as per the usual, i have little to no memory of friday night. gone. vanished.
saturday, oliver made his first token exchange: five tokens for a trip to the target toy aisle. i'm still trying to figure out when we're supposed to have him "pay" versus when we're just being awesome and taking him wherever it is we would normally be taking him.
since he was paying, he got a straight shot to the back and got to bypass all the grocery shopping. violet and i found pants for the kids and pajamas for violet and underpants for me. i am excited to finally rid myself of the underpants i've been wearing the past five years and which long ago became ghosts of their former, vibrant selves. i'm tired of retrieving them from my crack. i was also pleased i was able to find a pair of girl jeans that were not covered in flowers or jewels or pink or what have you. a simple, non-girlie embroidery on the pocket and the tiniest thread of pink along the front pockets. they're still a little big, but not half bad. uh, violet jeans, that is.
soccer was at the napping hour of 2pm. oliver played with thomson on the playground for a good while after while i followed violet following birds. after a few minutes of chatting with thomson's mom, we swung by the house for foodstuffs and then left on our maiden voyage to manny's uptown location. we've been driving by their outdoor patio for a couple of years saying we should go. and we finally did. it was evident from about the moment we were seated that this was going to be one of those dining experiences where i question why we ever go out to dinner. oliver was being particularly ornery and wandering off and trying to eat a strawberry he found floating in the fountain, etc, etc.
at least there was beer and the biggest plate of spinach and vegetable enchiladas i have ever seen. it was pleasing and horrifying all at once.
sunday was put-me-out-of-my-misery day, mixed with some fun... the traditional parent experience cocktail.
but first... first! i was meandering about the condo and for some reason, i got it in my head how pleasant it would be if brian had another poop story for my entry about that day and lo and behold, i discover from brian's frantic utterings behind the closed bathroom door that he has gone and made a poop so very much the same size and shape as the toilet water hole and then placed it on top of some other toilet papers, that it had gone and totally plugged up the toilet so that water was flowing out everywhere! poo water! i had thought i had properly trained brian the last time he overflowed the toilet to turn off the water at the wall, but that effort had apparently gone right down the drain.
so there he was. down on the floor with towels i was brining him from the dirty laundry (his towels!) so that he could mop up his very own poo water! it was funny! to everyone not mopping up their own poo water with their own dirty towels!
anyhow, it's state fair time down here in dallas and we had decided to finally get the kroger ticket pack where you get a mildly discounted admission ticket and a mildly discounted train ticket. fortunately the kids ride free. not that any conductor was ever going to be able to make his or her way through those trains to check them.
we pulled into mockingbird station, unfolded and loaded up the stroller, made our way down to the platform, and watched the green line train stop and then leave because it was totally loaded. i kept thinking we were at the lovers station, which is only the red line, and then someone reminded us we could also get on the next train, which was on the blue line and empty. yes.
the transfer at pearl was pretty hairy trying to get on with the throngs and our stroller. oliver almost got stuck on there by himself until i started hollering and some other passengers held the door and helped us haul the stroller up the steps. for some reason, only particular doors don't have steps and i have yet to figure out how you know which ones until they're right in front of you and open. a bit of russian roulette when you're toting some wheels.
i do not know why, but the trains arriving at fair park were bypassing the main entrance and hauling you around to the MLK entrance and forcing you to walk several blocks to the gates. then, you stand in line to buy tickets and stand in line to show your ticket while a fair grounds employee blows a whistle at you and pokes you with a verbal stick to somehow get on the sidewalk like you're a bunch of cattle. i suppose it never occurred to them to procure some of those rope things whereby you can make an organized line. chaos is much better anyhow.
we get in the gate and i go stand for 10 minutes in line so i can pee and then we head straight for oliver's hero, big tex. after that, brian decides he's famished and he forces us into the frightening food building so he can get something to eat. we vamoose back outside and find a shady patch of grass inside a gate made of turkey leg parts to set ourselves down on. i unpack all our foodstuffs while brian eats french fries and a cob of corn (right off the cob! no cutting it off or anything and no flossing after! i hardly knew who he was anymore!).
at this point, we had basically done nothing and i already felt like it was time to head home. the weather was nice, but on the warm side and that just sucks the energy right out of me. but i got myself up and moving again. violet and i waited 10 minutes while the menfolk stood in line for the bathroom and then we headed straight to the sky cab so that we could spend $20 for a three minute ride to the other end of the midway. oliver was practically begging to get on the ferris wheel, so we headed that direction, with a stop off at the carousel. it was my year to accompany. i either had never noticed or had forgotten that the carousel music came from a fancy old cabinet like this one. it was kind of creepy and awesome rolled together, like old ghosts blowing air through the horns for you.
