What a difference a year makes! Our day of fun at the Great Minnesota Get Together was a vast improvement over our trip to the fair last year. There was no blood this year, very little sweat, and only a few tears. We were not prompted to leave the fair early by a toddler meltdown. No, despite waking up four hours early on fair day, Dan made it through the entire day without a single meltdown – something we've been seeing more of lately now that he's trying to explore his independence. We even navigated the sea of people sans stroller for a couple hours, with Monika in the baby carrier and Dan on Glen's shoulders. It was almost like our days at the fair before we had children.
The biggest difference we saw in Dan was his patience while we gabbed with friends we happened to bump into. Glen said he used to hate waiting while his parents stopped to chat at the fair; now, he was doing the same thing to his kids. In our first half hour at the fair we stopped three times to catch up with friends. What are the odds of finding our vet and two old high school friends among the hundred thousand people at the fair – and we weren't even close to the barns.
Dan also did much better this year as a Little Farm Hand. He peddled the tractor, gathered his egg and tomato, milked the cow, and picked an apple. At the end, we pulled his hat down over his eyes as we raced through the gift shop at the exit and decided we wouldn't go back again next year. Dan lives every day as a Little Farm Hand – with real chickens, cows and apple trees, (He did learn some very important lessons in learning to wait in line, though.)
We didn't have any blood in the sheep barn this year, but our visit with the woolies did require a change of clothes. The young man who worked for us when we farmed up north had his ewe lamb at the fair for the 4-H show. Glen put Dan in the pen with the lambs so he could pet them. After kissing and hugging the lambs and proclaiming, "I love them," escalated into chasing the lambs around the pen, one of the lambs jumped into the water pail while trying to escape. Three gallons of water went flying in all directions, including Dan's. Luckily, I was a good mom and had packed a set of cool weather clothes into our back pack.
I can only begin to imagine the memories we'll create next year at the fair.