Summer Fair in America

After paying $7 for a wristband, Beren kicked off his shoes and ran to the bounce castles. Only the couple guys taking money had seats and a shade canopy. I looked around at the trampled grass that lacked broad leaf plants, indicating some kind of herbicide use (as with many lawns). I considered my bare legs, the herbicide, the irritating blades of grass, the interesting impressions my legs would take on, and I sat down in the sun.

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Getting out of the house with a toddler - Hunterdon County 4H Fair

Frankly, I thought this would be a hit. Fiddle tunes, tractors, animals, other kids. Beren had a low grade fever (prelude to his killer growth spurt - already described in my post about Virginia Beach). He was spacey and hesitant about petting the animals. The bandstand featuring live country music - we were just like everyone else - politely sitting. The trucks were a bore. While he and Jared watched the kiddie ride featuring race cars and fire trucks spin, I bought a fresh squeezed lemonade with ice. Beren sucked it down.

I watched the kiddie ride spin and commented to Jared that this was the same set of sparkly painted vehicles that I rode in Seaside Heights as a child. I think he said, "Oh wow." I probably said, "Maybe we should go," for the tenth time. "Oh some more cars." Jared silently followed, Beren switched from my arms to Jared's.

At this point, the 4H Fair was clearly a bust for all but my nostalgic sentiments for Seaside Heights. We drifted towards the Flemington Speedway tent, and Beren gazed at the cars glassily.

"Maybe we should go. Let's stop by the animals again," I said. Our final stop, the alpaca agility demonstration, proved that alpacas are not agile, at least not this unruly group lead around short orange cones, across plywood see saws, and over six inch high 'hurdles' by pre-adolescent 4H-ers. The scene intrigued our sedate family. Beren continued to nurse his lemonade.

Having got our $10 worth of parking fees (partially benefiting local fire companies) out of the afternoon, we headed home.