We now live in the "Christmas City of the North"...and the locals take the title pretty seriously. We're trying to embrace the positives of city living and have decided to take part as much as possible. SO...one Friday night The Spouse was gone with youth at an event, but there was a parade happening downtown. Sure, it would have been nice to have help with the kids, but I soldiered on...after all, what sort of Citizens of the Christmas City of the North would we be if we didn't even go to the parade?!?
Of course, before we could go, we needed to get bundled up. It took 30 minutes to get everyone decked out in their gear.
Of course "someone" decided once he was all bundled up to "unload" some excess, so we had to strip him, change a diaper, and get him dressed again. Good thing he looks adorable as a red marshmallow!
I had given us 1 hour from the time we started to get ready to the time the parade would start and though it did take 30 minutes to get ready I was STILL positive we wouldn't have a huge challenge finding parking. W.R.O.N.G. we live just 3 minutes from downtown, but when we got there it was chaos! We finally found a parking spot...3 blocks from the parade route. Now, you're thinking to yourself, "Three blocks...that's not far!" And you'd be right. EXCEPT if those three blocks are all on a steep hill. (Note the parade route at the bottom of the photo).
I walked down those three slippery blocks with as much grace and poise as a Mom trying to keep 2 children near and double stroller holding 2 other children from not getting away from her. Needless to say, I heard more than a few snickers from behind me and one gentleman even said, "Try holding onto the fence with one hand!". Like I said I was totally cool,calm, and graceful as I skated my way to the bottom.
Once there, we took in the scenery around us and I tried to disway my children from wanting to buy everything thing that the vendors were selling as they walked through the crowd. By that point Finn was cold and wanted to go home.
Not. Kidding. I encouraged him to hang in there and chided him for not putting on his long underwear as instructed. Finally the parade began.
We left before Santa and Mrs. Claus came to us. Why?
1. I didn't want the kids to see Santa & Mrs. Claus. We have a crowd of total believers at our house and they've already wondered aloud to me how Santa could possibly be hanging out down here when there are toys to be built, lists to be checked, and preparations to be made for Christmas. "He's WAY too busy for THIS, Mom!" I think the less we see of him the longer we'll have believers.
2. We were COLD...The Christmas City sits on the largest body of fresh water in the world and the wind coming off it makes for a chilly place to be.
3. In case you forgot, we were 3 blocks from our van...straight up hill with a double stroller filled with 2 kids. I figured the fewer people who were there to witness my huffing and puffing, the better!
So, off we went. At the 1/2 way point Leve started to bawl her head off. She was too "tired"...this from the kid riding in the stroller! She wanted Daddy, she wanted a drink, she wanted to go potty. I tried to focus on not slipping BACK down the hill.
At 3/4 of the way TJ started in...perhaps it was the person sitting next to him screaming and he couldn't take it, maybe he had a legitimate complaint; we'll never know. I tried to focus on not slipping BACK down the hill or falling on my face while the stroller flew out in front of me.
When we arrived at the van Finn and Kiki started to cry because they wanted a snack, they were tired, they wanted a drink, Finn touched Kiki's toy, etc., etc.
I tossed the kids in, buckled them up, threw the stroller in the back, and peeled out of the parking lot like a teenager showing off for her friends. I was back at our doorstep in less than 2 minutes, the kids were all in bed and asleep in under 15.
Let's just say that next year The Spouse is taking the kids to the parade.