We, being of jumbled mind and tired body, decided to load our three girls up on Saturday and take them to the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Carnival.  It was a fun day, really.  And we can not wait for next year.

But we like to add a little flair to our family outings and this one was no different.  Especially since we followed some simple rules that made the day run smoothly and left the memories untarnished.


Tell your kids you are going to a carnival, fair, amusement park, or the grocery store at least 4 days before the actual date. This is a great one.  It leads to them asking every 5 minutes if it is time to go and when being told that it is a few days away sends them into hysterics.  Really, I recommend it.

On the day of the event, make sure you threaten to leave them home by themselves for not minding at least 10 times. Another glorious round of tantrums will ensue.  Followed by guilt for making them cry and the obvious lesson that what daddy/ mommy threatens will not come true.

Plan on arriving at the event right at nap time.  This is a MUST for a stressed out mother who has listened to her children scream, “I wanna be at the carnival!” for the last hour.

Park as far away from the event as possible! Let’s face it…  planning ahead to find the best cash parking lot would have been too easy.  Besides, in this day and age of a massive obesity, everyone needs to walk at least 2 miles, pushing a double stroller, half carrying, half dragging a third child.

Let your children eat cotton candy right away so that they are sticky the rest of the day. And on a sugar high.  At nap time.  At a carnival.

And finally,

Go on the very last weekend of the event, at the end of Spring Break.  Come on, what fun is a carnival, at a Rodeo, without 2.346.987 of your closest friends?  To wait in line with.  For the bathroom.  And the water fountain. And food for your hungry, tired, hot kids.

Who still have to be pushed two miles back to the car in a double stroller while half carrying, half dragging your third child.

If you, too, follow these simple rules when going to your next family event, you, too, will have an amazing, fun filled, low stress day to remember forever…

…or not.