Those who know us well might tell you that we never leave our house. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact we rarely leave our house. Note the difference.
Today we packed up the children and went down to the creek. Yesterday we went to the county fair (Dead Milkmen now in my head.) Growing up in DC I was familiar with the school fair and the church fair and the street fair, but county fairs have remained a sealed book to me until very recently. We took Patrick to one two years ago but between the heat and the morning sickness I failed to see the appeal. The swine barn was no Chanel No. 5 boutique and as for deep fried peanut butter sandwiches... the less said about them the better. But yesterday, my goodness. If there is anything more charming than a shed full of 4-H projects I don't want to know about it.
Caroline was so excited by the animals she started waving the instant we entered the cow barn. Elbow bent, wrist rotating like a fan she greeted each one, "Hiiiiiiiiii!" Actually it is more like "Haaaa-iiiii-ee!" since Caroline has a mysterious Southern accent that adds syllables into otherwise monosyllabic words. She was born Queen of the May. When we read books she will happily identify various and sundry things: "Cat! Dog! Car! Rabb-ut!" but when she gets to something she does not know she gives a slight pause, bright smile still in place, and says, "Seeeeeeee?" This is known as a redirect. Like "Do I support health care reform?" [pause. big smile] "Well, I support sunshine! And happiness! And I believe in peace! And I think flowers and children are dipped in golden innocence!"
Here Caroline finds a baby cow who is just her size and kisses it.
Then the cow kissed her back.
Caroline loved the fair.
Edward? Not so much.
I think he thought it was very, very messy. And, unlike Caroline, his desire to greet and embrace every living creature on God's dirty earth is nonexistent. He liked the fire trucks and he really liked it when they got an emergency call and had to race to leave with their sirens blaring and lights flashing. Other than that he morosely ate a hot dog bun for lunch when it became obvious the fair really and truly did not offer a single fruit or vegetable that had not been deep-fried or pickled or both.
Is that all there is, Eddie Lee? Is that all there is to a fair?
Patrick liked the canning display and all the kids' projects. He was especially interested in the judging of the original Lego creations. He was pretty sure he could win something next year and - as it looked like every entrant received a ribbon - it is hard to fault his logic. Have I talked about Patrick's Legos lately? He does funny work. I was particularly fond of his Lego waste water treatment facility which used Lego flowers to remove Lego bacteria... do I have a picture of that one? Aw rats. No. You should have seen my face when I asked, "So what are you building? A school?" and he said "No, I am trying to do something about the sewage in Lego City" with an emphasis to imply that my failure to be part of the solution meant that I was obviously part of the problem. It reminded me of that time an acquaintance attempted to describe her political inclinations by saying, "I think we are fairly conservative. I mean, we don't recycle" which still ranks as one of the most baffling things I have ever heard. I think reasonable people can disagree on the best way to spend tax dollars but surely we all want to keep the planet tidy? Is there not a little Edward in all of us? That is an actual question (not the Edward part; the only-Democrats-recycle part - surely the Republican party is not for pollution? feel free to clarify for me. maybe she was just... misguided?) Anyway, I was surprised the residents of Lego City feel that I am against responsible waste management, although I suspect this is somehow linked to my refusal to allow Patrick to move Lego NASA into my bedroom in his effort to get it away from the town center.
Where... right. County fair. Good lemonade. A cotton candy purchase the size of a large bag of potato chips from which I dealt out tiny pinches to Patrick as we walked. I then closed up the bag and announced we were done with cotton candy for the morning. After lunch Patrick asked for more, which put me in the embarrassing position of trying to explain why the bag was empty.
I love cotton candy.
Conclusion: we are in favor of fairs and have decided to all go to the state fair later in the month with the exception of Edward who very well might have an apoplexy at the Great Minnesota Get Together. He almost punched that baby cow, you know. Right in its sweet little face.
In other news I started a new food related sub-blog and I began putting up posts/recipes this weekend. I love food. I like to cook. But that hideous hour before dinner irritates the fuck out of me and, frankly, lunch with two toddlers and a Steve and Patrick home for the summer isn't exactly a magical time in fields of gold either. My plan is to write about what I am making and what we are eating and to talk about what you are making and eating. My theory is that it is always less boring when we are in it together. I could stick up a million caveats about my limited skills and my appalling photography and my unsophisticated palate (I don't like duck. I like chicken) and my picky child limitations (although if I do say so myself some of my work-arounds for food aversions are quite clever) but I am not going to do so. I mean, beyond that sentence. It is what it is and I am excited about it, so I hope you will check it out.