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Toddlers and Carnival Rides Don't Mix

A few weeks ago we took the kids to a carnival because carnivals are fun, I mean usually anyway.

The moment we arrived my older son noticed a ginormous bumpy slide thing off in the far distance. Within seconds, both kids were dragging me through a sea of carnival goers, knocking over strollers and souvenir stands to reach the slide of death.

My 8 year old began begging to get his adrenaline fix on the slide; he’s a pro at these things so I gave him 2 tickets to ride. Never in a million years did I think little BooBoo would want to ride down the slide with his brother…but he did.

Generally speaking, I’m not a fan of carnival rides because I’m fairly certain they’re assembled using nothing more than a few zip ties and duct tape. There was no possible way BooBoo would be tall enough to ride the slide so in my infinite wisdom I boasted, “If you’re tall enough to ride this slide then you can go down with your brother.” Jokes on mom…apparently you only have to be 40″ tall to slide to your death. Um, what?!?!


  • I’m a big kid! 1 of 6
    I'm a big kid!
  • My brother left me 2 of 6
    My brother left me
  • Wee? 3 of 6
    Wee?
  • Um, help? 4 of 6
    Um, help?
  • Whoa! 5 of 6
    Whoa!
  • Mommy, can I do it again? 6 of 6
    Mommy, can I do it again?

Listen, I am the most careful mom out there. BooBoo sat rear-facing in his car seat for two years. I’m one of those moms with child safety contraptions on everything so I obviously had serious reservation. My husband didn’t seem to think the slide was such a big deal; he even told me to “chillax” if I’m not mistaken. My older son promised he would ride down with his brother so in the interest of family fun (and yes, against my better judgment) I gave them the green light.

My kids began the long trek up the 30 story staircase of death. Way at the top in the distance I saw my speck of a 3 year old get situated in a potato sack (ya know, for better sliding and undoubtedly easier body cleanup). Suddenly my older son flew down the slide first. ::GASP!:: Wait! Stop! You promised you’d go down with your brother! I started shouting and waving my arms – it was too late.

Two seconds later all 36 lbs. of BooBoo began plummeting downward at warp speed. Within a fraction of a second BooBoo’s big smiley face turned to one of confusion. I held my breath.

Confusion turned to fright; I gasped and grabbed my husband. After what seemed like a million years and only seconds at the same time, BooBoo reached the bottom of the slide.  He jumped up and shouted, “Mommy, can we do it again? Please, please, please!!!!

Um, let me think…NO.

If you’re wondering what my husband was doing during all this excitement, he was feverishly snapping away on his Nikon in stop picture motion.

The carnival death slide taught me a few things that day:

  • Never, ever, ever underestimate (or overestimate) the height requirement of a carnival ride
  • Toddlers are crazy, like crazazy
  • My older son doesn’t keep his promises
  • Family safety is way more fun than family fun, right?
  • My husband would probably allow BooBoo to juggle knives if he thought it would make for a good picture

Even though BooBoo survived unharmed and had the time of his little life, I’m pretty sure I shaved a couple years off my life that day.

Do you have any daring toddler stories to share? Do tell!

Got an anxious kid? Help your toddler Overcome these 10 Common Fears!

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