Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Carnival

Jared and Camryn came home from school yesterday and after practicing piano spent the afternoon playing Wii, keeping Jackson engrossed in watching their game. Jared made a point of reminding me that we needed to leave precisely at 6:00 to go to the school carnival, and then immediately went back to his Wii game. I responded in kind by actually starting dinner early before going back to blogging.

At about 10 minutes to 6:00, Jared suddenly emerged from his video-game-induced trance and realized that it was almost time to leave for the carnival. "Mom," he said, "we need to eat dinner! It's time to go to the school carnival soon!" So I told Jared and Camryn to set the table while I answered an email. Apparently, I was neither speedy nor earnest enough in my work for Jared's taste, because he soon interrupted, "MOM! From how you are acting, you would think you didn't care about going to the carnival AT ALL!" (Really? Whatever could have given him that impression? I don't know if there is anything I look forward to more than corralling 4 kids through crowds of hundreds of people by myself.) Regardless of any false impression I may have given, we quickly finished our dinner so we could leave.

As we were finishing dinner, I heard a very loud squirting sound coming from the vicinity of Jackson's diaper. This did not bode well for our estimated departure time. I took Jackson out of his high chair to change his diaper and he'd had a blowout that leaked all the way down his legs. I threw Jackson into the bath to clean him up and miraculously, he didn't throw a fit, but was happy to grab his bucket and fill it with water. But, alas for Jackson, this was not fated to be a leisurely bath. As soon as I turned off the water, he said, "No! Want bucket!!" and turned the water back on himself, sticking his bucket under the faucet. Finally, I turned off the water and grabbed Jackson from the water in one swift motion. Then the tantrum started. Screaming, yelling, wet flailing arms and legs. Luckily, two-year-olds --even tall ones like Jackson-- are still not quite a match for a full-grown adult, so Jackson's diaper and clothes were put back on, much to Jackson's chagrin. Jared did his best to help, telling Jackson hopefully, "Party! Party! Treat!" But Jackson's tantrum didn't subside until we were actually driving away in the car, armed with a sippy cup of milk. (I suppose now wouldn't be a great time to comment that sometimes I am very thankful for car seats with straps.)

Once we were driving away, Jackson decided going in the car was fun. Until we turned in a direction that wasn't the way towards Ranell's house. Then another tantrum started, "Yell's house! Yell's house!" But we went to the carnival, undeterred by Jackson's protestations. Once we got to the school, Jackson figured out this might be okay. It took about 10 minutes in the pouring rain to unload both smaller kids into the double stroller (meanwhile the diaper bag fell out of the car into a puddle) but we finally made it in. We bought tickets and I let Jared and Camryn loose. As I repeatedly jammed the stroller by accident into random people I realized that there were way too many people crammed into that gym to have any hope of being able to navigate with a double stroller in any way that could remotely keep up with them.

So I took Jackson and Addy around. We waited in a 15-minute line so Jackson could play a fishing game. He won a tiny fish and an "Atomic Warheads" sour candy. There really isn't any way to explain to a two-year-old that he won't like the shiny-green-wrapped candy he won, so after a half-hearted attempt I gave it to him. He tried it three different times just to make sure it wasn't some kind of mistake before he decided that yes, the candy really was sour instead of sweet, and chucked it across the room. So Jackson and I bought some kettle corn and chilled while I fed Addy and Jared and Cam spent their tickets. After a while we went to play the cake walk, stroller and all, and we won a Krispy Kreme doughnut! I leaned over to check on Jackson and he was clonked out, fast asleep, oblivious to our fantastic stroke of luck.

I spent the last little while at the carnival dinking around, taking some pictures. While I am not a fantastic photographer, I enjoy the chance to step out and observe life from behind a lens. I grabbed a few shots of poor exhausted Jackson, asleep in the stroller. As I took pictures of Jared and Camryn enjoying the carnival, I noticed how much they were enjoying themselves. Rather than their typical "paste-on-a-smile-because-mom-is-taking-a-picture-and-I-have-to" looks, their faces beamed with the sheer delight and genuine enjoyment of childhood. This really was a big deal to them and they were having a fantastic time. It made me glad that I hadn't followed my first (or second) impulse to skip out because of how much work it was going to be to drag four kids out in the rain. So, once again, my kids stood in the way of my plans to become a crochety old lady who never goes anywhere. Who needs Disneyland anyway when you have the school carnival? [Pictures will be forthcoming.]

1 comment:

Medagum said...

haha. Can't wait to see pictures!