So there we are at the Waterfront today for the Rose Festival Fun Center, which generally translates (and I realize I may sound snobby here) to a bunch of people in "Honk if You're Horny" t-shirts from the sketchy parts of the burbs - which I did actually see, and should have taken a picture of to prove it. Anyway - the crowd is not the Portland I live in (though I did run into two families I know from around town and saw lots of people wearing much more appropriate clothing - including a cute dad wearing an "I Love Soccer Moms" t-shirt). We like to think we keep our neighborhood real with our plastic toys scattered around our front garden, including a crab shaped sandbox, plastic slide, pea gravel dig pit and a super cute wooden picnic table I picked up from a garage sale yesterday for $10. And though we don't have gardeners, as most of our neighbors do, I am happy to report that I do not own a "Honk if you're Horny" t-shirt.
Anyway. The kids LOVED every second of the festival's trashy glory! For my (two?) out of town readers, the Rose Festival is a week long 104 year old Portland tradition created to make Portland 'the summer capital of the world!' - and it has all sorts of events during the week, spanning end of May to June. There is a fleet of Navy ships that come into harbor, a giant Rose Festival Float Parade, the Starlight Run, all sorts of things - including the crowning of the high school Rose Queen, you get the picture. And there is the Fun Center. I think we spent $90 on ride tickets, or something ridiculously close to it. Henry rode the same car ride 5 times, each time choosing the same exact car. The ride operator made us get out every time and get back in line, even though twice there were only two kids lined up, and never more than four (plenty of cars to go around). Each time I got Henry out, he would scream because he wanted to stay in, and I would have to carry him out the exit, and back around to the line and say, "Oh, hi again. One, please." Just one of those things that people do that drive me CRAZY. I would have happily just handed him my tickets each time.
Ellie rode the carousel - here's where we come in as feeling like we're good parents - and there's this muscly dad, probably 40ish, with his wife, older daughter and no more than 2 year old boy. Ellie and Chris had gotten on the carousel, and the 2 year old got on with his mom, right in front of them. The kid is hysterical - screaming because he is clearly terrified, and his mom is tightening this leather belt around him, forcing him to stay on the horse. The muscly dad is yelling at him from the sidelines, "Hey, boy, you listen - Knock it off! Quit your crying and put on a happy face." All this is making the kid even more upset. I mean, for the love of God, the kid is TWO. A baby. He's scared shitless of being on the horse, and he's being forced to stay on it. The poor kid is going to grow up petrified of carousels. So depressing - not just the carousel fear - the whole thing.
So bottom line, our kids had a great time and we had a lot of fun watching them have a great time. And next year, we'll have FOUR kids at the fair. EEk.