Happy Kids

Funny, as we walked through the wind and misting on-again-off-again rain at the state fair on Monday, trying to find a carnival ride for which oldest wasn’t too TALL and youngest wasn’t too SHORT …almost impossible by the way…I realized how nice it was to not have the kids all squabbling about “fairness”.

The carousel always draws us first, and usually dh hops on to stand beside toddler (3 years old) since she’s always been under the height requirement to ride it alone. My equilibrium gets off for a week if I get motion sick. I’m weird that way. I avoid carnival rides. I buy stock in Dramamine for road trips.

So we’re standing in line at the merry-go-round, hoping our youngest is tall enough, and come to find out, she isn’t. Her Daddy, off drooling over stock trailers, had  plans to meet up with us under the ferris wheel at 3 p.m. We normally don’t split up at the fair, but the threatening weather kinda forced us to make the most of the time we had…

So here we are, a mom and three woe-begone girls, chilled and wet and wanting to eek just a little bit of fun out of the experience.

“You guys can ride it without her, we’ll find something her size after this.” I told my older girls, helping toddler back into the double jogging stroller and velcroing the rain shield down over her.

They look at me like I’m crazy. 7 year old especially. “Mom! We’re not going to ride the first ride without her!”

Okay. So we finally find a motorcycle one that 7 & 3 year old can ride together with 9 year old’s urging. Poor 9 year old, she’s tall for her age. Too tall for a kiddie carnival!

But the best part for me was that 3 year old was happy either way. She LOVED the rides, but she accepted the fact that she wasn’t big enough for all of them. To the point of waving wildly at her sisters as they zoomed through the air on baby elephants. A really cool ride in the eyes of a toddler, yet she was ecstatic just to wave and holler hello at them each time they made it around to our side.

Today at lunch toddler brought up the carnival motorcycles and how much she wanted to ride one again.

“That was fun, wasn’t it?” I agreed.

She grinned, her spoonful of rice suspended mid-air. “I’m gonna be big enough next year. Next I’ll be four and I’ll be taller to ride, won’t I?”

Yes, you will, babe and on the off chance that you aren’t, we’ll make sure daddy’s there to save the day!

8 thoughts on “Happy Kids”

  1. awwwwww, that’s cute. she sounds really sweet. we had passes to the water park/amusement park nearby and went a lot over the summer and the kids just got accustomed to taking turns doing the stuff they wanted. i’ve always really tried to treat them as indivduals and make sure their needs are being met and they’ve never been caught up in comparing what they get to what the others get, luckily. i think it might drive me nuts if they did.

  2. Mine do a little of both — they want to make sure they get their fair share, but are usually their sister’s number one advocate for making sure she gets her fair share, too.

  3. Talk about memories! When you were 2 1/2, Mary, when we took that trip around the USA, we spent a whole day at Disney World in Florida. I’m sure you don’t remember that but believe me, I do. Your young teen sisters and their girlfriend who was along, headed out to take rides, etc., and you and I set out to do the ‘little kid’ things. My biggest memory of that day is the 7 times in a row that we (note that WE) rode the merry-go-round! We did ‘do’ Small, Small World too, but the merry-go-round was your activity of choice! Do you suppose that marathan of circular riding set you up for seasickness later in life? Good memories!

  4. Linda, that’s a good synopsis of what I do also, except I don’t go out of my way to make sure “life” hands out the same treats in the name of fairness. When my oldest, for instance, was invited to a slumber party and middle daughter wasn’t, we just encouraged her to be happy for her big sis and used the time with just her at home to have fun together. We baked cookies or something, nothing huge, but something. Tried not to let it *become* an issue, other than an opportunity to be happy for big sis.

    Heather, I’ve noticed that children really close in age are more concerned with fairness, esp in their younger years. What ages are yours?

    Hey, Mom! I sure remember hearing about me loving the merry go round! But I never thought to credit YOU for enduring it 7 times, or that it might be what ruined my equilibrium for life! Thanks on both counts! 😉

  5. Hi, Mary, my girls are 10 and 5. What we’ve always done, which I think encourages them to think of others, is to say “Grapes? Sure! Ask (whomever) if he/she wants some, too”. Now it’s usually automatic that they dole everyone out a portion of whatever they’re getting — which can sometimes backfire when they are bringing you a bowl of Cheetos with your morning coffee :)

  6. Good practical tip! Yum, cheetos and coffee… 😉

    Our firstborn was always cracking everyone up by visiting everyone’s plate at say a Christmas gathering when we’d all be eating in my mil’s living room. She was 1 year old and LOVED to share. She’d share her food, and then look at you with big happy eyes like, “It’s your turn, what are you going to give me?” Smile.

  7. *Linda, that’s a good synopsis of what I do also, except I don’t go out of my way to make sure “life” hands out the same treats in the name of fairness.*

    i don’t either. that’s what i was trying to say. i try to meet individual needs and not have them focus on what the other ones get. i see the reward to this way of doing things whenever we happen to shop with friends. i know there are a lot of moms who think, *well, i got little erik a shirt so now i have to get little erika a shirt to be fair. * well, no you don’t.

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