I used to always go do everything. Then one day I realized, “wrastling both grouchy kids alone in public is LESS fun in a crowd. The only thing I’m missing out on is a pleasant morning playing in the backyard.”
So I almost didn’t drag the kids to the NATO Festival Saturday. It seemed like a pain to find garage parking.
But it was supposed to rain all afternoon, so we finally rolled out of the driveway. Then rolled back in and got the letter to mail and some sweaters. Then rolled out for real. I didn’t really know where I was going. We turned this way and that. Then we inadvertently ran into the parade route and found easy parking. The kids loved the parade, pointing and clapping at the floats and international dresses.
We followed the crowds to the festival afterwards. It was very crowded. Thousands of adults were elbowing and pushing to get to the front of the booth to snatch the proffered trinkets and snacks from each nation. Other than that, the only thing to do was eat crappy festival food or day drink. Day drinking makes me grouchy.
I was about to regret coming, when Isaac stopped whining and disappeared into the thicket in front of Belgium, reappearing with a huge grin and two Belgian waffles, one for him and Eloise.
Now he was on the scent! Eloise and I hung back while Isaac scored a tiny Eiffel Tower, all sorts of candy (always with one for his sis), and lots of flags. Germany was giving away alcohol-free roddlers (half beer, half lemonade). That’s exactly what I wanted!
I enjoyed one of those while we watched traditional Estonian dancers and listened to the Norfolk opera performers (separately), then sipped some British tea and got a Turkish balloon.
It was totally worth going!
Highlights include: walking by a historical timeline for Norfolk which showed a Renoir painting. “Hey Mom! That’s like where you work!” Isaac correctly identified it as hanging in the Chrysler from the one time he’s seen it there.
And during the parade, Isaac pointed to the Spanish flag and said, “that’s like the ball daddy sent me from Spain!”
Back home, Eloise grabbed one of her favorite books and climbed into Isaac’s lap. He talked to her about the pictures.
For her counting books, she points and imitates counting with baby murmurs. But her cutest new thing is saying “I do!” when I ask who wants to do something. That will join her “cheese!” (anytime she sees a phone or camera) as a crowd pleaser, I think.
Anyway, now both kids keep grabbing the flags and parading around the house. Sometimes I join in. I love a good parade.