Things I Learned at the State Fair

I took my children (by myself) to the State Fair yesterday. And it never rained! Whoo! But, those four hours taught me a lot. So, I thought I might compile a list of things I learned at the Fair. Maybe you can add some of your own. Enjoy. Oh, and please do learn from my mistakes.

1. Bringing the wagon was a Brilliant Mom Idea.

2. Bringing the wagon was a Brilliant Mom Idea… except there’s no straps to keep the kids in. The baby can and will get out whenever he deems fit. Often, when you’re not looking. (You only have two eyes and three kids.)

3. Bringing the wagon was a Brilliant Mom Idea… except when your kids are fighting over who gets to sit in it.

4. Bringing the wagon was a Brilliant Mom Idea… except it’s a bitch to pull through the barns and exhibits.

5. You can actually get out of there without spending a dime. I did. Amazing. Lots of things to do. Those barns and exhibits mentioned in item 4 are thrilling when you don’t blow money on rides and face painting.

6. Your kids will never give up hope that you may change your mind and buy them ride tickets. Or face painting. Or bumper cars. Or ice cream. Or…

7. Time stops at the fair. Instead of seconds, minutes or hours… all time is marked by how many times your child(ren) “NEED to go potty!”

8. You can, in fact, use the porta potties that are hidden between booths, if you send your child doing the potty dance to ask someone for a key.

9. Make sure your child(ren) has used the bathroom (repeatedly) before you leave the house and drive to Palmer.

10. The line for parking will be the longest wait of your life. You may in fact lose your cool. You may seriously consider letting your five-year old out of the minivan to pee between the lanes of traffic. You will regain your sanity and not do this.

11. When you do park… remember where. This will come in very handy later when you decide to leave the fair.

12. If you lose your car, the nice gentlemen in the fair go carts will come by and offer to drive around and look for your car for you. Swallow your pride and let them help.

13. Witnessing drunk people leave the Fair is a good learning opportunity for your kids. “Yes, baby. That lady is very silly. Uh huh. I did see her fall down. Several times. That’s why we don’t let underage girls have beer.”

14. The crowd of people at the Fair is full of: oblivious people who stop at any given second, teenagers texting and walking, people waiting in line and moms like me, pulling/pushing/wrangling children.

15. Your children will gather up anything and everything that is free. A man in one booth had literally torn up pieces of scrap paper to write on. My kids asked for more than one piece.

16. You’ll see people you haven’t seen in years. Then, you’ll struggle to remember their names.

17. The barn is really cool.

18. The old man by the tractor display does NOT like it when your five-year old climbs on the one with the sign that says “Don’t climb”… even if your five-year old doesn’t know how to read.

19. The lady manning the door at the Petting Zoo exit is not the sharpest tool in the shed. She will make sure the piglets don’t escape, but swing the door wide open for your unaccompanied 19 month old son.

20. If you let your children watch the chicks hatching (super cool) and serve eggs the next morning, questions will be asked. “Mommy, why do we eat baby chicks?”

21. Walking the entire length of the Fair will wear your kids out. Just make sure you’re not on the opposite end from where you parked when the kids do finally drop.

22. Your camera will almost always not snap at the exact moment you want it to… leaving you a full supply of slightly odd photos of your kids doing every activity imaginable.

23. Soda and children (especially children who don’t get soda often) is a bad, bad idea.

24. You can leave the Fair without spending a dime, turn right, drive to Palmer and buy four ice creams at Dairy Queen for $7.

25. You can spend a long time when you get home cleaning up your car after your baby tosses his ice cream cone to the floor after first smearing it over every square inch of his body then passing out.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Katie Tasky
    Sep 06, 2011 @ 16:51:55

    wonderful post! I live up in Fairbanks now for college and this is the first summer I’m not in town to go to the fair! I was so sad. My boyfriend says “It’s boring, nothing ever changes” But I’ve always enjoyed going with friends for the fun of it. I never spend money on the rides, just food and maybe some jewelry or a concert.

    I can only imagine what it’s like to be a mom there, though with small kids. More power to you!


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