law who brings some Latino flair and energy to our staid, polite Canadian family. Plus, he provided the aforementioned nephew for me to enjoy. He can stay.

My nephew who spends his time eating, sleeping, eating, pooping, eating and posing for pictures. I may be even more envious of him than Grandma.

As for me, when everyone asks “what’s the plan?” their heads all turn to look at me. So, I guess that makes me The Boss. As it should be…

So it’s not exactly perfect. Our car just broke down and we are now arranging to have it towed, first to the Canadian border and then home. Glen is dealing with some work drama and taking a lot of important calls in the bathroom while we frantically shush the kids. Grandma is having some health problems “down below” – I’m not sure what that means, but I’m sure she’ll tell me in excruciating detail.

This may seem like an excellent time for a meltdown (and I have considered it), but it’s actually the perfect setup for Christmas. Cause it doesn’t need to be a Silent Night to be a Holy one. That’s the beauty of the story. All is not calm and all is not bright, but that’s exactly where Jesus shows up. In the middle of the crazy: God With Us.

So here’s me, hoping to sleep in heavenly peace tonight!


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