Figuring out what I wanna be when I grow up.
Oop..I AM grown up...

Friday, October 7, 2011

Thanksgiving Craft Festival Angst-Style

My children have sucked all the life and goodness out of me.

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?"

Me:  "No."

Jack (becoming disgusted):  "do they have a PLAYGROUND there?"

Me:  "No.."

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


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:  "cigarettes."

Jack:  "cigarettes?"

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.

"Where's Jack?"


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.

Deep breath.

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.


  1. "There goes another five bucks" is my new favourite saying.
    Happy Thanksgiving. My wife and my in-laws are away for most of this weekend so it looks like my son and I will be cooking a turkey ourselves (or more likely eating Kraft Dinner).

  2. ooo, i haven't lost my own kid yet, but i've been with others moms who did. so gut-twistingly alarming!
    pretty jewels make all things better.
    have a happy thanksgiving, whichever day it turns out to be. how do you always manage to get someone else to cook it? i've done the last several years cooking & just the three of us eat it all alone due to the bastard that is retail management. this year, however, retail is finished & maybe i'll get to share the cooking & the eating with my families. this is a good thing.

  3. dbs: Oh no...not kraft dinner. I was just thinking about your leftover kd post again, and oh man, you were so right. Not only that--I tried to craft (har, no pun intended) that crap into "kraft dinner alfredo" with a few additional things and it was GROSS.

    Cook a chicken. It'll take much less time!
    Happy thanksgiving to you as well!

  4. Sherilin, it was just horrifying. So horrifying in fact, that when I told Jon what happened when he got home tonight (he went in to the office today to avoid the day off school chaos), I started crying. It brought back that awful, awful feeling.

    My Mom and Mother-in-law always made thanksgiving dinners, so we had back to back turkey meals, and never had enough leftovers for a sandwich.

    What do you eat for thanksgiving by the way?

  5. OKay - since the horror is undone - I have to say:

    Only you could take a total nightmare day and make it a roll on the floor laughing - you're a genius, K. - and thank God for it. Better than any reality show out there, sister!

  6. ok, that was a bad day, but i say leave the kiddies at home with the man and head out to the vineland craft show. the best thing is that it is FREE to get in, they have some pretty cute stuff, and it is huge!if you would actually like to be with the family, we discovered 'warners ranch and pumpkin farm'it was cool, and the pumpkins did not cost like 20 bucks apiece.yay!happy turkey day to you![on monday]

  7. i make the whole turkey, stuffing, gravy, potatoes & several side veg dishes, so i eat everything but the turkey usually. and pumpkin pie cuz that's just nasty.

  8. It's amazing how jewellery will bolster a ravaged woman's spirit!
    As for the temps in October, tell me about it! I'm in Winnipeg! Winnipeg! Land of the igloos supposedly. It's been 30 degrees here all week, and you'd think I'd love it, except I look forward to wearing boots and big, oversized wool sweaters...and where was I going with this? Right! The craft fair! Nice idea, probably best executed WITHOUT the children in tow. Your necklace is gorgeous though!

  9. Sweet Baby Jesus what were you thinking?!? That so sounds like a fun little trip we had when we were up in North Dakota and we took the kids with us. I kept looking for the beer vendor (there was none) and for North Dakota it got hot (about 50 degrees) and I was so sweaty and over it and hypoglycemic. It went south faster than you can say, "Somebody shoot me." They even had that same train ride thing. I wound up eating my weight in cotton candy and sugar coated popcorn. I have never subjected the family to another one of those since.

    Go get yourself a drink and calm your nerves. The fear of loosing your kid for a second is mind numbing.....they're all like, "Ohh, look at that shiny thing" and are gone in under a nanosecond. I am in constant fear of A wondering off in search of one of his interests. Scares the life out of me.

    PS--I love your shiny new bauble!

  10. Did I mention how glad I was about finding your son? There is no fear or panic like it. I'm beyond words glad you found him and he was OK. Beyond words.

