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Stacy's Parenting Journal

Entry 23 ~ October 29, 2010
The Apple Harvest Festival

Brody and spidermanMy sister-in-law lives in a fairly large town that hosts an apple harvest festival each year, complete with anything and everything apple, booths galore, crafters and retailers, a variety of bands, and a carnival. Each year she asks us to attend, and for the last few years we have declined. Well, this year, there seemed to be no other plans or excuses, so we packed up Kassie and the four little ones, and off we went.

Reagan has taken to whining in the car, saying "Sick. Sick. Sick," leading us to believe that she is going to get sick in the vehicle, which has occurred in the not-too-distant past. Not to disappoint, she spent the 30+ minutes in the car whining and carrying on, and thankfully, not getting sick. We had to take a shuttle to the festival, which was actually a school bus. The twins were ecstatic to ride the bus. Who knew how small a bus interior really is. At 5 feet 7 inches, I'm not particularly tall, but my knees dug into the seat in front of me, and my voluptuous curves (okay, my big fat butt) knocked into either side of each seat back as I walked toward the back to the bus. Sheesh.

So when our freak show arrived at the festival and we disembarked the bus, there were several comments from bystanders, "are they twins?" Not to state the obvious or anything, since they are identical, but YES THEY ARE TWINS. In general I don't find myself annoyed by the admiring and curious eyes of strangers, but I felt myself tensing up as we delved into a massive throng of human beings. I hate crowds.

The afternoon passed slower than a kidney stone. A very kind stranger tapped me on the shoulder and alerted me when I turned my back on Reese and she ran the other way into a horde of people. Brody used the stinky portapotty. Yuck. We paid $6.50 for a bowl of apple crisp and got a free shot of lukewarm spiced pumpkin coffee, which Reese snatched, threw back (like a sailor tossing back a shot of whiskey) and proceeded to spill all over the front of her shirt. We passed by smokers who carelessly blew their secondhand smoke into the crowd of people.

And then Brody spotted the ferris wheel, and I knew our afternoon was about to take a fateful and unpleasant turn. The carnival.

Uncle Ralph hauled Brody in the wagon up the hill toward the ferris wheel, while Kassie and I each carried a twin. We arrived at the outskirts of the carnival area and observed more chaos than the throngs wandering around the food booths and crafters. It was madness, complete with music, screaming and laughing children, and believe it or not, sleeping babies. I was dizzy with dread, the kids dizzy with excitement.

The ferris wheel, we found out after waiting in line, only allowed four people in each car, regardless of weight. So Ernie was challenged with the task of taking Brody, Reese and Reagan without me. Call me crazy, but I would think that the fellows working the ride would understand that another adult would be beneficial on the ride, but then again, they had never met my twins before. And as the ride swirled circles through the air, the fellows working the ride realized Reese and Reagan were just not going to sit down. They finally stopped the ride and got them off. Of course, had they allowed me on the ride, it would have been an entirely different outcome.

The kids then rode a motorcycle ride around and around and around, laughing all the way. It truly was the highlight of the afternoon, watching their smiles and hearing their shreiks of delight. Another ride inside a massive, spinning bear, and we corralled the children away from the rides, stopping to pay $5 for Brody to swing a large hammer and "win" a cheap plastic spiderman. When Reese realized she was being directed toward the exit, she collapsed in a limp pile at my feet, leaving me no choice but to heave her over my shoulder. She abruptly re-gained control of her limbs and kicked and fought me until I deposited her on the pavement on the other side of the fence. Ernie experienced the same inexplicable loss of motion with Reagan until she too, conceded defeat and collapsed in a sweaty, crying mess on the pavement.

Alas, the Apple Harvest Festival was coming to a close. We organized the troupes and walked back to the bus area, for another exciting ride. As Treyton slept in my arms and Brody sat with me, admiring his prized spiderman, Reese snuggled into Ernie and Reagan snuggled into Kassie. We arrived back at the parking area, waved good-bye to the big yellow bus, packed everyone into their seats in our van, and within moments, everyone was peacefully and soundly sleeping.

~ Stacy

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