Yes, we waited all week for Family Fun Fest. The kids, because they were excited about the games and toys; me, because I was excited to have an event to go to for a couple of hours on a Saturday afternoon (although, I had no idea that the weather would break today and reach a high of 45 degrees, which after weeks and weeks of below freezing temperatures feels like a Florida heat wave!)
Unfortunately, as soon as we walked into the school, there was a table full of brownies, cookies, cakes, and donuts. Maria’s and Mario’s eyes and feet both dashed to the table. Mario proceeded to touch about three different cupcakes and five cookies, which I was then forced to buy. Of course, Maria did not want any of the ones he touched – she wanted the brownies with the chocolate sky-high frosting (she is my daughter). Why does every school fest have to have loads and loads of sugar for sale? I know, it is the easiest thing for parents to make and sell (can’t really imagine a table full of hummus and pita – although the parents would probably pay $5 a shot for some of that after spending an hour running after their kids and the PTA would make more in one sale than in fifty cookie sales – but I diverge…).
After scarfing down our sugar treats, Maria and Mario spot the face painting, which
they both gravitate to at any festival that we attend. Maria became a very cool cat and Mario became a clown with whiskers. I think Mario’s face painter wanted to meet up with her guy friends so she slapped a little red on his nose and stroked the brush a few times on his cheeks. Poor guy. Thank god it was him and not Maria because she would have had a fit (nothing but the best for that girl).
We continued to travel around the lunch room making random sand necklaces and tie dye paintings, and then headed to the gym for some duck pond and bean bag tossing. It is funny to see the parents. I think it is fair to say that we all dread being at these things. Who wouldn’t? Kids running around trying to find their friends; toddlers screaming because they want to play a game and they have to wait in line; preschoolers crying because they lost a game and didn’t get any prize tickets; and all the kids whining and pleading for more candy, more cookies, and more game money.
But yet, we are all there. Suckers among suckers. Wondering why the hell we thought it would be a good idea to go to this thing. In the middle of the week when you have cooked mac-n-cheese for the third time, and have sat in the same living room watching the same Scooby Doo for the third time, and have heard “what can we do, mom” for the fiftieth time, you start to hallucinate and think that a Family Fun Fest would be a joy! Then the day comes and you try to remember what was going on in your head mid-week to make you become so delusional.
At least other parents noticeably feel your pain. They all shakes their heads with you, make sarcastic slight comments about how much fun it is, breathe heavy when their kids beg for five more minutes in the gym, and every so often, scream under their breath at their kid who will stop at nothing to throw that bean bag one more time.
This is an event that should undoubtedly be taped for our children to let them know what hell we went through in order to allow them to funnel sand into plastic bottles, spray paint onto spinning paper, and throw toilet paper into a toilet seat rim mounted on a piece of a wood (yes, that was a game).
We should be able to use this as Evidence 101 when they are arguing to us that they should not have to come visit us in the nursing home or they should not have to help us figure out how the ten electronic gadgets work together to turn on the tv. We bucked it up for you so now you repay it to us!
I have to admit that the day ended with a bang when we got a call from the Festival volunteer informing us that Maria had guessed the closest amount of M&Ms in a jar so we had won a prize! My heart dropped. Yeah, I am serious – I am such a sucker for any game. I walked up to the school to collect our prize, which not only contained a bunch of goofy Nerf toys but a Mama Mimi’s pizza certificate (yummy!) and the entire jar of 1238 M&Ms. I thought I had died and goe to heaven when they told me we got to keep the jar of M&Ms. I will be pumped full of chocolate for weeks. And Maria was just as charged when I brought the gifts home to her – she looked at the Nerf toys for a mini-second but then reached out for that jar of M&Ms, eyes full and glazed, smile filling her entire face. “Ahh” she sighed. Yeah, that is my girl.