Earlier this week we went to a local fair that I spent a lot of time at as a kid. It's your typical fair with farm animals, good homecooking by old ladies, other fried fair food, parades, rides and carnies. I love it. I have so many memories of this thing, it's ridiculous. So I wanted Stella to experience the magic. And boy, did she.
Stella took her first-ever carnie ride. When we got over the ride portion of the fair, I didn't think she'd want anything to do with them. Nor did I think they had stuff for kids her age. But the minute we walked past this train, she says, "Train, peaz? Train, peaz?"
"Oh really, you want to go on that? Um, ok, let's get a ticket. I guess," says me feeling trepidation at my 19-month-old wanting to ride one of these notorious death traps/germ factories. "Look! Candy!" No luck, she was repeating the word "train" about 27 times. We (I) weren't getting out of this one.
So I get her a ticket to ride. I tell her she has to wait in line until it's her turn and she stands at this little gate like she knows exactly what to do, like she's done it a thousand times. I looked at her from behind and just couldn't believe it. My little girl was suddenly a big girl, waiting her turn to ride this exciting multi-colored train that was assembled by some random traveling carnie clown, who I'm sure didn't consider what awesome cargo it would be carrying and therefore put it together half assed, because what does he care? He doesn't pay the insurance on this thing and his kid isn't riding it. He just wants to push the Go button and get back to drinking his beer. Not that I'm a paranoid generalizer or anything.
I asked him if I was able to ride with her, because she's only 19 MONTHS OLD, SHE CAN'T RIDE THESE THINGS BY HERSELF! He gave me a pursed smile and shook his head.
Fine, but I'm buckling her in myself so that I know at least someone took precaution in the safety of my baby. My FIRST BORN. Remember that when you hit "Go", carnie face, REMEMBER THAT."
I thought that after I buckled Stella in, she would start to cry because she saw that she was getting on alone and would be frightened. Uh, as if. She stretched her arms out to relax and was ready to enjoy the ride. I stood off to the side and waved like a moron because that's all I could do. She was out of my hands. My Mom told me to tell the guy to stop the ride if she start crying, but I didn't. I knew she wasn't going to cry. I should have told him to stop the ride if I started crying, as that was the more likely scenario. Ugh. She just looked so big. So little, yet so big. It was a moment for me.
She laughed the entire 5 laps around. Every second from beginning to end was the experience of a lifetime for her. It was like a hot dog, ice cream, blueberries, wagons and shoes all rolled into one giant ball of awesome. Look at her:
My little big girl. Riding the rails.
She got to take two rides on this train. And when they were over she ran to me and said, "More train, Mama, more train!?" And then again with more feeling. Complete with tears. The softie in me could have spent $45 watching her ride this train the rest of the night. But then some kid walked by giving away balloons and saved me.
It was such a fun experience. I loved seeing her get so excited about something. She was so ready to tackle this. And she didn't just tackle it, she took a big 'ole bite out of it and went back for more. And came out with the biggest grin on her face this fair has ever seen. It was delicious.
UPDATE: we went back to the fair again tonight. This time she rode the carousel. You can pretty much forget everything I just said about the train. The carousel is where it's at. She told me the train is for babies and is soooo two days ago.