It might be the fact that it's an excuse to kinda get dressed in a costume, but it's not as much of an effort as Halloween. And unlike Halloween, it's totally optional.
We started a family tradition a few years ago that the kids get to spray their hair green. We do this twice since we go to the parade AND we let them go to school like that. For the record, not only have gas prices gone up, so has the cost of green hairspray.
This year, we did the first spraying-of-the-hair indoors instead of outdoors like in the past. Pure laziness really. While we scarfed down some lunch before dashing out the door, the little Curlyheaded Leprechaun (her nickname for today) got all grossed out and told me "Mommy, you have green boogers."
Sure enough, breathing the fumes from the green spray made my nose hair bright green. Sorry to disappoint - no photo. Nothing a baby wipe couldn't rectify. Lesson learned...
We headed out to the parade with our friend Judy in tow. Good thing too. I forgot my camera and we had to rely on her...that's why the shots are actually good and I'm in them this time.
Ryan's life is so much more exciting than mine was at his age (and even now honestly). His dad got him the hookup with his co-worker Kim and he got to ride in the parade in a 1940's fire truck. He was the official bell ringer! I've never heard any bell rung so well. He's a bell-ringing prodigy in my opinion. He saw a few friends from school and most importantly Grandpa Joe and Grandma Mary - who didn't know their great grandson was going to be a star.
This was also the debut of my little "getting crafty" creations. I don't know when or why my obsession with the craft store came about (or my obsession with drag queens for that matter, never mind), but I've been eager to make something that takes little or no skill for a few months now. I can use scissors and I can iron stuff on. Bingo!
Yes, the custom shirts, the Curlyheaded Leprechaun's tutu and her headband are all Mommy Couture. I even made her a bracelet out of green buttons.
By the end of the day, the shirts were covered with Coke, red Gatorade, green hairspray and brown marker.
It's unlikely I'll ever get crafty-adventurous again.
Justin's whining got really irritating halfway through the parade and just as I was about to lose my grip on both the back of his shirt and the string to the green balloon around his wrist, some parade person came by and gave the kids some mints. This well-timed diversion prevented him from running into the street and getting hit by a police motorcycle which would have been really embarrassing. It also gave him sticky drool which ended up all over his chin, hands and my shirt. But on the bright side they gave his kisses a little zing.
Speaking of MY shirt. It was a Target purchase last year from the kid's section. I found it totally embarrassing when little kids walked by me and stared at me because I was the weirdo grown-up wearing a kids' shirt.
However, I felt better when I saw another larger grown-up wearing the same tutu as the Curlyheaded Leprechaun and that was WAY inappropriate. Especially with the knee socks as she was hunched over to push a stroller. Still working on erasing that visual from my brain.
Also making a guest appearance at the parade with us were my sister, her husband John (who stood with Jeff in the back because curb space was at a premium) and my nephew Alex who was a delight as always. He might be my favorite kid (and he's not even Irish).
Soon, Jeff fetched Ryan at the end of the parade route and they returned with a box of Munchkins that he didn't want to share since his sister had a slushee that was ONLY hers that she didn't have to share 4 hours earlier... We forced him to of course because what would a family outing be without making the oldest kid briefly miserable?
In all there were about 20 too many firetrucks for any normal person to stay interested in. I was tired and bored by the end. And so were these guys.
Looking forward to next year when I'll return to spraying hair on the patio.