Carnivals are neat. Rides that travel at a high rate of speed, extreme heights or both are set up and operated by a person who took a training course. (Coincidentally, that is all that is required to operate a jet ski.) One doesn’t get a degree in Engineering to take a gig as a carny. In many states 16 is considered an appropriate age to work as an amusement park ride operator. My son, at 16-years-old, couldn’t remember to put on deodorant. There was a 50/50 chance that he would brush his teeth on any given day. Yet, a teen can monitor the Gravitron? That being said we gleefully put our children on board. We went to a carnival this summer on a 90 degree day. What could be more fun than spending a small fortune on ride tickets, sweating profusely and risking a footborne illness to enjoy a fried waffle?
The fun started on the sleigh ride. It was initially moving at a snails pace. Then, the carnie put that sucker in overdrive. I had mixed emotions. I was slightly fearful this thing was about to go off the rails. On the other hand, the facial expressions on the riders, my children included, were meme worthy. I would be lying if I said I didn’t laugh. Everyone survived. We piled back into the minivan and headed home. I patted myself on the back for being mom of the year until my children started screaming. It turns out it’s not a good idea to drink a milkshake before going on the Gravitron. My son’s friend was puking! No, my first instinct wasn’t about the child’s well being. It was about the carpet in my vehicle and the stench that would linger. Thankfully, there was a large cup in the backseat and this kid had the wherewithal to blow chunks in it. For once, it paid for my children to leave their garbage behind. They are usually trying to hand me garbage, while I’m driving. I could be swerving to avoid a collision and my children would still shout, “Mom, what do I do with this?” They never know what to do with their garbage. They can figure out any electronic device put in front of them, but are We can walk into a place I have never been before and my children will ask me where to find the garbage can. I don’t have garbage radar or a map of cans at every location we visit. I don’t want to carry their garbage in my pocket or put it in my purse. I will, however, allow a cup to remain in the backseat the next time we visit a carnival.