I wish I were a carnie

I lie. After what Du and I experienced the other day, you couldn’t pay me to work at a fair ride. I guess that really wouldn’t matter anyway since carnies don’t get paid much (or so we’ve heard) and we volunteered for this, this, sacrificial loving opportunity.

Our church has a Community Day every year and this year we hear it was bigger than all others. Kids and their parents from all over Alexandria and Springfield came to partake in free hotdogs, free drinks, free pony rides…and free three minute stints in the bouncy castle. We had the pleasure of working the bouncy castle for two of the three hours during this festival of free-for-all.

You would think that once kids are on holy ground they might act differently than the regular hellions little imps that most children are (now do you see why we waited six years to have a child?). Not so. These kids showed exactly how little instruction they get in manners and rule following at home. I can say this, even with a child who daily tests our instructions on manners and rule following, because she only tests us, her parents. I think.

Rule: Wait your turn in line. Obvious enough. That’s a societal rule, not just Du&Vicki’s Bouncy Castle of Fun rule.
What actually happened: Kids appeared out of nowhere diving into the castle. I kept having to grab them by their pants waist to prevent them from getting in. And then they look at me as if I just stole their candy.

Rule: Take of your shoes and wait until everyone has exited the bouncy castle before entering said bouncy castle.
What actually happened: Parents had to quickly snatch off shoes while kids were dog piling other kids in efforts to be the first in.

Rule: Don’t kill other kids in the bouncy castle. Show some common courtesy.
What actually happened: Kids jumped on other kids like they were the bouncy part of the castle. Even after I told them to stop.

Rule: Please exit the contraption when the kind man says time is up.
What actually happened: Du had to run interference to force kids out of the castle. Honestly, are these kids ever told about listening to and obeying adults?

We actually did have a good time. As much as I make it sound completely horrible, it was fun to see the kids have such a good time, and most of the parents were good natured. However, what gets me maddest the quickest, is children being disobedient or disrespectful. I can handle kids not knowing where the line is, or not being able to pick out a piece of candy from the bucket without it being a major life decision, or crying when their parents pull them from the castle. But the deliberate disobedience and disrespect made me want to… Well, let’s just say I’d like to ask some of the parents who their parenting mentor is and what exactly are they doing to ensure that their children are productive members of society in the future.

And here is where I need to write “touché”. We were managing the bouncy contraption for two hours. For about one hour and a half of those two hours Ashlyn was either attached to my hip or sitting in a mess on the ground screaming her lungs out. I am so surprised she could actually talk the next day. Why was she crying, you ask? The simple little fact that either Daddy or I was in the castle and she couldn’t be in there with us. Whichever one was out with her, she wanted to be with the other one. She was hungry. She was thirsty. She was hormonal (oh Lord, I know we’ll help when that starts happening). She wanted to go home. She wanted to ride the pony.

In order to try to appease her, and make every other fair goer’s experience a pleasant one, I gave in and held her on my hip for over half the time. So, not only was she screaming her lungs out, she was screaming her lungs out two inches from my right ear drum. And, so not only was I having to manage all the kids and their parents and the little stinkers trying to sneak in, I was having to do all this one handed, talking as loudly as I could to be heard over the screaming.

All for Jesus though. If one family that attended our Community Day starts attending church and becomes believers then it will not have been in vain. As a matter of fact, hopefully some seeds were planted that day that already make it a success in Kingdom standards. My eardrums, my muscles, my sanity are not mine. They are Yours Lord.

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8 thoughts on “I wish I were a carnie

  1. I also hope you were able to find some new church members and fellow christians in your close to losing sanity day 🙂 As for Ashlyn, is it not so much easier to keep calm and paitient with your screaming children in a public place 🙂 LOL Sorry you had a bit of a downer day. You and I both know there is a great day just around the corner 🙂 I often find myself smiling at every pass goer when my kids are screaming in public, even when some of the looks I get are far from sympathetic or understanding 🙂 Kids will be kids 🙂 And I am refering to the tantrums not the lack of manners. Manners are VERY important!
    Blessings,

  2. Children with no manners are a pet peeve of mine. And misbehavior? Um if I had even THOUGHT ABOUT some of the behavior I see from children each day, the mother would have whacked me into the next kingdom! (Probably why I can count on one hand the number of times I was ever spanked growing up. I KNEW what the rules were and what my limits were. They were spelled out slowly, clearly and in a tone of voice that I knew not to challenge!)

    What you’re describing is kids not being versed in following rules. Children need a certain level of freedom but they also need structure. That’s why there ARE rules!

    No, children should NOT be beaten. Children should NOT be verbally abused either. But … parents have to remember that THEY are in charge. Cave to a hellion once and you’ll still be doing it when he’s 18. I’ve seen it played out, too. That’s not a pretty picture.

  3. I can’t agree more about ‘other peoples’ kids’. I will blog about it later, but last night we had an occasion of other kids over and, defying Otterboy’s request, broke some stuff. It’s not the ‘stuff’ that is important, it’s that the other kids just didn’t care and were never taught to care about anyone but ‘me’.

    • Ugh. We used to have a Bible study at our house and the kids would play in my daughter’s room. Not a Thursday went by that something wasn’t chewed up or broken. It was a huge lesson in me to not worry about material things, but what ended up bothering me was the fact that those kids weren’t being taught to respect other people’s property, just like you say. And they were old enough to know better. I’m getting better and politely and lovingly trying to correct behavior like that 🙂

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