This summer, the girls and I had the opportunity to visit the Canadian National Exhibition (also known as the CNE or the Ex). My mom was volunteering at a china painting exhibit and offered to bring us with her. I loved the Ex as a child, but it was never something I thought that we could do. Big Kid was going to go with Nonna (“grandma” in Italian) and demonstrate painting with her, and Mom suggested I bring Angel and come too. I hemmed and hawed and discussed it thoroughly with my mom and I actually agreed to go.
The Ex is a 3 week fair at the end of every summer in Toronto. It’s crowded and noisy and I was more than a little worried about how Angel would handle it. I didn’t decide until the day before, so Angel didn’t have time to get anxious. Daddy told the girls what the plan was and they were both excited. Angel was a little nervous, but felt better when we looked at the Web site so she could see where we would be going.
Saturday morning, we packed up our lunch, sweaters, sunscreen, and water bottles and headed to the Ex. We had a blast! In the morning, we went to the Farm Building and the girls got to do things like milk a pretend cow, learn how to cast a fly rod and “fish”, ride a mechanical horse. Angel loved it! She really liked a tricycle that she got to ride that had reins instead of handlebars.
After that, we went to the Arts & Crafts building where my mom was demonstrating her craft. Big Kid was planning to paint and Angel decided she would too. She sat there in the noisy hall and painted contentedly. She did ask for her earphones and I think they helped to knock down the background noise a bit for her. Angel even asked a little girl where she got her face-painting done because she wanted to get it done too (this is something she never would have done before, but she really liked the paint!).
We took a break from painting and went to Kids World. We did all sorts of things and the girls both got their faces painted even though we had to wait almost 20 minutes for our turn. Angel tried her best to sit still and being a rainbow butterfly made her day. Angel even pet the animals in the petting zoo. I think they were small enough that she didn’t feel too nervous about it this time. She made a craft and even tried playing some musical instruments, although it turned out to be too loud for her in the end.
We had a really great day. I am glad that my mom and my husband both encouraged me to go because I found out that we can do things like this. Being prepared in advance definitely helped and I’m glad I thought to grab the headphones a the last minute. In my mind, I was prepared for worst case scenarios. What if she can’t handle the noise, what if she’s really clingy and tries to climb all over me all day, what if it’s just too much for her? Angel surprised me, just like she does every day. I’m so glad that we stepped out of our comfort zone and tried something new!