As a boy from small town Iowa, state fairs pull at my dad's heart strings. He usually drives to the Iowa state fair every year by himself to eat the fair food and see the animals. I love that about him - always sticking to his roots...even if no one can go with him! This year he went to the Missouri State Fair in Sediala, MO solo and talked about the food for days.
So on a BEAUTIFUL Saturday morning when I was looking for something fun to do with the kids while Jimmy got some alone time to work on (and attempt to finish) the kitchen table and bench and I wanted to go to the Old Settler's Day parade and festival in downtown Olathe, I knew my dad was just the person to call for some Charlie reinforcement.
And yep, he pulled through. Was a grandparent rock star!
He got to our house early, helped me load the car with the wagon and all our "stuff" and off we went to get some seats for the parade.
(on a side note - we went to this last year also with the Matlock family - Charlie enjoyed it MUCH more this year...it's fun to do things year over year and build traditions and really compare how much your kids grow and change in just one short year!)
Charlie LOVED watching from the seat in the wagon all the high school and middle school bands and cheerleaders and especially the floats that passed out balloons and yep, CANDY!
Luckily, my dad was willing to brave the front row when they started giving out candy and took Charlie to the front lines. He said it was madness and he had to fight kids for suckers...
...but Papa succeeded with MANY suckers and oh boy was Charlie happy. He even gave one to a little girl next to him! And spent about 10 minutes in the wagon unwrapping the suckers and trying the all.
After we had enough of the parade (all the while Maddie is in the Ergo with me fast asleep!), we headed to check out the vendors that were on the street. My dad of course went RIGHT for the funnel cake truck. Classic.
Charlie was a fan - after a little convincing.
Charlie says "hot dog"? Papa goes to get him a hot dog.
Charlie points at a snow cone...Papa gets a snow cone. Oh boy. Lucky kid!!
So then Miss Maddie needed to eat and we plopped on a bench while she snacked away. Which another side note - breastfeeding baby #2 is just so much better because I'm not shy or nervous to feed her anywhere. It was funny because there was actually a mom sitting next to us nursing her son too - but she went sans cover. Still not that brave yet!!
While Maddie ate, Papa and Charlie checked out the booths and pretty much my dad chased him (poor guy!). But then he told me that Charlie wanted to ride some rides. So off to the ticket booth they went.
First up was the carousel.
Charlie loves these things. And has finally learned to wave at mom and Maddie on the side!! Some day soon, Maddie will be on there too!
As we started walking towards the car, my dad told me that Charlie wanted to ride the car ride. I was a little hesitant to let him ride by himself (i.e. inside I was freaking out and just imagining every horrible scenario you can imagine like Charlie jumping out mid-ride and getting his leg stuck in the ride and getting hurt, etc. - I know, but that's a mom brain, right?). But Papa said he would do great and best yet? There were seat belts in the cars.
Ok - you win dad. I guess I have to lighten up and let him grow up at some point.
And I'm glad I did. Because he LOVED it. Every second. Luckily Papa made sure that the horn honked in his car - although a completely deafening sound, he LOVED honking the horn for real.
He even got a little quality time with a cute girl.
So that was it - our adventure to the "city folk fair". While there weren't any farm animal competitions, I think my dad had a great time and of course, Charlie absolutely had a blast and loved the food, the rides and the company.
We are SO lucky to have both our parents in town and we love getting to spend time with them on the weekends and do fun things like this.