Saturday, May 16, 2009

Woah, Mule!

Today, the wife and I took the twins to the Georgia Renaissance Festival. Twice. The first time, we got rained out after about twenty minutes. So we went home to dry out, eat lunch, and put the kids down for a quick nap. After a couple of hours, the rain let up, so we ventured out again, this time with much better results, albeit with muddier shoes.

The festival is a sprawling village of period dressed merrymakers and merchants that want to separate you from your money. It's kind of like a 16th century mall, run by carnies. They have nothing you need, and they're screaming at you to come and have a look at their wares. Either we have less money than most, or we have more willpower, because we managed to make it out of there without a single corset, sword, wooden axe, pirate hat, lotion candle, or dragon portrait.

The shows were free and held the children's interest for awhile. They had a pretty good playground and petting zoo which were free also. The jousting was impressive, and the acting not that bad. Keanu Reeves would have been proud. And the people were friendly, although their period dialect was a little annoying after awhile. But they did offer me a new insight into the parent/toddler relationship.

Everywhere we went, the period players would address the twins as "beautiful princess", or "handsome prince", while referring to the wife and me as their "humble servants." This was a revelation, and quite true, too. We do, after all, wait on them hand and foot; they don't have to do anything for themselves. They cry, and we play the jester to make them laugh. They demand juice, and we rush to get it for them. The don't even wipe their own behinds! They live like royalty, while we live only to serve them.

And then I realized that Ella had refused to walk the whole day. Not only was I carrying all of her necessities in a backpack, like a pack animal weighed down with heavy saddlebags, but she had also been riding me around all day. It's a sobering moment when you realize your two year old has spent an entire afternoon literally making an ass out of you.

Still it was fun. Jack gathered rocks, ate dirt, and laughed out loud at jugglers and acrobats. Ella hugged a goose, almost joined a Shakespearean comedy troupe, and adopted an overweight grandfather in an attempt to steal his beer. And the best part? They were both so worn out that they went to sleep almost as soon as their royal heads hit their pillows. "Thank thee, lords and ladies of the Renaissance Festival, for thy gift of tired toddlers! Fare thee well, until next year."

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