It’s been a long winter around here. Although our grounds have yet to (and probably will never)be christened with snow we’ve definitely felt the effects of dark days and rainy nights. For the most part we’ve been homebound and coming up with new ways to play Chutes ‘n Ladders. Have you ever played this game? Kind of a one-note symphony, you know.
So, in an effort to expose my kids to something other than the walls of our house we decided to head to the local Home and Garden Show at the county fairgrounds…location of the annual county fair. Despite numerous efforts to convince the kids that there would be no Ferris Wheel or Tilt-a-Whirl there was a bit of disappointment painted in their little faces when we pulled into our parking spot.
“What is this?” Avery asked.
“It’s the Home and Garden show, Av,” I answered.
“But this is the fairgrounds,” she whined.
“Um, I know. I told you this wasn’t a fair. Remember?” I asked.
“Yeah, but I thought you were joking,” Avery said.
“Nope. This is it kid. Kind of like Disneyland, ain’t it?” I teased, spreading my arms out wide.
She looked around the parking lot scattered with hot tubs, John Deere mowersand storage sheds and answered, “Not really.”
Oh, boy was this going to be fun.
We headed in through the doors welcoming us to “Your Home and Garden Solution Center” and were immediately sucked into the crowds of people who were there for the free candy, complimentarymouse pads and door prize drawing opportunities, made particularly obvious by their bulging shopping sacks bursting full of their booty.
We snaked through the aisles perusing various landscaping displays and pest control booths, salivating over walnut cabinetry and marble kitchen tiling. The kids were salivating over the snack shack.
There’s always a bit of bittersweet appreciation when visiting these shows centered on home and garden improvement. Each and every vendor presents their best at design and product while the convention goers try to bite back the sudden onset of guilt at all the areas in their homes that have been seriously neglected. People begin murmuring their plans to rectify the situation as soon as possible while imagining the potential for greatness in their backyards or guest bath.
Jer and I are no exceptionto this manner of thinking. Typically after witnessing the splendor of home and garden design,we excitedly go back to our home with visions of grandeur only to thenpromptly dismiss the ideas and settle back into merely passable. Yep. We’re real go-getters.
As Jer and I were dreaming of outdoor kitchens the kids, mainly Jack, were focused on one thing…Clifford the Big Red Dog, thereplaying a gig for an insurance company. I noticed we were approaching the giant red canine as Jack began jumping up and down in his stroller. (We’re real PBS fans around here…it’s all educational and stuff. And being that Jack’s morning programming options run between Clifford or the ShamWow infomercial, we made the obvious choice. We already own the ShamWow.)
“Mom, mom. It’s Clifford!” Jack said.
“Yep, buddy. He’s right there. Do you want to go see him? Give hima hug?” I asked.
“Yeah,” he said as he shot out of his stroller, beating feet towards the not-so-giant version of his cartoon hero.
Jer, Avery (standing back, in her first show of growing maturity) and I watched as Jack shook hands, fist bumped and fiercely hugged Clifford. Everyone around “ahhed” at the cuteness of this little display of adoration. Jack told his new buddy “goodbye” and headed back to the stroller, jumping in with a jaunty little nod at the insurance representative as if to say, “keep up the good work.”
We finished up at the show and began the trek towards the car.
“Did you like meeting Clifford, buddy?” Avery asked.
“Yeah. He was nice, ” Jack answered.
“You sure gave Clifford a big hug,” I teased.
“Yeah. But he’s just a guy in a suit.”
“What do you mean, Jack?” I tentatively asked.
“I could see his face through Clifford’s big eyes. It’s just a guy. But he was real nice,” Jack answered, matter-of-factedly.
Basically, Jack just knowingly (and eagerly) hugged some stranger in a suit. Great. Every mom’s dream come true.
So, I not only have to be on the lookout for middle-aged men cruising the school zone in a van I also now have to keep an eye on cartoon characters in costume. Lord help us.
I always have to force myself to not think of all the snotty noses and grubby hands that have hugged the dog suit as my child buries their face in it. Shudder. If I also factored in the fact that a stranger was in the suit, I’d run screaming.
Oh, great. I hadn’t even considered the germ factor. Thanks a lot Mindee.
Elizabeth @ Confessions From A Working Mom says
Oh my gosh, if that isn’t the end of innocence, I don’t know what is!!! Does he know about Santa? The Easter Bunny? I’m kind of miffed at the folks at the “non-fair” (as your daughter might call it) for not having a better Clifford suit!
My parents used to take me to Home & Garden Expo’s like that… ahhh, memories! I see you’re sporting the SITS button on your blog, so hello to a fellow SITSta!
Confessions From A Working Mom
You know, I think it was the fact that “Clifford” wasn’t geared up very well, it was pretty obvious he was just a man in a cheap suit. So far we’re okay in the Santa/Easter Bunny department. But who knows…maybe he’s on to us. =)
Thanks for stopping by!! =)
Oh my gosh. Our little Jack is growing up!! My kids always ran screaming from the costumed characters. And the germaphobe in me is totally thankful.
Jack is too cute.
Wait?! What?! You own a SHAM_WOW??! I’ve always wanted one!! Does it work??
Yeah, Mindee just informed me of the germ situation in those suits. Now I feel like bathing him in Purell.
And..the ShamWow rocks. =)
I like my sham wow. 🙂 I have to force myself to stay away from the home and garden expos, lest I end up in a depression because I don’t have the money to make my house all spiffy.
Yeah, Jer and I came home afterwards and kind of sneered at our modest little house. Then we promptly got over all that. =)
Glad Jack wasn’t upset that it was just a guy in a suit!
Yes..he seemed pretty okay with the fact. Which is kind of creepy. =)
Shame on you for trying to pass off the Home and Garden show as Disneyland. Ha Ha, that cracks me up. I do that too, see all the grand stuff and think I am going to do the same thing at my house, yeah right as soon as I have a million dollars. Jack is a sharp one alright. There is no putting one over on him.
He’s too smart for his (or my) own good. And as far as home improvement goes, we’re lucky if we manage to not kill the lawn during the summer. =)
Angelia Sims says
Wait til he meets the Old Six Flags dude *shudder*. He creeps me out!! Ahhh!
I have a sham wow too. But I accidentally dried it, whoops.
Eww…I haven’t seen the Old Six Flags dude. Blech. =)
Rachel Cotterill says
And he’s how old…? No more Santa, then……
Visiting from SITS to welcome you on board 🙂
He’s three…and so far Santa is still flying under the radar in Jack’s world. Hopefully for awhile.
Thanks for stopping by! =)
Too cute! 🙂 I dread shows like that, because I feel so inadequate in my home skills. Kudos to you for braving the whole thing!
It’s because we’re so inadequate that we go to these shows…almost a form of self-punishment. We’re really healthy around here. =)
As parents, we never win.
Stopped by from SITS.
Ain’t it the truth? Thanks for stopping by!! =)
What? Those characters at the home and garden show are just men in suits? Oh, that’s just gross!
Seriously, I think I get my picture taken with these characters every time I see them. I don’t hug them though. Is that some kind of saving grace? You should have seen me at disney land. I was actually kind of dreading the trip but I was the biggest goof (sorry, goofy) there. We stood in lines to get pics with Mickey. Ah, but it was so fun…and we have great pics as a result. It’s fun to suspend disbelief…
How cute and sad and scary!