Joshua's fourth birthday is coming up and he wanted to see animals. At first he asked to go to the zoo. But then, after us reading about pigs in Farmer Boy, he decided he wanted to go to a farm. Luckily, we live in prime farm country. And even more lucky for this mama, the county fair was coming up.
We've never been to the county fair. Steve's brother's family goes every year and they always have good things to say about it. But we've never felt the need to attend. However, Joshua's request being what it was and us needing a "canned" birthday celebration with all that's going on with having little Nathan around, we decided this was our year to try it.
I didn't tell the kids what we were going to do, only that we would see pigs for Joshua's birthday. So in typical Joshy fashion, he had a plan to make his swine outing even more enjoyable. He started saving food to feed them-watermelon rinds to be exact. At first I paid no attention as he asked me to save his rinds for the pigs. I must admit, I chucked them into the trash when he wasn't looking, thinking he wasn't too attached to the idea. But I should've known. As the days wore on, he kept asking me to save the rinds and so, I felt bad and started obliging him. By the end of the week, he had quite a stash.
On Saturday afternoon neither Steve nor I wanted to go. I had spent the morning out at Costco and Trader Joe's with the five kids (and was quite a laughing spectacle to all we came in contact with-so funny to me!). And Steve had spent the morning taking a practice exam. Needless to say, we were tired. But we knew it was our one shot to make Joshua's upcoming birthday special and so we rallied our spirits. We were so glad we did.
When we pulled up to the thoroughfare, the kids were absolutely thrilled. They had never seen anything like it. All of the flashing lights and rides of the midway had them sucked in. But we weren't there for the rides. We were there for the animals. So we made our way back to the barns and wove our way through the displays. They were quite amazing. There were chickens, turkeys, cows, horses, ponies and of course, what we were ultimately there for-the swine.
I never knew pigs could be so big. I'm sure I've seen them in real life before. I know I have. But seeing my boys stand next to them was crazy. Those things are HUGE! And upon seeing the pigs, Joshua was delighted. When I pulled out his watermelon rinds, he was even more excited. I'm so glad I went against my own better judgment and saved them.
We found some 4-H students and asked their permission to feed their pigs. They of course obliged. What followed was all of the children squealing with delight as they fed the pigs their "treats". It was so cute and definitely a fun parent moment for Steve and me. After that, we finished things off with some fair food of corn dogs and fries while I nursed Nathan. We then caught the beginning of the pig races and then visited the model trains.
By that time, the sun was setting and the fog was rolling in. It was getting cold fast. So we packed up and headed home. It was definitely a simple deal to do for his birthday but we could tell Joshua felt really loved. As we left, Steve grabbed my hand and said, "Why haven't we done this before? This was a ton of fun!" And he was right. I was thinking the same thing.
Quite simply put, even with four little kids and a brand new baby, the whole experience was quite charming. Not bad for a trip inspired by a birthday and pigs. Not too bad at all.