I’m not sure what possessed me, but the other day I had to take a day off work to watch the Little Darlings and decided spontaneously to take them to the Minnesota State Fair. Now, understand that I’m a huge fan of state fairs, but my loyalties lie with the IOWA State Fair - for obvious reasons. (Its the best thing ever.) But 12 years ago I went to the Minnesota State Fair and found it to be acceptable, so I decided it would be a super idea to load up the kids and drive them up there to see what we could see.
The day went fine, other than being mildly irritated that I dropped a substantial amount of cash on Fair Activities, only to be told by the Sweet Cherubs that their favorite thing was near the end of the day when a tiny plane towing a “Furniture Liquidation Sale” banner behind it flew overhead.
Well, I guess there was one incident. We briefly shut down the sky glider.
Sky Gliders overhead (Photo credit: massdistraction)
In my defense, I was alone with two children. The kids really wanted to ride it, and despite my intense fear of heights, I agreed mainly as a bartering tool to get out of going down that terrifying giant yellow slide. So, we’re in line for the glider – the open air one, not the safe, enclosed little car one. As our car comes around the corner, the boy and I line up and I help him on, only to turn around and see The Tiny Dictator still standing there. I can picture my 6 year old left behind as her family is whisked into the heavens so I do what any mother would do - I hop off.
I guess that’s kind of where things came unraveled. I grabbed The Situation by his shirt collar to avoid seeing him soaring above by himself and consequently falling to his death. That’s when he fell over flat on his stomach on the pavement. I *may* have pushed him down in my attempt to save his life, or *maybe* the car itself lightly tapped him in the back of the head. We’ll never know. Regardless, he fell over and then The Tiny Dictator hit the decks, air raid style. I think mainly out of fear/peer pressure.
At this point, the “ride operators” – AKA teenage boys with State Fair T-shirts as their only job qualification – started yelling “Stop the ride! Stop the ride!” They did and I dusted the kids off, but since we were already in the queue the ride operators quickly ushered us into a car and patted me on the back saying something like “OK. OK. You’ll have fun. Up you go!” while I clutched my two crying children and tried to dispel my own increasing height-induced panic.
Luckily there was a bra on the roof of the nearest building, as well as a flip flop, so the kids were pretty much distracted right away. And a good time was had by all.
This isn’t the first time we’ve had a physical problem in a public place. When The Dictator was just 2 years old, she double punched me in both eyes using her stocking cap as a weapon in the middle of Target and it seriously brought me to my knees. Stocking caps are VERY scratchy, people. As mascara and tears were streaming down my face, I managed to replace my voice with an inhuman growl, ordering, “GET…IN…THE…CART!” I was holding on to her ankle while she donkey kicked me and other parents looked on, clasping their children to the chests with the Fear of God in their eyes.
So I guess I’d say the State Fair was a step up. I’d go again.