On Elementary School Carnivals


Now, you know I love the children.  I do.  I love them when they are quiet, freshly laundered or whatever it is you do to children to get them clean, and in someone else’s living room, a good half-hour’s car ride away from my own peaceful sanctuary.

Oh wait.  That was in my other life.  The one before I had no actual child of my own and certainly WAY before I inherited two more.

Now, of course, there are children in my house at least half the time.   They are not so much quiet, unless sleeping or perhaps ill, although illness more than likely causes more noise than less, i.e. “Mama I don’t feel so goBLEARRRRRRRRGHARGLEARGHHHHHHH.”   There is also the peculiar state they enter wherein instead of becoming more winsome, and therefore perhaps more likely to be lovingly attended to whilst sick, they enter an antithetical condition of being whiny and horrible when ill, causing Mama to have the occasional brief fantasy involving duct tape, or open windows on fast moving trains.

At any rate, we’ve entered the Elementary School Age Epoch, and having done so we are now undergoing initiation into School Fundraising.  At least once every two weeks we are obligated to fend off various opportunities to contribute.  It’s getting to the point where I am considering sidling up to the teacher (or the custodian or Fat Tony or whoever) out in the school parking lot one late afternoon and offering a fat check just for the privilege of NOT receiving the various appeals for funds.

Actually given the chance I would just write a check and have it done, but that’s another blog entry, and not one that lends itself to humorous lampooning.

Tonight we were obligated to attend the school’s fall carnival.  This is an organized activity, staffed by volunteers (bless their hearts!) and teachers and other school employees, wherein children of various ages may play games and go in bouncy houses and eat cotton candy and hot dogs late at night.  Note that the bouncy houses come BEFORE the snacks, at least if you’re thinking ahead anyway.

Naturally, our particular spawn (ages 6, 5, and 3) declined to eat their dinners in anything resembling a timely fashion, so we didn’t have a lot of time to spend there before night would fall and madness would descend upon them, yea verily, owing to lateness of hour and tiredness of spawn.  So we arrived fashionably late and didn’t stay too long.  An hour, perhaps.

The longest, sweatiest, most overstimulating hour of our entire week, perhaps of our lives.  But I digress.

This carnival was quite successful, being both inexpensive and close by, and I swear they had busloads of specially imported children from neighboring towns brought in, on buses that served espresso and amphetamines.  There is no way that normal children can sustain this kind of frenetic activity and subsequent decibel level for that long as a matter of course.

Unfortunately the success of the thing led to its very downfall, at least so far as our Family Unit went.  The kids didn’t get to play that many games because the lines were so long and the noise and heat were so crazy-making.  But they did get to do the slide and the bouncy-house, and they got balloons, and there were small prizes, and I think they had fun.

But I still maintain that if they wanted this to raise some serious funds, they’d rent out teenagers to watch the kids and put a convenient beer garden nearby.

Just sayin’.

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