It's Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend--help me out people, is it Sunday, technically, or Monday? I never remember because I never cook it myself. I just eat it, and I eat it whenever the cook in question decides they feel like cooking all day. I'm going to guess that it's technically Monday.
So, there's this annual Thanksgiving craft festival in an extremely charming area nearby--so charming in fact, one could say that it fairly REEKS of charm--and my sister and I decided to take the kids with my dad and go. It was an incredibly gorgeous day; warm and sunny, and the leaves are JUST starting to turn around here, and this is my favourite time of year, so HOORAY! Autumn festivals! Hooray for the potential of buying something crafty and fun! Hooray for the great outdoors!
I have a son who doesn't like to do ANYTHING, and has very little time for nature and enjoying nature. Here is a little foreshadowing:
Me: Tomorrow we're going to go with Aunt Aimee and your cousins to [BLANK] Falls!
Jack: "What's there?"
Me: "A great big park!"
Jack: "Is there a PLAY PLACE there?"
Jack (becoming disgusted): "do they have a PLAYGROUND there?"
Jack (completely out of patience at this unfathomable, incomprehensible hell park): "Well, WHAT DO THEY HAVE THERE?!?"
Me: "erm...a CRAFT SALE! Yeah! You get to walk around, and it's really pretty and they sell cool things there, and maybe you get to eat some yummy treats!"
Good one, karen. The kid hates food.
Okay, so he was completely not-sold on the idea, but because his favourite cousin was going, he would just have to make the ultimate sacrifice and go too.
Here's how it all went down:
Ah, here we are just arriving at the park. The children are skipping merrily down the hill to get there and it's just so pretty out! How sweet! Aren't the kids cute? Maybe this will be a good day after all!
Ella and her girl cousins have decided they don't need to listen to us. AT ALL. Nope, they've happily run off ahead and are ignoring my annoying parent cries of
"ELLA! GET BACK HERE! WAIT FOR US! YOU HAVE TO WAAAAAIT!!!"
Eff that, they're going to have fun, and they're going to hop on this slightly lame, but cute little tractor "train" and have themselves a ride. Okay. Fine. Luckily they didn't get TOO far ahead--like, not SCARY far, and the train doesn't have a cost, only a donation box, so that's alright I guess. Plus, as they're just getting going, some charming old guy came over from his Government of Canada tent, and gave all the little kids little plastic Canadian flags, and just to up the cute factor, all the little kids immediately begin waving them around, as they happily cruise around at 2 miles per hour in a circle.
Aw, that's nice. karen is even stoopid enough to burble out: "TODAY IS MAGICAL!"
Hope springs eternal, @$$hole, hope springs eternal.
Look! My sister and I are even having enough fun to take retarded photies, and she makes a goofy face for my little pink camera/celly (she's not going to lurv me posting this perhaps. Whatevs.)
Next stop, a magic show for the children, already in progress. Okay, it's freaking hot. FLIPPING hot. In fact, why is it so hot? It's OCTOBER. I'm starting to melt a little. Jack is actually liking the magic show. He wants to know if he can get a magic wand for his birthday. I'm charmed. Sure, I tell him.
Even better--magic show guy finishes his show (which is good, because it's about 10,000 degrees outside), and is now selling plastic magic wands for two bucks a pop. Best four bucks ever spent! The kids are thrilled--especially Jack.
This is when Jack first asks when we're going home. We've been there about 15 minutes. Great.
This is Ella, riding a stupid pony. There goes another five bucks. It's 20,000 degrees in the direct sun, and there are six kids ahead of Ella and her cousins, but there is no way that kid will be persuaded away from having a pony ride.
We wait forever, and even I feel like rolling on the ground in agony when finally Ella gets her ride. Amazingly she doesn't get the pony that keeps making the hairball sound, like it has a wad of grass stuck in the back of his throat. Sheesh. I hate these pony ride things. Eventually the stupid hurking horse has a big drink at the huge bucket that's RIGHT THERE and stops making that noise that is cracking Jack up, but mildly disturbing me.
Have a small tousle with Jack after the pony ride debacle: he wants me to take the lid RIGHT OFF the reusable drink bottle I've brought from home. I say NO WAY, because if the klutz spills all of our water, we're screwed. I tell him to just drink from the convenient sippy spout on the top. Jack loses it, grabs my arm and digs his chin in as hard as he can. We've been "chinned" about one billion times, but this one particularly hurts, and honestly--if he were a grownup, I'd have punched him right in the f*cking head.
I am his mother, and I'm in public, so I'm not even allowed to screech, but instead must do what all FURIOUS mothers do in public, and hiss in an angry whisper to Not. Do. That. Again.
So, now Jack and I are fighting, and it's 50,000 degrees outside, and I'm thinking such black thoughts--the likes of which I could NEVER type out here, not even for you good people.
Next stop: to buy a crappy steamed hot dog and a couple of apple juices. So, we get our horrid little snack, and all the picnic tables are DIRECTLY IN THE SUN. This is bad, because it's 80,000 degrees by this point, and even my knees feel prickly they're so sweaty.
We're all quietly munching/sipping away when Ella FREAKS, and starts SHRIEKING AND SOBBING AND FLAPPING AROUND at the table. There is a wasp casually walking around on her apple juice bottle, and the kid is losing it SO BADLY that I can feel the eyes of basically everyone on us. I actually saw my life pass before me, as I leapt out of my skin with that first blood-curdling shriek.
And so we head off to the craft stalls to see if there's anything fun to buy.
I'm feeling fairly burnt at this point.
Jack has now asked me approximately every five minutes when we're leaving.
So, we round the corner into crappy craft alley, right near some ditzo who thinks she's the blonde shiznit, as she sucks away on a cigarette.
Jack: "what does it smell like???"
Me: "someone's smoking. Disgusting habit."
Then, I ambled five feet over to my sister, and the girls, and we looked at one seller's wares for a moment, and then Jack disappeared.
Jack was gone. Gone. Completely gone. Not up ahead. Not behind. Not back at the hand-wash station a hundred feet away from whence my dad was now returning...ALONE.
Have you lived this? Have you had this gut-dropping moment of IMMEDIATE terror? Suddenly I realised how HUGE the park is. The first image that popped into my mind was THE BAD MAN, silently taking Jack's hand, and swiftly leading him away.
Oh, the sickening, swooning terror, as I run down the row shouting "JACK! JAAAACK!" People are turning to look at me. Why isn't he hearing me? Why isn't he RIGHT THERE? How am I going to find him??? All I could think were the terrible thoughts I'd had in my mind after he'd dug his chin into my arm, and now he'd vanished.
Then, miraculously, a vendor woman all in white linen steps out from her stall and asks if I'm looking for my son, because a boy ran by looking distressed, crying. She tried to stop him, but he kept going and she pointed in the direction he had gone and I couldn't see him and then I saw him, way back over by the picnic tables where we'd had our snack, and he had his "Jack the Pumpkin King" shirt on and he was crying and
it took everything in me not to sob, right then and there.
And the rest?
Ella got a stupid balloon animal shaped like a rabbit. That lasted ten minutes before it popped. Bye-bye three more dollars. The girls ended the day happily painting a little wood craft, while I nearly passed out.
Since the day was so suck-tacular, I said f*ck it, and bought myself the $40 necklace that caught my eye. Actually, The Man bought it. I figure he'd owed me one for this day anyway.
|Ooo...look how yummy with it's shiny glass and stones and polished pieces of wood, and glossy pieces of shale that I want to put in my mouth and suck on a little bit|
|See? All better now.|