One-dollar carousel day.
January 07, 2011

Over the past several months, Charlotte has fallen head over heels in love with carousels.  If there is one thing my kid likes, it’s a good old-fashioned carousel ride.

She so adores everything about carousels – the music, the animals, the mirrors, the colors – that I am constantly on the hunt for them.  Big carousels, little carousels, loud carousels, silent carousels, shiny new carousels and rickety old carousels.  We buy carousel rides in bulk whenever we can.  One-dollar carousel day is our greatest childhood splurge.

Let’s put it this way: sometimes I accidentally leave the house without my driver’s license, but I never – NOT EVER – forget the carousel ride punch cards.

There is something about the way she loves the carousel that I cannot resist.  She walks around the platform enthralled by the animals, pointing excitedly at each one.  DAT! DAT! she says and I respond.  That one is a fish, I say.  That one is a swan.  And that one is an elephant.  She carefully selects the one she wants.

When she makes her choice, she changes her mind.  But when she is finally certain that THIS, this is the animal for her, and I buckle her in?  She never looks back.  She grasps the gold pole before her tightly, expectantly, and when the ground beneath us begins to move, she is all business.  She does not look around, does not smile…simply holds on and looks serious.

It takes great concentration to have so much fun, apparently.  Who knew?

Five rides (and possibly five different carousel animals) later, she’s done.  She smiles from ear to ear.  She leans toward me and when I pick her up, she melts into me.  Warm and happy.  Then she looks at me and those grubby little toddler hands grab each side of my face.  As we walk off the carousel, she plants a kiss on the very tip of my nose.  HONK! she says.  Honk, honk, I repeat as she grabs my nose again.

I just spent twenty minutes and five bucks ensuring that the most annoying tune in the world will be stuck in my head until I die, but suddenly it all seems worth it.  I’m looking forward to this day next month already.


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  1. By on January 07, 2011

    Thanks for this post.  As a lifelong carousel fan, I cannot wait till my son is old enough to ride/enjoy them!  I share Chrolotte’s excitment! :o)  I know you’re in CA, but if for some strange reason you ever are in Kansas City, they have a double decker carousel.  I was only on that one once in highschool, but I still rave about years later!

  2. By Megan R. on January 07, 2011

    We are carousel fans at this house, too.  We have a miniature one at the mall (three horses), but Finnley doesn’t care how small they are.  We also have a HUGE old one inside of the Please Touch Museum in Philly….now that is awesome!  Such simple joys!

  3. By on January 07, 2011

    My kids both love carousels too (and anything else now that will spin them around) but I get really dizzy and sick on them so we can only go visit when daddy can come too.  I feel bad but I just can’t handle it.  At least it’s always a special treat with daddy along.

  4. By Alicia S. on January 07, 2011

    I immidiately recognized that expression as soon as I saw the picture! That is the face of a kid that is truely enjoying one of their favorite things. So weird. lol

  5. By Megan B. on January 07, 2011

    My boy loves carousels too!

  6. By Kate on January 08, 2011

    hahaha this is so cute. I was going to ask why she was so serious in the photos but you explained it perfectly. I don’t remember being a carousel lover growing up, but the way you describe everything I hope my daughter loves them.

  7. By heather... on January 10, 2011

    her face in the top picture SLAYS me. Too, too cute.

  8. By on January 23, 2011

    Hi I’m from the South OC AP Meetup!
    My daughter went through the carousel phase. We LOVED Up and Down on the Merry-Go-Round by Bill Martin Jr. There were some others—let me know if you want me to look it up. I keep a list of everything we’ve checked out from the library.

  9. By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on January 30, 2011

    The relationship between you and your daughter is so much like the one between my daughter and I. So priceless.  I ca’t explain the love and the connection. But you seem to have gotten it. I love your blog.

  10. By SCHLETHA on June 16, 2011

    3- Abreast Carousel—$ 80,000- or Best Offer 1955 - 30 Horses - 2 Chariots - All are Mimics of “ Parker Jumpers” Includes: PLATFORM - BOOTH - SIGN - SPEAKERS. Comes with self contained Lockable semi trailer. for more information   Contact:  Schletha at (316) 264-0603 have some photos if requested.  Thanks!

    SCHLETHA


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