One of those things you either love or hate about our community is that our town celebrates all the major holidays a week early. So today was the "Heritage Festival" complete with carnival rides, a parade, and fireworks.
We decided to take the experience head on and make one of our first public appearances.
The carnival rides we had actually seen yesterday on our daily walk, so the kids had already done the, "Daddy, Me" thing to which the response was, "No Money. Tomorrow money." That worked until about 7:18 this morning. The thing was, my folks were coming out and the parade didn't start until 4pm, so we piddled around most of the day until about 2:30, knowing that we couldn't do the carnival for more than an hour. I'm happy to report that our children gloriously conquered their first carousel. It was a little touch and go there for a minute, but they figured it out and had fun (the pics are great, I'm sure Chris will post them at some point.) Next we had to tackle the "54 inches or shorter" dilemma as H was too tall for the 'car ride.' Again, a week ago this would have brought the whole thing to a screeching halt, but he handled it magnificently today. And speaking of screeching... the Tilt-A-Whirl was not as graceful of an experience. H and Y thought they could handle it if Daddy went with them. After about 4 times around, there
was no consoling either one of them. Daddy couldn't stop the ride even if he wanted to. (The before/after pictures are classics but will probably stay off the interwebs) And as a side note, I'm convinced that carnies gain strength from the screams of children, and this operator was buff by the time we stopped spinning.
We couldn't figure out a way to describe a parade to someone who has never seen one. H kept pointing and making a break for the very beginning of the parade route where the police cars and firetrucks were lining up. I don't think he really believed me when I told him that they were going to drive right in front of us, so I pretty much had to drag him back to the spot on the curb we had staked out. And then the candy flowed... and flowed... and flowed... and then all was forgiven. Today we learned that our kids don't like ice cream sandwiches (the Dean's Ice Cream truck gave them out in the parade.) Chris was appalled, I was just glad that I didn't have to buy a box of them to find that out.
For a week, Chris and I have been searching for the Amharic word for "fireworks" so we could give our kids a heads up about the 4th of July, but it's not in any of our dictionaries and it's not like there's a synonym for it. Finally today, I had a head-slap moment, went to youtube, typed in "fireworks" and started pointing. They were unimpressed. Chris was pretty much finished with the day after the parade, but I pushed because we only live 7 blocks from where they were going to do the display. We were either going to see them, or we were going to have to explain what was booming outside. We got to the park early. Too early. We had way too much time to kill. By the time it got dark both kids had gone through the cranky/slap-happy/sassy/glazed-over cycle about 4 times, and Chris had gone through it twice. When the first fireworks went off, H's eye's just about popped out of his head and Y screamed, then ran away serpentine through the crowd. Our friend Julie caught her somewhere near Marengo and helped her settle down and enjoy the rest of the show. My son, who had said, "Toilet daddy" 3 seconds before the fireworks began, remembered that he still needed to go about 15 minutes later. Fine. So I escort him to the bathroom and he spends the finale looking for a hand dryer while I got to watch the back of the pavilion glow various colors. Faaaantastic. Note to self: next time take the potty break during the opening sequence.