Sunday, August 10, 2008

Can you say corn dog?

We had been in the gates of the Iowa State Fair for about 10 minutes.  We were just finishing up our free samples of Cookies BBQ Beef and Beans when Harrison says "I want a corn dog!"  It was 10:00 am and in true Wilcke fashion he was wondering why that wasn't the FIRST stop we had made.

We had a blast at the fair.  We went on Saturday with Greg and Pam.  We started out with the mandatory DNR building with all of the different types of fish and different types of environments from Iowa.  Bennett liked the ducks outside better.  Duck is one of his favorite words.  He says it so forcefully!

Then we checked out all of the real fishermen.  These are the people who are hocking their wares by showing us how we can't possibly live without them.  $80.00 tupperware sets, Z-Coil shoes (UGLY!), mops that clean your floor with just water (I've had one for a couple of years!), etc.  Greg and Pam are always looking for that next must have.  This year car wax was the bait and Greg got hooked!

After that we were on to lunch at the always fabulous Pork Producers tent.  It is just soooo good!  While we were sitting down eating, we noticed a woman next to Chris was munching on a pork chop on a stick.  She was taking bites out of her mouth (after they had been substantially chewed) and setting them on her napkin.  Now, I have had occasion to have taken a bite and come to realize that said bite is not chewable.  I politely and discretely put my napkin up to my mouth to get rid of the cud and then fold the napkin so as to not 'gross others out!'  This woman just let it sit on the table saying "I am full of salvia and am braking down right before your eyes!"  As Harrison would say 'DISCUSTING!  And to top it all off, this woman was one of the fine employees of the Iowa State Fair.

After lunch we were off to Little Hands on the Farm.  Harrison had been waiting for the all morning.  Little Hands on the Farm is where children ages 2 - 11 get to plant seeds, harvest the produce, take the produce to market, etc.  The volunteers let both Bennett and Harrison participate and Harrison did great.  Bennett got hung up on the digging a hole for his seed and  then picking more apples than one toddler should.

What I really enjoy about the whole process is that it makes sense.  After we picked soybeans we traded them in for fuel for our tractor.  Before we milked that cow we feed her corn so she could produce healthy milk and then got said carton of milk.  After we took our produce to market we got cash to spend in the store.  I hope I am not sounding uppity or holier-than-thou-type-mom, but I really took the time to explain all of these things to Harrison.  We read all of the signs and he put together the process that he was going through.  His only disappointment came when he realized there was not water in the watering can.  "But mom!"

I really enjoy those kinds of teaching opportunities and I feel sorry for the children whose parents don't take the time to explain to their children that what they are doing is not only fun but a part of life.  Soapbox, put away.

After the Farm we went into the Learning Center.  This is a fairly new building and I had not been inside yet.  The whole building centers on animals that have just recently been born.  We saw a goat that was only 2 hours old!  Most had been born right in this building.  Being from a farm I don't know how the animals felt about giving birth to their young right in front of busy crowds (normally they prefer to go off and be alone in a quiet area) but I do know that I appreciated it.  It was great to see animals that were only a few hours old.  One calf had been born at 3:00 am and some of the chicks were literally breaking through their shells as we watched.  Harrison especially liked the chicks.  That was neat to see.

Next we were off to the Sky Glider.  This ride freaks me out quite a bit but in reality it is pretty safe.  It's not like you can't fall out, it's just that you would have to be very careless to fall out.  Anywho, Pam and Harrison rode on this and they had a great time.  Chris, Greg and I hung out with Bennett who was a little wired as he was eating lemons and was about 1 1/2 hours past his nap time!  But he still managed to take the cutest picture!

Now we began to think we were hungry again, but we stopped off at the Butter Cow and Butter Shawn Johnson.  Always very cool.  Then we took the boy's picture in the children's tunnel.  We do it every year.  Harrison's picture's turn out the best.

So, more corn dogs and a turkey leg filled our bellies this time and then it was off to see the big boar and giant bull.  On the way to the bull, Bennett finally decided to take a nap.  Uggggg!  He cried for almost 15 minutes before passing out.  And then, I have never seen such a wet baby.  Talk about sweaty!  He was soaked.  We saw the Budweiser Clydesdales and then were off to the Varied Industries building to cool off.  The temp really wasn't that bad, but the way Bennett looked in his stroller, we all knew he needed some relief.  

After the Varied Industries building we made a final stop by to get JR's donuts and some fresh root beer.  Harrison's meltdown came at this point and we knew it was time to go.  After he was through we chanced fate by heading towards the Giant Slide.  Harrison had been talking about it and he only gets to go on 2 rides at the fair (the midway is OFF limits!).  He had a blast (so did Chris) and said he wasn't ready to go home.  Us, being the parents, older and wiser, etc, knew better and put our foot down.  "No, it is time to go home and you will do what we say."  OK, so maybe it was "When we get home, we will watch some cartoons!"  It's was all good, tired, exhausted parents do!

Overall, the fair was great.  I love to go and people watch.  That is the bitchy part of me.  I mean really, will the drunk men with babies in their bellies ever put their shirts back on?  I hope not.  Too much entertainment value for me.

Sorry for the long post.  I just got carried away reliving my day! 

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