Saturday, August 25, 2007

Missed Opportunity

Now that Ed and I are old, and we're parents, I've started to notice that a few opportunities that were formerly available to us, are just not there anymore. Take going out on the spur of the moment. It's just not possible because we need to arrange for someone to take care of Connor. It's not like I can call Connor and say "Little dude, rather than coming home at 4:00, we're going to stay out drinking until 9:00. Feel free to grab a bottle of milk and head to bed when you get tired, and flip through one of the 15 or so books you've memorized and pretend we're reading it. Oh, and find something healthy for dinner." No, we must come home each night. We also can't dart off on vacation whenever we want, because we have to consider whether the potential pain of disrupting you is worth any joy that might be gained from the vacation.

For the most part, I think Ed and I have pretty much come to terms with these changes. But last weekend, it really hit home how different our lives were. There we were, enjoying the County fair. And indeed, Connor, it was nice to have an excuse to go to the fair other than the fact that I dig County fairs. With you, we have a real-live-walking toddler who can enjoy some of the less scary rides, get excited about riding the train, shove popcorn in his mouth, and all sorts of great fair related things. Connor enjoyed the fair so much with his nanny on Friday that we went on Saturday, and then Ed and Connor went back on Sunday which I had brunch with some friends. You see, we basically had to go on Saturday because the first words out of your mouth to me were "Connor wan to go back to de fair. Connor wan to ride de geen alligator, do de moon bounce, ride de ponies, and ride de merry-go-round". It was almost as if Friday was Connor's scope it out day and Saturday morning was when the fun was going to happen. He repeated the same list to Ed at 8:30 when I decided it was appropriate for Connor to go in and let Ed know of our plans since the fair opened in just 30 short minutes!

So there we were at the fair, with all the other parents of toddlers who think sleeping in is 7:00 (and yes, Connor, we do appreciate anything after 6:00, so 7:00 really was quite wonderful last Saturday and Sunday). Ed and I were remembering how the last time we went to the County fair - before I was pregnant with Connor, we were walking around on Sunday afternoon, with all the childless old people like we used to be that sleep in on Sundays, and an actual carnie asked if we too, would like to be carnies for the evening. He told us that starting at closing time, they were looking for help to tear down all the rides. Pay would be by the hour. To what did we owe this prestigious recognition of our clear hidden talents that this professional carnie could sense instantly we would make excellent carnies? I have no idea. But I do know that not one such job opportunity was presented to us this time around. Clearly, our time to be carnies has passed us by.

But, lest you think we're irresponsible parents, Ed set up the tent in the basement and Connor filled it with balls yesterday afternoon. We think someday Connor might make an excellent ball pit operator and we want him to be able to put list previous exerience on his resume.


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