Saturday, October 04, 2008

It's Not Fair

Amber and I took the kids to the Fair last night. I'm not generally a big fan of the Fair, but I've got to say I had more fun last night than I have in a long time. It also gave me a chance to learn more about the many character traits of Caleb...

Trait #1 - Absolute Confidence: This trait was expressed in the “Monkey Maze” which is a maze made up of glass and mirrors...very tricky. Most kids and adults (including myself) felt their way through with their hands second guessing every step. Not Caleb. He charged headfirst in whatever direction he thought was correct. After a quick recovery from a glass face plant, he'd charge headfirst again in another direction. It may have been wrong of me to laugh every time his body crumpled against a piece of glass head first, but it was FUNNY. So I laughed. In fact, I'm laughing now while writing this because I can still visualize the stunned look on his face every time it made contact with an invisible wall. That alone was worth the price of admission.

Trait #2 - Leadership / Problem Solving: There was a small obstacle course of sorts for the kids. No one over 50" (or something like that...I don't remember exactly, but definitely shorter than me) was allowed to go in unless you are accompanying your child...which I was...honest. (Side note: Parents don't have to use tickets to get in either.) It consisted of a rope ladder, two swinging bridges, a bouncy house type enclosed slide, a tangled elastic band maze thingy, and a really super fast slide. Caleb conquered the rope ladder with ease and made his way onto the first swinging bridge. Did you know that swinging bridges can be very scary when your daddy is jumping and swaying side to side on them? After a little hesitation, Caleb made it across the first bridge. Problem Solving: “When Daddy gets on the bridge it bounces and sways way too much. Passage would probably be easier without him.” Leadership: “Daddy, you stay here,” he says with his little hand stretched out in an assertive manner. Once he made it across he looked back and waved me on. If you ask me, the second bridge wasn’t nearly as fun as the first. This is where I found out the reasoning behind the 50” max height restriction. The bouncy house type slide thingy was barely big enough for me to fit through and it was at an angle but it did not slide. By the time I wiggled my way through Caleb was almost all the way through the elastic band jumble. Then came the real slide. Caleb happily jumped in first and I followed closely behind him…maybe a little too closely…apparently dads build up speed much faster than Calebs. We ended in a pile at the bottom. Caleb’s muffled voice spoke out from underneath me, “Let’s do it again, Daddy.”

Trait #3 – Independence: We waited in the fairly short line for the kids helicopter ride. Caleb was very excited to get to fly a helicopter so the line wasn’t quite short enough for him. When they finally let us through the gate, I helped Caleb into the helicopter, buckled him in and sat next to him ready for the ride to start. “Alright dad, you gotta get out,” the attendant said as he walked by our helicopter. Apparently dads are not allowed to fly in the helicopters. At this point I was expecting a “Don’t leave me” or an “I want to go with you, Daddy”…which I did not get. Oh no, I just got a wave goodbye as the helicopter lifted off and began its circular flight pattern. I don’t know what bummed me out more, the fact that he didn’t need me with him or the fact that I didn’t get to ride in the helicopter.

We ended the night having consumed a two foot long corn dog (no exaggeration), funnel cake (a fair must) and some deep fried Oreos (just when I thought Oreos couldn’t get any better) and having collected a stroller full of prizes (apparently Caleb is quite the game player). One of his prizes was a miniature horn which we had the pleasure of listening to the entire ride home. I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that the horn might disappear soon. Horn? What horn?

I can’t wait until October of ’09.