For a good portion of my life, I thought I would end up raising my kids in the same small town that I grew up in. My own mom went to the same high school as Kyle and I did and I imagined my kids would do the same. Plus I am a self professed mama's girl so living away from my parents seemed like the last thing I would want to do. At some point, however, the plan changed (as plans tend to do) and we've found ourselves raising the Little Red outside of our hometown. While we adore the small city that we live in and have a strong like for its neighboring big city, there are certain aspects of raising a child in a small town that can't be equaled.
Luckily, we are usually able to spend weekends in our hometown and we get to take advantage of some of the wonders of rural living. Last weekend we participated in the local Swede Day 10k that included four close encounters with manure trucks (not to mention a killer 1970's smiley face medal) and this weekend we attended the Independence Valley Chicken Races. That's right, chicken races.
The object of the chicken races is quite simple. Stick a chicken in the middle of a circle. Stick a kid on the outside of the circle. Get the kid to scare the chicken out of the circle. Time it. Eat the chicken. Okay, I made the last part up, the competitors were not eaten but there was totally a chicken dinner before the races (cracks me up). Since Claire loves birds and races (the latter is me projecting), I figured this would be right up her alley. I was right, until the actual races started. Clarie was #25 so she got to watch the first kids do their thing and form her strategy. She was totally into it until the feathered contestant was scooped up in a net. Apparently I have a future member of PETA on my hands because she burst into tears as soon as the chicken was caught. I'm still not sure why, but without fail, each time a chicken was caught, bottom lip out and alligator tears. I tried to explain to her that she eats chicken all the time but apparently that wasn't helpful. We ended up having to cover her eyes or distract her every time a chicken was being caught. We contemplated having her sit her turn out to prevent any emotional scaring but by the time it was her turn she was rallying so we took a chance and threw her in the ring (not literally of course).
Claire's cousin Sophia. I told her to look like a competitor and this is what she gave me.
Claire thought that the other kids were the most interesting part...seriously why is a number so freaking cute on a baby?
Sophia was up first. She was totally in it to win it.
Then Claire took her turn. She decided to let me throw the socks at her chicken while she pointed her bubble maker at it.
No competition would be complete without participation ribbons...I wonder how long I have until she realizes that everyone gets one.
Did I mention that it rained the entire time? Who knew we would need our rain jackets in June?
Finger chewing was the real event of the day. Something about popping out molars makes it extra appealing.
Between our suburban weekday life and our rural weekend days, we truly get the best of both worlds.