Five years ago, I went to the Minnesota State Fair with my seven week old baby girl. While at the fair, which by the way was a completely miserable experience thanks to my husband who was on a conference call, realized he left his wallet in the car AFTER we had already gotten into the fair, started a fight with me, etc., I purchased a new piggy bank for my baby girl. It was cute, very girly with little flowers and butterflies, and, of course, her name blazoned across the side.
Now fast forward five years. Picture the same cute little baby girl and the same cutesy little piggy bank, as a five year old who is throwing a tantrum over her piggy bank being a “boy”, simply because it doesn’t have eyelashes. Uh…..what? You have got to be kidding me. I know they are going to draw on that pig’s face with a Sharpie, which I could do myself for free, but I also know this will not be good enough for Biggest. So, needless to say, all summer we have been talking about spending a special day at the Fair together, just Mommy and Biggest, in order to go back and get a new “girl” piggy bank.
Now, we all know this post could go very bad with the things we saw at the fair. Naturally, I could go on and on about the fashions at the state fair. There is something about sending people into an environment like that which drives them to lose all sense of fashion (and in some cases, personal hygiene). I will say, in their defense, that no matter HOW you dress for the Fair, you will end up stinky, sweaty and dirty. Believe me, I know first hand and I was actually trying to pull off cute but casual. Didn’t work. All it earned me was a hot shower when I got home. Yuck.
So, instead if going down the path of ripping others to shreds, I am going to share with you the fun and special moments I had at the fair with Biggest. This being her first “real” trip to the fair, I was excited to share it with her. Yes, Biggest has been there before, when she was a baby, but we also went when she was three years old with her sister who was about eighteen months. Wow. I would not recommend that. So here are the moments which really touched me that day and I hope you enjoy them too.
Moment #1: The Food! The food was terrific, as always. We skipped breakfast at home in lieu of eating like crap all day long. Totally worth it. We started the day with Luigi Fries (basically a cheesy breadstick) and then had Sweet Martha’s Cookies. Yup, it was about 9:00 am. After that we had Mouth Trap cheese curds (a must for a true Fair goer) and a wild rice cheese burger. Later, I got to split a beer flight with MY mom in the Ag building while Biggest shared a fresh squeezed apple juice with her Poppa. Later on, she had a blue raspberry Icee and I had a Gizmo up on Machinery Hill. Then we ended with the Tom Thumb mini donuts. I was so full I could burst. Normally, I am a mom who gets a little bit nutty about the kids eating junk or grazing all day, but that is the beauty of the state fair, right?! It is a time honored tradition that I passed along to my Biggest and we can share year after year. Honestly? I did not eat for the rest of the day. Biggest had a Happy Meal at McDonald’s on the way home. Gross but at that point, what is the difference?
Moment #2: The Sky Glider! All day, Biggest and I talked about riding the Sky Glider, which is basically a chair lift you can ride from one end of the park to another. You ride over buildings, streets, and all the business that is the Minnesota State Fair. We had spent some time with family at the fair (grandparents and cousins) but this was time for just the two of us. While Biggest and I were on the Sky Glider, we were lucky enough to see the daily parade pass underneath us. We passed over bands, tractors, princesses, a couple big cows, you name it. Biggest was bouncing in her seat! I, of course, was trying to keep Biggest from bouncing too much and sliding out underneath the safety bar (42 inches without an adult, my ass). We had time to talk, to snuggle and even snap a few photos of the fairgrounds (see above) and the two of us (thankfully, her blue Icee lips had worn off).
Moment #3: Some Girl Loses a Tooth! While in line for the Sky Glider, a family was standing behind us chatting, a mom, a dad and two daughters. Suddenly, we heard the younger daughter urgently saying “Mom, mom.” She had just lost her first tooth. Now, it was not my daughter who had lost the tooth, but it was such a cool moment to witness, especially with Biggest. The little girl was full of a combination of pride, excitement and awe. Biggest was fascinated by the little girl, who was about the same age as her. She seemed to have a better understanding of what happens when you loose a tooth and was even more excited for it to happen to her.
Moment #4: Dad Gets an Earful! OK, so this moment happened the next day , but it doesn’t lose anything because of that. It is the next day at 7:00 am and I am still in bed sleeping, since it is my day off (which really means I am laying in bed while my kids run around, slamming doors and yelling, my husband sings loudly in the shower, and 3 dogs are jumping on top of me, licking my face in an effort to get me up to feed them). Biggest runs into the bathroom and starts telling her dad all about our day together, since he didn’t see her due to fishing the night before. All I hear was snippets like this “This girl didn’t know how to drive her boat so I bumped her” and “I had cookies for breakfast”. It was awesome just to her her replay the stories to him, knowing it was as special and fun to her as it was to me.
So in the end, our day at the Fair was a great success. I got to spend the day with my Biggest. We had food, we had fun, and we made some amazing memories. And yes, in the end, we got a “girl” piggy bank.