There's nothing better than the thrill of an amusement ride at the State Fair for a child. For a parent there can be nothing worse...
As a child I did all the rides - upside down, pulling G-force turns, feeling like my stomach is going to fall out of my throat. But now the spinning teacups make mingled with the smell of fried onions and tractor exhaust make me want to throw up all over my Patagonia pullover (which incidentally is not keeping me warm enough in the below 50 temperatures.)
I'm trying to be a trooper, I really am. But when my husband comes back with two more books of ride tickets (after we've already gone through four), I think I'm going to lose it. I'm not interested in having my body plunged into a state of distress- nausea and pulled muscles. But my six-year-old is interested. It's all she can think about as we ride the ferris wheel high above the fairgrounds.
"Mommy, when we're done this one I want to do that one, that one, and that one," she says pointing to rides that make my stomach sick just thinking of them. I can barely stomach the ferris wheel.
"Well, you'll have to do them with Daddy!" I say indignant knowing full well that he is afraid of heights.
Like a good mother I soldier on. By the end of the evening I am wrapped up like a mummy in a scarf and two fleeces. Our three-year-old is similarly cocooned in a stroller with a fleece blanket and a hat. The six-year-old shows no signs of slowing down.
"We're out of tickets," my husband finally says. My six-year-old looks dejected and stamps her sneaker on the ground sending up a cloud of dust.
"Darn," I say without conviction. "I guess we'll just have to some back next year." And the scary thing is that I know we will.