When “White Trash” is the Only Answer – The Fair Part 3

This is the conclusion of the tale of my children’s first state fair experience… You can read Part 1 and Part 2….

It was mid-afternoon. The Iowa sun blazed high, even though the temperature was still twenty degrees cooler than 900 miles away in Texas.

We were hot. The Tackler was hitting the I Am Tired Enough to Nap But I Gave Those Up a Year Ago wall.

“Maybe we should go…” my sister suggested as my son showed early signs of a meltdown.

“He just needs to cool off and sit down. There this magic show going on somewhere… Let’s try to find it!”

The Tackler whined and grumbled, jealous of every child holding ice cream and wanting some in spite of the recent Popsicle consumption.

The stage I was looking for was tucked away in a spot I happened to completely miss.

Instead we stumbled upon a fountain of sorts. A circle of large rocks signaled the spot and children of all ages were running around fully clothed into the cool spray.

The Tackler’s covetous look was too much.

When I Knew What Was Best Before I Was a Parent

Forget how, in the years before I had kids, I looked down at those parents who set their children loose in fountains, fully clothed. Not bothering to dress them properly as they drenched themselves.

I hadn’t prepared for this.


I was the little girl who used to gaze longingly at the others my age because my G-ma didn’t want me to get my clothes wet with the other “white trash” at the fair, even when the weather was insanely hot.

I’d blotted the existence of this water from my memory, until the mists made it roar back.

So I was not prepared.

I searched the diaper bag, certain I had spare clothes for my children if I did let them get wet.

To my horror, somehow the spare sack of clothes for both kids was missing. Luckily, the spare spare bag placed for potty emergencies was intact, holding an entire set of clothes for my son and two pairs of underwear.

My daughter pointed to the spray, wanting so badly to run into it.

Embracing My Inner “White Trash”

What the hell… it is hot, I thought.

I stripped The Tackler down to his shorts, and he ran into the spray with the hoard of other kids.

He didn’t look out of place.

For Lil Diva, there was no tactful way to execute Operation Cool Off Kids. With no spare outfit, she went down to her regular diaper. I covered it with one of the spare pairs of The Tackler’s underwear.

Yes, Lil Diva looked like a little boy as she raced around in her big brother's underwear.

And I broke the vow of “I will never let my kids do that in public” with a twinge of guilt, wrapped in relief.

Because my kids were happy.

And squealing.

And not melting down.

I ran through the spray too. Just enough to cool myself off without a full soaking.

It was heaven.

I even captured a bit of Lil Diva’s joy on video (<–click on the underlined part to see it, G-ma).

Thirty minutes later, my kids were worn out but cooled off.

I still caved and shared an ice cream sandwich between the three of us.

Lil Diva passed out for the second time.

While Lil Diva took another nap, The Tackler rode this ride. Three times. $9 for three, two minute rides. He test drove three of the six cars.

Test Drives

We trekked to the Midway and I spent an exorbitant amount of money for what amounted to three rides for three tickets apiece.

The same ride.

In a different vehicle each time.

His choice.

Until the end.

If Roller Coasters Were Slow

Exclamations of "holy shoots" were commonplace on the sky glider - one of my favorite rides as a child.

“Mommy, I want to ride the roller coaster.”

“Uh, I don’t think you want to ride that.”

He pointed away from the rides and at the sky glider. “I want to ride the roller coaster.”

I smiled, correcting the name and honoring my earlier promise to ride it, plus it would drop us off right by the gate my dad was picking us up at. “Sure, sweetie.”

My sister pushed the stroller while The Tackler and I viewed the fair from above, the height causing bursts of “Holy shoots, we’re high!” from his mouth.

I finally found the roasted corn I’d been looking for, I was just thirty feet too high to get it.

We landed where we began the day, seven hours before.

I was in bed by 9:30 PM – completely toast.

I will always remember the joy of sharing a piece of my childhood, and my sister’s, with my children.

It. Was. Awesome.

But next time I’ll be sure to bring bathing suits.

Have you relived a piece of your childhood with your children? If so, what?


About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos (www.writingwithchaos.com) sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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7 Responses to When “White Trash” is the Only Answer – The Fair Part 3

  1. Pingback: How To Accessorize and Dig Chicks – The Fair Part 2 | Dances with Chaos

  2. My son attends the same summer camp that I attended as a kid. It’s amazing how similar our experiences are. I love singing all the old songs and cheers with him. 😉

  3. We did our local fair with the boys yesterday and after 4 hours I was exhausted! I can only imagine how worn out you were!

    Every year we go to the same lake for a weeks vacation that my parents took me and my brother to as kids. Its so fun to see them make memories at the lake I have so many fond ones of already!

  4. Ilana says:

    In NYC everybody lets their kids go in the fountains. It is a way of life. Unless I am white trash and didn’t even realize it!

    I took Mazzy on her first roller coaster recently. It went way faster with sharper turns than it looked. But Mazzy seemed to love it.

    • I think Lil Diva is actually more of a daredevil than The Tackler when it comes to rides. If her brother goes on it, she’s game. We’ll see how he does this year on the roller coaster when we do an amusement park again.

      I think it must be a location thing. Iowa just doesn’t have many fountains. I would never consider you white trash, my dear, but I recall how weird as a kid I found NYC kids playing in fire hydrants.

      I get it much more as an adult.

      My children unintentionally got too wet in a fountain in Kansas City last weekend. Well, intentional for them, but it wasn’t my plan.

      This time I had a change of clothes.

      It helped the car was packed with our luggage.

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