  11. I can't believe you had to PAY for the balloon animal! As a native of Niagara Falls, I am extremely sensitive to the crime of gouging.

    I bet the moment you lost Jack, all those black thoughts had gone 'whoosh' out of your mind. THAT's the proof that you are a good mom, in fact. Despite the layers of sarcastic, biting, self-debasement.

    DBS: I say go middle-of-the-road grilled cheese and ham. With the pickle.

  12. and more real than reality too, eh, Christina? Blech. What a horrible tv show I'd be--all stressed and screechy.

  13. Thank you Mrs. H. I've been googling this craft show of which you speak, and I'm wondering if you're a GENIUS. I may take my girly. She's lovely to go places with.

  14. Sherilin, how dare you! Pumpkin pie is NOT nasty! It's marvelous! What--you hate cinnamon and cloves and whipped cream??? I can't stop crying.

  15. Sandra hit the nail on the head: I want to wear AUTUMN CLOTHES. Today I've got my beige capris on again because it was so freaking warm. Curses! CURSES!

  16. Thanks Lizbeth! Me likee that necklace too! Yeah, it was pretty much a small slice of hell--that day at the craft show. I keep having this fantasy that really just my sister and I went, and we saw EVERYTHING and returned home happy and not burnt out.

    Funny--Jack HAD no interests there--he was just oblivious, and kept on walking. Sigh.

  17. And when Jack went missing, I TOO imagined the bad man.... and it felt hopeless. HOPELESS! I just stood there at a loss while the girls shouted, "Jack! Jaaack!"

    After Jack was found I had the stupid jello legs.

    And for the record... ponies are never stupid. Even if they were making that friggen sound.

  18. Yes, thank you Lizbeth. Even if you hadn't said it, I know any mom would think that way. It was so horrifying at the time, there are almost no words to describe that feeling.

  19. I think the stabbing thing didn't do me any good, that's why I kept looking at it - your reality show would be good . . . even though a bit stressful : ) !

  20. Matt! Genius, re; with the pickle!

    Yeah...Matt, you're smart, tell me: what does it mean when I feel relieved in retrospect that all those stupid evil thoughts whooshed out of my brain?

    Yup, it was a total kick in the ass experience. Knocked me right out of the funk I was in.

    Yeah, you'd think we'd be used to the price gouging...

  21. Sister! We're online at the same time! Simpatico! Ponies are never stupid even when they're making that frigging sound! Ah ha ha ha ha! That made me so happy. I hated that sound.

    Yeah, that was a terrible moment of panic. Let's discuss it again tomorrow.

  22. Yeah, that post partum article was a little hard to relate to, wasn't it, Christina? In case anyone wonders what the hell Christina and I are talking about, link on over to Christina's blog:

  23. So hey there, you probably can't see me down here... at your feet... hailing the bejeezus out of you for being my own personal god.

    I do not know how you do it. You are seriously frickin awesome. Did you ever read We Need To Talk About Kevin? That book is why I didn't have children. Not really, but kinda. Anyway, you rock. In case nobody has told you that in the last ten minutes. You FRICKIN ROCK.

    Sarah xxx

  24. I believe it means you suffer from self-doubt, like so many others. Did I miss something deeper?

  25. Sarah, I have a hard time reading books about children, even if they're helpful because my attitude is BLECH, I LIVE IT, NOW WHERE'S THE ESCAPISM???

    Thank you. I appreciate your kind words!

  26. We lost E once when he was 3, it was very very scary, but it happens to the best of us. I am so jealous you guys have Thanksgiving today!

  27. Very, very scary is right, Ms. Weez. Yeah, you but even though you guys have your Thanksgiving too close to Christmas, you get a great big party weekend out of it, complete with fabulous shopping deals, right? And who doesn't like fabulous shopping deals--except when people get trampled. That destroys all the fun.

  28. Thanksgiving festival differ from place to place, style of the festival also differ accordingly. This function is mainly for get together and share their joy, kids like this festival more and Thanksgiving food recipes had very special menus.


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