I used to love the 4th because I am an incurable band geek. I love marching with any band and Independence Day is like a marching band buffet. Before Children I would march a parade with one band, change uniforms, run to the start of the parade and march through again with another band. When that was over, I would drive to the next town and do it again.
Clearly, those days are long gone. If I make it through a parade once I consider it a successful holiday.
I take that back. If there are no major blow ups or blow outs from the children AND I get to march a parade, it is a success.
Yesterday was not so much a success.
The twins and Foodie were with Daddy and my mother to watch a parade I was in. (Part of my band geek still lives because it was my second parade of the day. Some habits die hard.) When we played our way past the kids, I waved and Rain Man saw me. He looked thrilled to see my with my massive bass drum. Cereal Killer didn’t notice me because there were Tootsie Rolls to be eaten, and Foodie and my mother were nowhere to be seen.
Well, I got through the parade and made it back to my parents’ house after a death-defying ride clinging to be back of a tractor trailer float full of hockey players. (Long story.) No one was in the house, strangely. I called my mother and she sounded unusually relieved that I was at her house and insisted they would be right there.
When they pulled up, my mother tore past me, dangling Foodie an arm’s length away from her.
“Rain Man can have an ice cream bar!” she shouted as she ran in to the bathroom.
Rain Man was next to barrel past. First he got his ice cream bar from the kitchen, and then he crawled in to my lap, looking incredibly relieved.
Is this how normal families come home from parades?
Apparently, my mom thought they had sat near dog poop for the parade when in actuality, Foodie had had a MAJOR diaper explosion. We’re talking, call FEMA because we are going to need some epic cleanup. It honestly smelled just like the horses I marched behind earlier in the day. (Perhaps the horses also ate nothing but parade candy for lunch.) No one noticed it was actually Foodie until it was too late and there was poop all over everyone and everything. So, as my mother was managing a squirmy and poo-covered toddler, Rain Man saw me go by with the parade and got disoriented. He thought I was somewhere downtown and he needed to find me. He went in to a fit of hysterics when Daddy tried to bring him to the car because he was certain I was being left behind. The only thing that would entice him to the car was the promise of an ice cream bar back at grandma’s house.
I sort of loved the fact that he was so concerned for me and was worried about where I was and if I was okay. But, an ice cream bar?! He could be paid off with an ice cream bar? He stopped championing for his loving mother for one measly ice cream bar? Jeez!
After that, I made the executive decision that I would NOT bring the children to the fireworks. If a simple parade can inspire hysterical anxiety fits and a poo-splosion, I don’t want to know what would happen in a crowded park during a fireworks display.