But this year, we decided not to go. We just didn't feel up to following Kyle around ride after ride in the Kiddie Park, not getting to see any of the stuff we wanted to see, putting up with meltdowns every time we tried to leave and go somewhere else. Plus, it's really, really expensive.
Instead, we drove to New Ulm. Yeah, New Ulm. It's about 45 minutes away from here.
What's in New Ulm? Well, our first stop was to see Hermann the German. We thought Kyle might enjoy seeing it. But Kyle is weird about statuary. He loves the buffalo statue here in town. But he freaked out when we tried to show him the spoon and the cherry in Minneapolis. He has also freaked out about the neighbor's ceramic garden frog. And so, he freaked out about our buddy Hermann. Did NOT want to go anywhere near him. Luckily, there was a park nearby, and he had fun playing there for awhile. Before we left, we gave him a chance to see Hermann, but he declined. Troy did go check him out--climbed all the way to the top. But I don't do so well with heights, so I stayed with Kyle on ground level.
After Hermann, we went to Happy Joe's for pizza. Kyle was so impressed. "Wow," he said breathlessly. "That's so cool!"
Hundred-foot statue, meh. Cheap arcade games, now that's amazing.
At one point, Kyle was inspecting one of the games with another little boy. "I saw Hermann the German today!" he told the little boy. I'm sure the other little boy was so impressed.
After Happy Joe's, we went to K-mart. Yes. K-mart. One of my sleazy little pleasures. We don't have one in town anymore, and I miss it. So I go to K-mart whenever I can. In fact, I probably wouldn't have agreed to go to New Ulm instead of the State Fair if there hadn't been a K-mart in New Ulm. Kyle and Troy were bored out of their skulls by the time I finished there, but I found tons of really cute shirts for Kyle for really cheap.
By this time, Kyle was talking big about seeing Hermann. He wanted to drive past him. So we did, but when we asked if he wanted to get out of the car, he freaked again. It's obviously a love affair from afar.
We went to Flandrau State Park next. Troy and Kyle went swimming for a little while, then we spent some time at the play area. Kyle made a new friend--a little girl named Chloe who is starting kindergarten in two days. They were having a blast filling her shoes with pebbles and dumping them onto the metal slide. It made a pretty cool noise. Kyle was sad to leave, but he wanted to drive past Hermann again. Not get out, just drive past. This time I got out and snapped a few pictures.
After that, we stopped for some ice cream at a little shop that sells home-made ice cream. Now, last time we offered ice cream to Kyle, he refused. (I swear, he can't be my child.) So we didn't buy any for him. But after a taste of Daddy's strawberry ice cream, he wanted his own pink ice cream cone. We got him a kiddie size, which we let him eat in the car. Holy mess, batman! He had rivers of ice cream streaming down his arms, even down his legs. He even managed to get ice cream on the front of his hat, which would periodically drip down onto his face.
As soon as we got home, he got a much needed bath.
So, it wasn't the State Fair, but it was still a pretty good day. Kyle had fun, and that was our goal.
Wanted: Copy Editor
Your Slogan Should Be
How Do You Handle a Hungry Man? Megan.
Your Slogan Should Be
Do Me a Favor, Plug Me into Troy
Your Slogan Should Be
Kyle. Champagne for the Brain.
- My cat Loki landed on my face at 5:30 this morning. Scared the bejesus out of me.
- The word "bejesus" is actually in the dictionary.
- Lucky Charms really are magically delicious.
- More than half of Kyle's sentences lately end with "in my belly," as in, "I did take a nap . . . (pause for dramatic effect) . . . in my belly!" or "I love you, Mommy . . . in my belly!" Then he laughs like he's the funniest guy on earth.
- I stayed up too late watching the Olympics last night, and I still missed the excitement of the come-from-behind U.S. wins in women's gymnastics.
- This one day, at band camp . . . Just kidding! I've never even seen that movie.
- I have Bryan Adams' song "Please Forgive Me" stuck in my head. I don't know why.
- "Peel" and "unpeel" mean the same thing. Same with "ravel" and "unravel."
- My bike is old. So I had it tuned up and checked over, and after some new tires, it was given a clean bill of health.
- The seat was too low. So I raised it.
- I needed a way to carry my stuff to work. So I bought a rack that goes over the rear wheel.
- I didn't know where I could store my bike at work. So I asked, and I found out there's a bike rack at the other entrance.
- I didn't have a lock. So I bought one.
- I didn't know which route to take. So I tried a few routes with the car and figured out the shortest one (about 3.5 miles, in case you're wondering).
What is it with dentists/oral surgeons who think they are comedians? You can crack all the lame jokes you want, mister, but that's not going to change the fact that you're jabbing a 2-foot long needle into my cheek. And I'm sure as hell not going to smile.
I just remembered Motley Crue's "Dr. Feelgood" was playing on the radio just before the doctor came in. Maybe that should have been a warning.
