Today I had the brilliant idea to take my kids to a carnival that had been set up in the mall parking lot. I'm sure you've all seen these, and while I would never attend one for my own enjoyment, I figured the kids would have a blast. I was right, however the day didn't start off real well. So I'll start from the beginning. This morning my precious sleep was interrupted at 7:30am by the phone ringing. Now I understand that 7:30 is not all that early, but when you have a teething baby that struggled through the night, every minute of sleep counts. Today I didn't have a daycare child to watch and had no reason to be up until my kids got up...until the blasted phone rang. Anyways, the call was semi-important so I got over my irritation. Oh, and the kids slept until 9:30 by the way....rude. Within 5 minutes of the rugrats getting out of bed, I wanted to send them back there. I made the mistake of mentioning the carnival the night before and they were completely wired and out-of-control. We all got through what was left of the morning and barely made it through the afternoon. The kids were being especially naughty and I used the carnival as leverage more than once. So it was now time to leave for the carnival. A quick stop at the bank to get some cash and off we went. The kids were more than excited as we pulled into the mall parking lot. We purchased our tickets and to my surprise there was only a handful of people there. Yes it was cold and rainy, but I figured there would be a bigger crowd. Unfortunately for me, every carnie was able to approach us and try to 'make a deal' for my kids to play games to win a 10 cent prize. "Everyone's a winner! Guaranteed win for the kids!" Give me a break...you want my $5.00 in exchange for 2 crappy stuffed animals that goodwill wouldn't take as a donation. What bothered me more is that every one of them felt the need to pat my kids on the head. Normally that wouldn't bother me, but when people look like they haven't showered for a week and their hands are as black as tar, it tends to gross me out a little. I am ashamed to say that I finally gave in to one of the carnies and agreed to let my kids play a game. This was about them and I wanted them to have the full carnival experience. Of course I chose a game that was guaranteed to get them something...even if it was just a crappy stuffed animal. It was a bunch of rubber ducks floating in a big tub. All they had to do was pick a duck and on the bottom was a colored dot. The color of the dot determined which prize you would get. Of course this is rigged and of course they got the smallest prize possible, but it was fun for them. After giving my kids their prizes, the carnie asked them for high-fives. Julia gave her high-five first, then Tanner. This carnie was no exception to the dirty black hands and when he gave a high-five to Tanner, part of that dirt got passed on to him. Tanner immediately said(in a high whiney voice) "oh come on! my hands dirty!" He then walked over to the tub of floating ducks and washed them off. Pretty pathetic when a 2 yr old understands the concept of washing your hands, yet the carnies couldn't seem to catch on to that one. Lucky for me it began to hail and it was the perfect excuse to get outta there.