I’m almost positive this is going to get me kicked out of the elementary school PTA, but I have a confession to make: I hate school carnivals.
I try to be one of those moms who seem to look forward to it. For years I donned my little mommy ballcap and stood in line for pre-weekend carnival tickets. I talk to the other moms and pretend this is going to be really, really fun. But I’ve never, ever, ever had a good experience with the school carnival, and I think I’m done pretending.
Maybe it’s the sticky sidewalks. Maybe it’s the possibility of clowns being there. Maybe it’s the terrible combination of over-the-top joy with the sudden devastation when your little ring doesn’t quite go around the milk bottle. I don’t know what it is. I just know they sort of depress me.
It doesn’t help that the elementary school carnival is always plagued with terrible end-of-the-school-year weather: it’s either 102 degrees outside or strangely raining. I swear I’ve been to both. The year it was 102 degrees I actually tried to work the carnival with my 4th grader (see? I try!). All I remember is turning bright red in a no-canopy throw-the-ping-pong-ball-in-the-goldfish-bowl booth while my son got sick on cotton candy and cried because he lost a whole row of tickets behind some chain-link fence. The year it rained I remember we stood in an hour-long line to see the talent show (which, okay, was actually quite good!) but then we begged my daughter to go home afterward because most of the booths had to close up, and the baked-goods booth was getting soggy.
It’s just never a good thing.
What about you? Do you like school carnivals? Or do you have a different guilty mom admission — one of those things that all other parents seem to like that you don’t — that you’re worried might get you kicked out of the PTA?