During our 7/2008 visit, Kaitlyn and I go out on a pirate ship. Kaitlyn was scared of the "bad" pirate but Mom-Mom saved the day.
We also went to the fabulous Delaware State Fair only we ended up calling 911 for a Kaitlyn in physical distress.
Kaitlyn and I saw the movie "Space Chimps" and it was fun, it was neat, it was just the ticket for a hot summer day.
Pic of the Day
Frogs That Pee, Pirate Ships, Fairs and Heat Exhaustion
We begin with the ride on the pirate ship because Kaitlyn's Mom, my daughter, informed me that Kaitlyn was greatly entertained by the activity.
I live near Lewes, Delaware, home of the famous "ferry" from Lewes, Delaware to Cape May, New Jersey. Lewes also has a plethora of boats, yachts, dinghies and you name it, all ready to take Rehoboth tourists out for a fishing trip.
I chanced upon this "pirate cruise" in a local newspaper. Children, according to the advertisement, reserve a spot on the "cruise". When they come to the dock, the little pirates are dressed in pirate duds, given a special tattoo on their arms (removable, of course) and have their faces painted with mustaches and goatees to better resemble the pirates they are about to be.
Parents are allowed on the boat and there is a special space in the back of the boat for parents to sit and proudly watch their little pirates. The pirates gather at the bow of the boat to hear tales or piracy on the high seas, look out for treasure and scariest of all, look for the "bad pirate". All around the boat are water cannons that will be used to ward of the bad pirate once he makes his move.
Treasure was retrieved from the sea, a happening Limbo dance was performed, magic tricks mesmerized the pirates at the bow and yes, a bad pirate did show up, floating up to the side of the pirate ship on a dinghy.
Kaitlyn was afraid of the bad pirate and I had to hold her sobbing self. She got over that fear real quick, however, when the bad pirate gave her a gold coin for being such a good pirate.
The arrival of the bad pirate launched an all-out "water war" with the mini-pirates shooting him with the water cannons and the bad pirate shooting back with a big water gun of his own. In the special boat alcove for parents, Moms, Dads and grandparents cringed to get away from the shooting waters.
The trip out past the mouth of the Delaware Bay lasted about 70 minutes, a real nice time span to keep them entertained yet not bore their busy little minds.
Kaitlyn, my niece and my wounded self visited the Delaware State Fair on Monday, 7/21/08.
I love the Delaware State Fair. As a child, one of my family's yearly rituals was a visit to the Merryland State Fair. Ladies and gems, Merryland is chump change compared to the mighty Delaware State Fair. Here in Delaware we capture a big tourist crowd who happily visit our fair during the height of the tourist season as opposed to more normal state fair time periods around the harvest.
Only that Monday of our visit it was very hot. Temperatures were up in the 90's.
Since just one ride cost almost five bucks, it made sense to purchase an arm band. For $20.00 one can ride all the rides one wants. I bought one for my niece and Kaitlyn. Myself did buy a few tickets because such as going up, down, around or upside down is not for those recovering from heart surgery.
My niece was a gem, taking Kaitlyn on all the rides requiring parental accompaniment although Kaitlyn got on quite a few rides all by herself.
"Again, Again!" she would shout after finishing a ride she especially enjoyed.
Well what the hell, she had an armband so if she wanted to get on the ride she got on the ride.
It was after jumping around on two of those themed jumping balloon things that Kaitlyn expressed some physical distress.
"I think I'm going to throw up," she said after disembarking from the big gorilla jumping ride. Connie, my niece, and myself quickly took her over next to a trash can that she would have a place to, well, vomit.
Instead of throwing up, Kaitlyn wrapped her elbows over the trash can and used it as a prop to hold her up. Connie told her not to do that as the trash can was dirty. Connie pulled Kaitlyn away from the trash can but as soon as she let Kaitlyn go the child immediately laid down on the ground.
I fretted and complained. "What's wrong with her?" I worried to my niece.
Connie thought Kaitlyn was probably hot and asked the child if she wanted to go on the water ride again. This would cool the child off, as we figured, plus it was a ride that Kaitlyn had expressed a desire to get on all day.
Only once Connie and Kaitlyn got to the water ride, Kaitlyn would not stand on her own. Once again the child laid down on the ground and would not move.
By this time I'm a wreck. Obviously this was not normal behavior. I did suspect Kaitlyn's sickness had something to do with the heat. But this laying around and not moving was scary. I had no idea where to get help.
Connie asked some vendors where we could get help for a sick child but no one knew anything.
In my pocketbook I had a brochure I'd gotten at the main gate. There was no information on what to do in an emergency but there was a number for the ticket booth.
Connie carried Kaitlyn (I could not carry the child, it's a good thing Connie was with me) to a nearby exhibition building that had air conditioning. I settled down on a ledge around an exhibit but again, once I put Kaitlyn down she immediately laid on the ground and closed her eyes. The child was responsive when I called her name but given the chance she would simply lay limp and unmoving.
I called the main ticket booth and told them I had a sick child and needed help.
"Call 911," the lady on the phone told me. "They have a special set-up here at the fair."
"She has heat exhaustion," the paramedic told me.
Well the child did act "exhausted" but I'd never taken the phrase literally. I thought heat exhaustion was when one got so hot that they couldn't move. So okay, Kaitlyn did lie down as if lifting a finger was more than she could do but those times when I called her name in panic she lifted her head up and assured me that she was okay. Then she lay her head down again and remained still.
My own daughter had a childhood fraught with oddball ailments. For a five year period the child fainted every time she hurt real bad, beginning when she was six months old! And yet I don't recall a time she ever suffered from heat exhaustion.
Kaitlyn, Connie and I all had a tractor ride to the Fair's first aid station. After about twenty minutes Kaitlyn recovered nicely. We all went back into the heat although it had cooled down just a bit by then. We avoided the rides and walked through the animal areas. We saw cows, pigs, and sheep. I glanced at Kaitlyn, who did enjoy the animals. I noted a tell-tale flush creeping up her face. I bought the child a SpongeBob Squarepants blow up doll and we decided to walk out of the fair just when everybody else was coming in.
Finally we have the insult of the frog and hey, Kaitlyn needed a bit of humility. For the frogs of Serendipity Shore, which Kaitlyn chases endlessly, tormenting them mercilessly as she captures them and holds them prisoner in her palm. I warn her she should stop, that frogs are people too, that to a frog she is a big giant monster who could end his life with a laugh.
Only one sunny morning a frog plucked from its frog pleasures by an eager Kaitlyn took a long pee in Kaitlyn's hand.
I heard that frogs do this though I'd never experienced or witnessed such a thing.
Later that day a quick call to Kaitlyn's Mom was required to firm up some meeting or another. Kaitlyn told me she wanted to talk to her Mom to tell her "about the frog that peed on me." This phrase she uttered with the disdain required for a talk with one's mother for reassurance that it was, indeed, a major insult for a frog to have peed on Kaitlyn's person like that.
I smiled and hoped she might consider the plight of the frogs the next time she goes looking for fun and games with a living thing. If Kaitlyn hasn't gained a sense of humanity from the incident, well hell, maybe she'll fear having her palm used as a toilet the next time she goes grabbing innocent frogs.
Below, two movies of Kaitlyn enjoying her 2008 Delaware State Fair visit. Both were taken right before she went down with heat exhaustion.