It is the last week of school. School lunches - byeeeeeeee! Oh, wait... My oldest is going to camp. F**k. With the last week of school, comes the year-end fun fair. You know what I am talking about - face painting, bouncy castles, book fair, kids and parents moving in every direction, anxiety..through..the..roof. Let's be honest, is there anything more terrifying than a bouncy castle? Well, maybe a clown. More specifically, a clown that is a serial killer. Or a doll. Wait, what?
Back to the frightening fun fair. This year started out promising. The weather was amazing. And, we had a plan. Anxiety and I need our plan. We were going to get there, right after it started. We would grab something to eat, right away. Then, we would reluctantly stand in line for a couple of bouncy castles, at the ensured insistence of our littles. Book fair, lost and found, and escape....I mean, exit. Boom! The Neurotic Mama's version of Dora's map. Say it with me - bouncy castle, book fair, lost and found! Bueno!
When we arrived, things started off according to plan. We grabbed the boys a couple of slices of pizza and found a lovely spot to sit in the shade. This wasn't so bad. Scanning the scene, there didn't seem to be that many people and the bouncy castles hadn't been assembled. Seemed a little strange, but I wasn't mad at it. If I never saw another f**king bouncy castle in my life, that would be a-okay with me. One can always dream.
The kids finished eating and ran to the park to play. Just then, one of my Mama friends texted to see if we were there. I explained our wonderful and innocuous spot in the shade. I mentioned the absence of the inflatable nightmares, hoping for confirmation. Then, she texted the most horrifying thing - they are set up in the gym. Why? What in the twisted carnival hell? Next, the unfortunate realization. There is no way we are going to make it to the book fair, without passing the gym. Another text - it smells like feet. Awesome...
And let me tell you, she was not lying. The minute we walked through the entrance, we hit the humid wall of stench a la pieds. There were two bouncy castles and two undefined lines, fanning out in every direction. There was laughing. There was crying. There was screaming. All to the background sound of the bouncy castle fans and the smell of feet. Anxiety was not into this. Too many people. Too small of a space. F**king bouncy castles. But, before I knew it, the kids had ditched their shoes and had found their way into a line. Frozen in place, I looked for a spot along the wall, where I could see my kids and make a quick escape, if needed. You always need to be prepared. Anxiety suggested outside the doors, but I told her to shut it. There wasn't room in this nightmare, for both of us. I see my Mama friend wave, from her chosen spot on the wall. I made my way over.
After briefly discussing our current predicament, she said - "You know what makes these things better?"
"Alcohol?" I answered, without taking a single second to think about it. I heard her laugh. I then noticed the very chic, adult sippy cup, that she had grasped in her hands. I looked from it, to her, and suddenly understood. Genius. I still had so much to learn.
We survived the formidable, feety, fun fair. The boys got their bounce on and had a blast. No injuries. No tears. No muggy, odor induced panic. We made it to all of the destinations, on our map. And Mama learned an important lesson. A life lesson, really. Bring wine!!!
Does Mama need to lose her shit?
Not this week.