Monday, September 14, 2009

Fall Fair - Being Poor can be a good thing

So this weekend we went to the fall fair to my husband's old home town. We went last year and really enjoyed it so we decided to go back again. Only this time we took O with us as we had no sitting for him.

We had so much fun. How we do fairs on the Island here, is that we basically take an entire weekend and throw as much as we can into it. There are animal competitions, wood cutting and other woodsman type shows and competitions, contests for the best produce, jams, pies, cakes, jellies, you name it. I swear I have never seen such a large eggplant. Who grows humongous eggplants... here.. on VI? And why w
ould you want to? Blech.

Then there is, of course the midway, where there are all sorts of fun rides and games to play, which is pretty much the best part. Fortunately there were plenty of rides for younger kids to keep the kids entertained.

O loved going on the choo choo and E loved riding in the giant strawberry where we spun around but not too fast and J loved the bumblebee ride. Their first rid
e was a bit tricky though. It was essentially a baby rollercoaster
. A few ups and downs, no more than 7 feet up and some curves and a very short track. Sounds like a breeze right? Wrong. E was up front, J was in the middle and hubby was in the back with O. I have no idea why they wouldn't have sat together.

The rollercoaster starts and off they go, E's hair flying out behind her. Whoa, that goes a little faster than we had expected. Then I see her face... a look of pure terror. Oh no. Of course, I couldn't help but laugh at her expression. The coaster went around 3 times. The guy could tell that they kids didn't like the ride, did he stop? No. Let me clarify that my kids were the ONLY kids on the ride.

They get off the ride, E couldn't get out and down the steps fast enough she threw herself so hard at me she almost knocked me off the feet and before I knew I had li
ttle J planted on me too as they both sobbed. I alternated between patting their backs soothingly and laughing. We just couldn't help it. They looked so funny. So, new rule. Make sure we observe the ride before going on it to make sure they will like it. I wish I had a photo of her face, it was priceless.

The only thing that spoiled the day was that after every ride or every treat, E would pout because we weren't moving on to the next thing fast enough. We all had to stand in a long line to get our tickets. She would stand there and say things like. "I'm not having very much fun" with a pout in her voice etc. I tried so hard to keep my patience and
to say things like.. "I know you have to wait but we all do, let's try and be positive." and tried to make things as positive and upbeat as possible. Even my husband acknowledged what a supreme effort I was making because usually I can't handle this kind of behaviour very long and don't always react well to it. Remember, the strict European Father I have? Well, it's be grateful for what you get kind of mentality that's rubbed off on me. Of course I was probably an ungrateful little brat when I was younger.

I almost cried at one point because it was so frustrating. How do you get through to her that yes, she's still important, what she wants is important too but there are two other kids here that need to have their wants and needs met too. I just don't know how to get that through to her. I know in her little heart she was enjoying herself and did have a great day.

I tried my hardest not to let it be a "No" day. So it was a Yes day but with limits. Yes you can have a cotton candy but only a snack and then you have to eat a good lunch before you scarf down the rest. Yes, you can have a slurpee but first we will do this, this and this. Yes, you can have a candy apple but it has to be taken home with us and eaten after supper. Let's face it, sometimes we say no so much to our kids that when we go out like this that we go the opposite way to crazyville.

You know, sometimes it's not a bad thing to be poor. It forces us to be reasonable. We can't afford to buy them everything (which isn't good for them anyways) and while we splurged on the wrist bands so we could get on as many rides as possible, we did not fork out dollar after dollar to win them the bigger better prizes. They each got to win one small prize. We forked out a whole $5.00 and they each brought a little penguin home. How swe
et is that? While they admired the large purple monkey someone was carrying out of the fair, not one of them pined for it. They liked their little penguin. Although for some reason, E thinks hers is cuter than the other two. There were a lot of people there that probably spent more than they could afford. We don't like living in debt. We are not paragons by any means, we go over our budget frequently but we keep taking those steps back so we can keep our heads above water.

All in all though it was a good day. We all had fun and you know we must have managed it alright because my kids didn't act out last night before bed or even this morning... you know like they do when they come home from where anything goes sleep over night at Nana's. *L*

Yes, mom, you feed them too much candy and let them stay up too late. It's amazing how grandparents lose the word "no" from their vocabularies the minute they meet those little granbabies.

Well, that's my update on the weekend. The showing looked like it
went well. They stayed a half hour so it wasn't a waste of time. Before we'd go crazy cleaning and the people would spend less than 10 minutes in the house. Very disappointing.

J starts preschool tomorrow so it's another big day. It's just gonna be me and O for the whole afternoon 3 days a week. Oh joy, more adjustments, more new schedules. ;)


  1. I think it sounds fabulous! And I'm glad you went with the "Yes, but..." strategy. I think it works pretty darn well.

  2. I'm with you. They need to know that we have to pick and choose what we can do. That's a good lesson.

  3. We had a fabulous time at the fair too. I know what you mean about the rides. Once they are on though what can you do?

  4. The pout can be rough... I too have been raised with the be thankful for what ya got attitude. I bet they'll talk about it like it was a blast in a few weeks from now. Hindsight is always rosy.


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