Monday, June 16, 2008

A Fair-ly Good Day

Today was Kid's Day at the Red River Valley Fair, and since that included photos with Dora and a performance by a local favorite, Penny & Pals, we headed out. Here is what I did that was smart: I fed the kids an early lunch at home, at which they both ate lasagna. After that, I didn't really care what else they ate at the fair.

Even before meeting Dora, we got for free:
ice cream
stickers for Leah
a ball for Ben (which is now lost in the back yard somewhere, courtesy of me)
handshakes from THREE different mascots in costume (of which we discovered Ben is terrified)
a reusable shopping bag
face painting for Leah (which lasted until bathtime tonight!)
balloons for the kids (which blew away shortly after leaving the building)

THEN, the folks sponsoring Dora were also giving out bags of animal cookies and bottles of water.

This was an awesome event.

We found a chair for the Penny & Pals show, and ended up visiting with several friends as they came through the Dora line. At the table across from us, I thought I spotted a high school classmate, D. D and I were not particularly good friends (I wasn't really good friends with anyone in my class!) but we were at similar levels in the social ranking. So I sat there deliberating whether or not I should say anything.

Penny was great, as always. There were several groups of daycare kids there, and as one group(seated directly in front of us) left, the kids, all school aged, left behind several ice cream cups and spoons, and a decent sized puddle of melted ice cream on the floor. This really irritated me. Those kids were plenty old enough to take care of their own stuff on their own, and if they forgot, their "care providers" could have reminded them. Space was at a premium, and no one wanted to sit there, thanks to their mess. So I sat Ben on my seat and gathered up the garbage. After checking on them, I ran to the bathroom for paper towels and cleaned up the melted puddle, too.

And here's what else bothered me. Neither of the other moms seated in front of and behind the mess even registered that I had done anything. They were the ones most directly affected (one child was inches from getting sticky) and there wasn't even a glance of acknowledgement. I understand why they didn't clean it up themselves - they probably didn't want to get arrested. But they could have said thanks. Right?

After Penny, I finally scraped my courage together and went to talk to D. Her first husband, right out of high school, was killed in a car accident only a few years later, but she has since remarried and is expecting her 2nd child with her 2nd husband. That will make 4 kids, with the oldest being 12. It was interesting seeing her again, and it appears that she is very happy.

It was a good snob check for me, because I guess I thought she'd be living on welfare or something, being miserable. And she's really not. It's really ironic that I have this attitude about my classmates, since one reason I didn't like them is because they treated me this exact same way - with pity. That, alternating with open mocking. I may be a little bitter.

The rest of the day included a petting zoo, racing pigs, funnel cake, and two rides for Leah. Total cash output: $13.

Ben fell asleep on the way home and slept for over an hour.
And THAT, folks, is the sign of a successful day out.


Ruth said...

wow. your day puts mine to shame.

nydampress said...

Seeing Leah's fresh haircut reminds me of how my niece is way hipper than I am.

p.s. Ruth, I'd hardly call graduating with a masters degree "shame". You are my hero.

Stacie Anderson said...

I hope your day at the zoo today with my spunky 4 year old went as well as your day at the fair! :)

Noel said...

I'll grant Lyz the Organized Fun Mom of the Day Award for yesterday (my girls sounded a bit bored when I spoke to them last night). The $13 is also worthy of commendation, but adding $0.20 a mile for gas and $0.31 a mile for other automotive expense, diminishes the feat :-(

It is also notable that you still recognize friends from high school. When you get to be severely middle aged,instead of just no longer in your youth, it may not be so easy. I was reminded of this when I went looking for people I knew on FaceBook. Kudos for initiating the conversation.

-- Noel from Logan Airport with two hours to go before departing to Chicago O'Hare (are we there yet?)

JJ and EJ said...

Look at those cute haircuts! Fun!

Anonymous said...

Ben is smart. Mascots are terrifying.

Crystal's friend, Laura