Lesson Learned: The Christmas Parade

by , under Mom, personal

Here in town, there’s an annual Christmas Parade. People show up, school bands march…

Last year we went, bringing our trusty all-weather picnic blanket. The only problem there was that most people brought the fold-up chairs, and so the kids had to stand the entire time to see anything. So we planned on bringing our chairs.

And we did! We packed up the kids, and headed out decaffinated and a little hungry, figuring we’d pick up something along the parade route.

I know. I’m sure you guessed that this is where things went awry. We found a spot (actually the same spot we had last year) and TheBoy went off to the Starbucks to get the two of us drinks, and some snacks for the kids.

The line was out the door.

None of us do well when we’re hungry, and of everyone, only the Little Kidlet was in a good mood. The Oldest Kidlet finagled some ice cream, and after a little bit of it was too cold to finish. TheBoy bought he and I some sandwiches, but they weren’t very good.

We made it through an hour of the parade. Through four marching bands, two different cheerleading groups, the YMCA programs, a slew of sponsors and Miss Uptown. Then we were all so hungry we had to leave.

So we went to our local In-n-Out. But because everyone was hungry, the drive there was filled with whining (even LK had lost his great mood). Every sentence started with “Mooooooommmmmyyyyyyyy.” So I ordered them to play the Quiet Game.

Looking back in the rear view mirror, I saw the Little Kidlet frown (he has a hard time being quiet) and the Oldest Kidlet had his jaw set, and a determined look in his eyes. And as we drove, I didn’t hear a peep from him. The Little Kidlet whispered, but the Oldest Kidlet was determined that he would stay quiet until I told him the game was over.

We even asked him if that was the case, and he nodded yes.

It was a magically quiet car ride.

Our lunch was great, and we came home and collapsed.

So lesson learned: Stop at the neighborhood Starbucks and bring snacks and blankets.

The funny part is that last year we did stop at our neighborhood Starbucks because TheBoy was actually staying up after working the overnight. We’d handled that part perfectly without knowing it. It was being cocky and thinking we could just stop in Uptown that was our undoing this year.

Highlights of the parade? The middle school band we saw played Rock n’ Roll Part Two. And they were awesome. The youngest kids in the cheer schools were the best. And the two boys from the YMCA group doing Gangnam Style made me smile. Especially as they were galluping down the street to catch up to their music.

Oh, and the Girl Scout carrying one of the banners who was embarrassed by her mom? Priceless. She not only turned red, she gave the most epic eye roll I’ve ever seen.

So that was my weekend. What did you do with yours?