Don’t forget: tomorrow’s the last day to enter to win the PIF contest – check out Monday’s post!
For my birthday last year, my sweet and generous husband arranged for a trip to NYC. We were to see Wintuck, a Cirque du Soleil show, and had front row seats. We’d also spend three days in NYC sans kids just hanging out the first week of January.
The trip was actually a lot of fun, as it had been years since I spent much time in NYC. Two of my best friends from high school had also managed to find their way to NYC, so I saw a Broadway show with one of them and her husband one night and had dinner with them and the other friend another night.
While we were reminiscing about high school and growing up in Minneapolis, etc., we hearkened back upon our days at the Fair. For the uninformed, this is the Minnesota State Fair, held the two weeks before and including Labor Day every year. Home of Princess Kay of the Milky Way carved in butter, the inventor of random foods on a stick, great livestock shows (no, that isn’t an oxymoron), and from good sources, the best state fair in the country.
We decided to meet up there this August, and all was good.
The wine wore off, and I didn’t think much of it. It would be fun to go, but other things kept creeping up on me and I didn’t have time to worry about it. Until I got an email from one of my friends asking if we were really going because she was going to book her plane tickets.
Apparently the wine didn’t wear off as much as I’d thought, and I committed to going, as did the other friend (although we still don’t have confirmation from her).
After I committed, I realized what this meant. I was going to take the wee ones to a fair with hundreds of thousands of people. And I was going to drive BY MYSELF from Chicago to Minnesota with the wee ones — both of whom get carsick in long car rides, while I just hate being in the car for more than an hour or two. Oh yeah, and I was going to drive back by myself — or shoot myself before we got to that point, I haven’t yet decided.
While the wee ones are generally well-behaved, seven loooong hours in the car do not a happy group make. And going to the Fair? A three year old and a four year old traveling with me and three adults who have no children and don’t spend time around children. What was I thinking? They try to wander off when it’s me with my parents who are with them all the time and know their tricks.
I seriously thought about backing out, but I can’t do that to my friends, and I do truly love the Fair. I’ve been talking about going back since the last time I was there six or seven years ago. And two friends of mine still living in Minnesota have had second babies so far this year, and I would love to see them, too.
Would I be an evil mom if I bought leashes for the wee ones? I’ve seen the ones that look like animal backpacks with the tails for the leash part. Those wouldn’t be too bad for a one time use like the Fair, would they? (And if I don’t get collectively booed for being a rotten mom for even thinking about leashing my children, does anyone know where I can get some cheap?)
We’ve been practicing what to do if Mister Man gets lost. He knows to find a mom with kids and to tell her, “My name is Mister Man, and I’m lost. My mom’s name is Michelle X, and her phone number is XXX-XXX-XXXX. Can you please call her so she can find me?” He’s finally learned our phone number, and I always have my cell in my pocket. I’m hoping that if we repeat this drill often enough that he’ll be able to execute it without too many issues. As for Little Miss… if she disappears, I think I’m sunk. Like really sunk, and that has me petrified. That’s part of where the leashes come in.
I do think they’d love the Fair — or at least as much of it as we can manage before they crash. I’m still debating whether to bring a stroller or not. The Tom Thumb donuts I know they’d be all over. The quarter for a cup of milk will be cool for Little Miss (although I’m sure it’s no longer a quarter!). The yellow slides with the sacks should be fun for both of them. The tons and tons of animals (fortunately my friend’s husband’s favorite part, too) should keep them enthralled.
I’m still working on the hotel though. I want to stay near one of the Dales (all the malls are something-Dale — Ridgedale (closest to where I used to live), Rosedale, Southdale, etc) which would allow me to ride the bus to the Fair versus having to drive to St. Paul and try to park and get the kids into the Fair. I need a hotel that is a true suite, as I can’t sit in the hallway during naptime, and I can’t be perfectly still in the dark for bedtime at 7pm either. That’s proving to be somewhat of a challenge, but I still have two weeks, right?
All I have to say is that Sweet Martha’s Cookie Jar had better be there, because I’m buying a bucket first thing in the morning on Thursday!