The novocain injections were definitely the worst part. Then there were the cracking sounds while he tugged the thing out of my chin. They couldn't give me earplugs or something so I wouldn't have to hear that? And then the doctor takes a look at me and says, "Yep, her eye looks a little lower now. I guess we'll have to take out the one on the other side to make it balanced again."
Har frickin' har har.
Actually, though, it hasn't been as bad as I thought it would be. I have not even taken any Tylenol yet. Sure, it's a little tender, but nothing I can't handle. I haven't noticed any swelling or bruising yet either.
Now that I've tried it both ways (general vs. local anesthetic--good God, get your mind out of the gutter!), if I ever have to do this again, I want to be completely, totally knocked out next time.
One of the many things I love about Troy is that he lacks the overgrown sense of machismo that prevents ordinary men from consulting maps. No, Troy realizes that I am little to no use when it comes to finding our way around unfamiliar locations. Plus, getting lost wastes valuable time. And Troy is not a time-waster. So he is always prepared with maps, usually several of them.
As we sat in our van in the parking ramp studying the maps, figuring out the best route to the MN zoo, a car stopped behind us to wait for our spot. Remember, it's a Sunday morning. It's not Black Friday or Christmas or anything. The mall is not crowded. There are plenty of other parking spots available. Our spot is on ground level, but it's not like it's attended by English butlers offering wine and cheese. It's not like it's the local A-list celebrity hangout. It's not like they were giving away free laptops to the first two vehicles parked within its gold-plated white lines.
But this guy wanted our spot. Our ordinary, just-like-all-the-others spot was apparently the Holy Grail of parking spots. He honked. I turned to look at him, and he threw his arms upward to signal his complete disgust and frustration that we had not left the spot. He honked again. Of course, by this time, Troy had finished studying the maps. But hell if we were going to let Mr. Asstwat have our spot. Finally, he sped away, leaning on his horn as he passed us. Several other cars who had been stuck behind this asstwat followed him.
So we finally pulled out of our spot. As we were exiting the ramp, I spotted a guy walking with his wife and two tween-age sons. I hadn't seen the driver's face, but I could just tell by the way this mullet-haired, wife-beater clad redneck was walking that he was the guy. He just looked like a guy who would suffer from roid rage. As we passed him, I made eye contact. He gestured again to me, throwing up his arms as if to say, "What the fark?"
So Troy slowed down and rolled down the windows. "Is there a problem, sir?" he asked.
Tough Guy (TM) started screaming about how we had held up the entire population of Hicksville, USA, by not pulling out of our spot the second we were securely inside our vehicle. As if there's a time limit.
Troy explained, "I was looking at the @!#$ map!"
And Tough Guy (TM) shouted back, "Look at your @#!% map later!"
Now hold your testosterone right there, asstwat! First of all, when do you want us to look at the map? While we're driving? Seriously? Just so you can have your precious magical parking spot? Do I even need to point out that you obviously found another spot very quickly, since you're actually walking from your car to the mall already? And for another thing, those cars lined up behind you weren't pissed at us. They were pissed at you. You were the one holding up traffic. Because you were the asstwat who didn't want to drive 20 more yards to find an available spot.
Anyway, the the conversation escalated into several choice words before Tough Guy (TM) walked away, trailing his over-inflated ego behind him.
Seriously, what was the guy thinking? Is there some kind of unwritten law regulating the amount of time one may spend in the car before pulling out of the parking spot? By climbing into the car, are we required to turn the spot over to the first redneck asstwat who claims it?
Do you think I'm exaggerating? When was the last time you took a vacation with a 3-year-old?
OK, so I'm exaggerating a teensy weensy little bit. We actually had some fun. Kyle had tons of fun, and that's what is really important.
We began our little mini-vacation Friday afternoon. By Monday morning, we had visited the Como Zoo (including the amusement park there), Minnesota Zoo, Nickelodeon Universe and Underwater Adventures at the Mall of America, and the sculpture garden. And that doesn't include the highlight of the weekend--meeting Thomas the Tank Engine! Kyle was practically vibrating with excitement.
Our trip nearly ended before it had a chance to begin. Our hotel room was on the seventh floor, a distance neither Troy nor I wanted to tackle. That meant we had to use the elevator. The problem was, Kyle is terrified of elevators. I'm sure the other guests in the hotel thought we were kidnapping him, the way he was screaming and shouting and carrying on. Troy carried him while I tried to lug the luggage. Kyle kicked and screamed, "I not want to! I not like this!" the whole way into the hotel, on the elevator, and even after we were safely in the hotel room. I seriously thought we'd have to go home. Kyle was hysterical. Then suddenly, he wanted to go see the pool. "You'll have to ride the elevator," Troy warned him. "O-tay," Kyle said. And that was that. Kyle had conquered his elevator demons.
But even though the elevator was no longer a threat, Kyle was a bit homesick the entire weekend. He kept saying, "I want to go home!" and "I want to sleep in my bed, please please!" Poor kid. We thought about coming home Sunday night, but in the end we stayed until Monday morning. Kyle woke up and said, "O-tay, let's go home now." So we did.
I got tons of pictures, of course, so you'll hear more about the trip when I get around to posting those.