Before I could even sit down at my desk today I was asked about my weekend.
Did you go to the Sheep and Wool Festival? How was it? He inquired.
My response? Horrible.
Grace loves making animal noises, so I figured why not go see some sheep. The festival was free and minutes away from my house.
It was pouring rain, but I was prepared for that.
I dressed in capri’s and my super cute donkey boots and outfitted Grace with the knock-off Crocs I bought for the upcoming summer. Neither one of us own a proper rain coat, but we’d be fine with an umbrella. Most of the exhibits are in pavilions anyway.
I was shocked at how many cars there were in the mud filled parking lot. Given the crowds and the aforementioned mud, I decided to skip the stroller.
About ¾ of the way to the first pavilion filled with sheep, my lower back started to spasm. Grace in my left arm, the umbrella being held over us with my right and my spine in an unnatural position sloshing though puddles.
The sanctuary of our first pavilion didn’t last long. Grace was excited about the sheep for about 10 seconds.
Then one looked at her and Baa-ed.
She started backing away from the animals, finger out wiggling back and forth, with a trail of shrill No No No’s to go with it.
Up Mama. Up. No No No. All Done. No Mama. Up up.
Silly me. I thought she would be excited over the animals.
So we wound our way through craft pavilions filled with yarns in every imaginable hue and texture. It was beautiful, except for the fact that my back was spasming again because Grace refused to walk - in fear of the sheep that are now 100 feet away, not to mention caged and leashed.
Why didn’t I bring the front-pack baby carrier that we’ve only used 2 or 3 times?
After two pavilions, Grace starts to relax and wants to walk.
Except she no longer wants to be picked up for transport between the pavilions or hold my hand in the crowds. After several smiles from strangers and declarations of her beauty, she has a melt down right in the middle of an entrance.
I can see the smiles melt off strangers faces and she proceeds to have her first official toddleresque lay-down-on-the-ground-screaming-and-flailing-in-a-public-place tantrum ever.
I could care less about the strangers faces, but have you picked up on the fact that we are in an agricultural environment? Her back was now coated in the filth of rainy days and barnyard animals. Which then transferred to me when I hoisted her off the ground.
On the way back to the car she started to do the arching pissed-off baby yoga in my aching arms and I gave in. I put her down on the ground. I crouched down, trying to keep her head dry with my umbrella (and getting poured on myself) while she happily splashed in puddles and got admiring coos from passerbys. (The knitting crowd is an easy target.)
Anyway, in the middle of all the splashing and cooing - splat - down she went. Thankfully it was right before a big puddle, but the shins of her pants are soaked and covered with mud. I gave up on the umbrella and collapsed it for the next portion of the adventure.
Picking up a pissed-off, muddy, wet child who is screaming, doing baby yoga and kicking me in the stomach for my efforts.
We dash through the rain back to our car in the crowded parking lot. It was kind of like being at the mall. I was stalked by and SUV looking for a closer parking spot.
So I'm trying to make a pissed-off, muddy, wet child who is in full blown snot-filled hysterics, sit still so I can buckle her into her car seat - with a car humming and eyes boring holes into the back of my head watching this whole scene take place.
I really did think about just letting her lie on the floor for the 12 minute car ride home.
*Did Not Make Mistake #6*
I wanted to, but I didn't. I held her down until she relaxed enough to snap the belts closed. Then spent 3 more minutes trying to peel off my coat - sweat soaked on the inside and rain soaked on the outside.
And that - dear coworker - was my hour at the Sheep and Wool Festival.
No, no I don't think we'll be going back next year.