Saturday, August 04, 2007

Cowabunga! The 2007 OC Fair

Taking an almost 3 year old to the county fair is rather like a certain Charles Dickens’ novel: “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.” Ok, there was no wisdom. Had there been wisdom, we might not have gone at all.

We chose to hit the OC County Fair on the 1st, because they had this slick deal going where if you brought in 3 gently used or 1 new children’s book you got in free! This was great as far as we were concerned because a) it was an excuse to weed out some of Tenley’s older books, and b) we got something for free! A sixteen dollar value!

See, the thing about Ten is that she’s at that charming age where she decides what she wants, and will then whine, pout or tantrum to try to get her way. And as far as she’s concerned, it’s her way or the highway- what you want is irrelevant. Unfortunately for her, she was adopted by very stubborn parents who refuse to give in to unreasonable demands and bad behaviour.

The first of many tantrums began a scant 15 minutes after we arrived because we headed into the Visual Arts building to enjoy a little air conditioning instead of going directly to the Kiddie Midway to get on cheesy carnival rides. After repeated choruses of “No no no! I don’t want to look at that!” and her running off away from us toward the door, she got strapped into the stroller and wailed and whined while we enjoyed the art and ignored her.

We let her back out and headed next door to the Carnival of Products. There are certain products that one can only aquire at the fair (really great mop that we finally had to replace, oriental lily bulbs & plumeria for cheap, yummy dip mix, etc) so we needed to hit the 1 and only shopping building at OC. Well, we only got through half of that building. At that point, we gave up and took the little beast to the cheesy rides.

As soon as she had ride tickets and we were standing in the sun & humidity to get her on the rides, she was an adorable little angel. No tantrums, waited her turn patiently, smiles & giggles on all the rides. It was great, except that we were hot & sweaty and Jeff & I were starving.

We announced that it was time for dinner and Mr. Hyde reappeared. “No no nooo! I don wanna eat!!” We tried to explain that she didn’t have to eat, but mommy & daddy were going to pass out because we were hungry. “No! No you not hungry! You not! I don wanna eat!!” Repeat. Continuously. She didn’t eat either. Well, she munched on a few fries, but despite repeated offers she refused bites of our bbq chicken sandwiches. I got some really dirty looks from the people at the next table when I was forced to sit my daughter down and tell her quite firmly that her behavior was completely unacceptable and that if she didn’t knock it off we would leave right now.

Dr. Jeykll reappeared as soon as we left the dining hay bales. Mr. Hyde residue evaporated as Tenley saw we were heading to one of her favourite fair activities: the pony ride. She was all smiles as she rode in circles on a pony that she christened “Bullseye” after Woody’s horse in Toy Story 2. We segued over to the barns to see the animals. Cows & sheep were pet, llamas were pronounced “funny”, and pig and chicken noises were made. Then we were informed that it was time for more rides.

The dad and I had other ideas and then subjected our child to the other half of the commercial building, the community building (love the community building: got new pens to use at work, new chip clips, and a cool crayon pouch for Ten made out of recycled plastic). Ten did think the community building was ok, especially seeing that she got a tattoo from the Girl Scouts. She was really pretty good, so we rewarded her with getting her face painted. And, after much admiration of her beautiful self, we went back and used up the rest of the ride tickets.

When we had ridden the last bouncing dune buggy, we strolled over to the crafters village and bought a new Robert Marble for the kitchen, got Jeff a fair t-shirt since this years’ theme was Cowabunga, and a large bag of kettle corn as we made our way to the exit.

Consensus: we will visit the LA Co. fair in Sept. twice: once with and once without Tenley. We will budget more for rides than food; and we may, for the first time ever, get wristbands and enhance our visit with margaritas.

1 comment:

christina said...

Delurking here, we have a 2 1/2 yo daughter (adopted from China as well) and have been following your blog for the better part of a year now. I enjoy reading about Tenley and commend you for your honesty in writing about the fun, happy times, but also documenting the challenging moments like tantrums and all. Some other blogs gloss over that part of reality and after a while it makes me wonder if I'm the only one who has a kid who's not always happy, funny, fun, smiley. You guys bring back the reality for me. Thanks for sharing. Keep posting!