terror in the skies.
the line for the texas star was moving super fast, thank god, because violet was progressively losing her cool. she had shunned her handful of napping opportunities and was paying the price while simultaneously managing to make us look like bad parents dragging our baby around when she's tired. the thing is, once you get in the old cattle chute to the ferris wheel, you're pretty much committed to seeing it through. it was total melt down by the time the door to our cab was opened. once we cleared the crowd on the platform, i decided to ride partially topless. so i could nurse violet. she passed right on out and then woke again when i tried to unlatch her and then passed out again when i put her back on and then woke again when i tried to unlatch her and then passed out again when brian took her so i could make myself presentable for our descent. and then woke again when he disembarked. it was quite a trip. at least it took my mind off how we might die.
we exited the ferris wheel and since brian was carrying a snoozing violet, i received the pleasure of forcing my way past the first part of the line going in so i could get into the little area where you leave your stroller and then heave it over the railing and then force my way back out. seems like there could be a better way, but there you go. and violet napped ferociously amongst the many blaring, jarring sounds of the state fair midway.
somehow, brian had ended up with something like 64 tickets, so we decided to splurge on rides for oliver, seeing as how this was his big year in the height category at a whopping 36 inches, placing him just inside the height requirement for many of the kiddie rides.
the line for the log ride was too long, so oliver started just pointing at whatever was closest and saying he wanted to ride it. he didn't care that they were baby rides. the first was riding on the backs of sombrero-wearing alligators (that's how the alligators do it down here). then, i went to ride with him on these jeep-type carlets that make a series of hairpin turns on inclines and lasts all of two minutes and they had the nerve to force me to give up tickets even though oliver was too short to go alone. i was only there as my duty as a parent! eight dollars it cost for that ridiculous ride! one trip around the tiny track! HIGHWAY ROBBERY... THE WHOLE FAIR! seriously. they're saying they made $30 million in food and coupon sales this year. holy christ.
so i sort of got oliver to hold off giving it up to whatever ride was closest and lured him toward the more exciting, greater bang for the buck type rides in his height category. he asked for the twirling bears and i convinced him to ride the little airplanes with a group of strangers and the dragon wagon with brian. and then the miniature swings on chains.
violet rode the sweaty-and-sleepy-time express.
i thought we had enough tickets for him to take two more rides and told him thusly as we made our way to the hang glider ride. i took him in there to load him up and the carnie approached me and paralyzed me with a flash of his slapstick british teeth, only he was far from being british so it was even worse, and i was transfixed as he said kids under 42 inches had to have an adult with them, as if an adult could do a single thing for a child while they were both strapped into hang gliders and it was obviously just a ploy to separate four more dollars from everyone. and i sort of panicked and looked at brian on the other side of the gate holding violet and told him to hurry up because he had to go on the ride with oliver.
you see, those teeth had tricked me into thinking the ride was frightening and it really wasn't and it wasn't until brian had handed over violet and we'd switched places on the sides of the fence that i realized, oh shit, that kind of looks like fun. and brian said it was and why on earth didn't i want to ride it. i told myself it was because i didn't want my butt on display like that.
i stood there watching my tiny, little baby boy on this sort of big kid ride, zipping by 20 feet up in the air and i almost started crying. it didn't help that "drive" by the cars was emanating loudly from some mysterious place and that song is particularly saddening, especially, as it turns out, if you have babies. go listen to it. you'll be singing it from your mental mouth for days.
so there we were with all our tickets absorbed by the teeth and i felt really guilty that i'd promised oliver two more rides and had also talked him out of the bears, so i spent another $10 for brian and oliver to ride the bears and for brian to buy a disgusting coke for us to split. disgustingly delicious, is how i think brian later described it.
it was finally time to trek the entire length of fair park to pass big tex and say goodbye and get to the train station. and it was past the time oliver was willing and able to be a good sport. he didn't want to hold anyone's hand and he didn't want a disgustingly delicious ride in the stroller, so it was a lot of tantrums and kickings of feet and time outs getting the hell back out of there.
and, of course, we couldn't squeeze into the first train, but made the second. and were reminded at the train switcheroo that we could take the blue instead of the red. and then it was just a short car trip to freebirds and home. just. ha!