Emma: Today we took you to your first rodeo. You were moderately excited about it, though I’m not sure you fully comprehended what exactly a rodeo was ahead of time. You have a Cowboy Mickey book that we’ve read over and over, so I kept referencing that in the lead-up to today’s main attraction: the rodeo! I got you all dressed in your John Deere shirt from your grandparents and your pink cowboy boots, I donned my own cowboy boots, and even tried on your sisters but they were too big. Anyway, after appropriately dressing for the big day we headed out. When we arrived we ducked into the arena to see what was going on and it was a perfect event for you – sheep herding. It was fascinating to watch the dogs do their work, and fun to watch the sheep react. We watched for almost thirty minutes, and I was able to feed your sister and you enjoyed a snack while we watched. Always trying to stay ahead of you and boredom, I suggested we move on before you were officially over it. Well, that and your sister was done eating and was over it, and was making this fact known with loud babbling that was approaching crying. I wasn’t sure if our sounds could hinder the dog’s ability to herd, or the sheep’s ability to respond, but didn’t want to find out…
So we made our exit and worked our way to the kid’s area. There was a petting zoo and we quickly got in line for it. I was really curious to see how you’d react and if you’d be tentative. The petting zoo contained quite a lot of animals and included pigs, goats, a cow, a chicken, and llamas. You weren’t hesitant at all! You pet the animals and even brushed some. You picked up straw off the floor and tried to feed it to them, prompting a nice gentleman to hand you some of the feed. You were in there for probably thirty minutes and I wondered if we’d be able to get you out of there. But, with the promise of a pony ride we were able to exit without issue.
We headed to the pony ride line, and it was quite the line. I was afraid you wouldn’t have the patience for it, and suggested Madeline and I could stand in line while your dad and you went exploring. But your dad said that they’d wait with us and if you started getting antsy then he’d walk around with you. But you were simply fascinated watching the horses, and you made it the entire time, patiently waiting your turn. I was really impressed. We told you the names of all of the horses and you wanted the one named Cowboy. I tried to prepare you for disappointment as the likelihood of you getting Cowboy wasn’t great (1 in 7 to be exact). When it was finally your turn for a ride you were the last one of the group, and therefore didn’t get to choose your horse. I stayed and took pictures, and didn’t pay any attention to which one you got on. Afterward your dad informed me that you got Cowboy! You were what I can only describe as ecstatic the entire ride, wearing a huge grin the whole time. I really am worried that someday soon you may request a horse. Afterward we were talking about the ride on the horse, and you told me, “Mom, it’s called a pony!”.
After the ride we got lunch and needed to leave as it was already past nap time. You were devastated to have to leave. You wanted to go back to the petting zoo, and you kept asking what animals we were going to see next. I felt sad that we had to leave when you loved it so much, but was so glad we got to go and that you really enjoyed it. We’ll go next year!