Frances spent the ENTIRE Memorial Day parade today with her hands over her ears. I wish I had a picture.
This morning before we went she told me she didn't want to go to a parade. This, after so much parade discussion and youtube parade watching and general parade excitement. I suppose the parade at the Lilac Festival demonstrated that the ones on the street in person aren't as exciting as the Rose Bowl on TV. "We're going to go with Ruby and Henry, isn't that exciting?" Ruby (4) and Henry (almost 3) are my friend Carrie's kids and Frances literally follows Ruby around mimicking her. I thought Ruby's presence would be a sure thing but it didn't sway her. "You know what, Frances?" I said, "I think there's going to be candy." I had heard that they throw out candy at this parade, unlike the Lilac Festival which is just a regular ole parade. I'm not a fan of the candy thing--it's not mardi gras. But! I was right. "Candy!" she said. "I LOVE CANDY!"
This conversation happened while Mitch showered and got ready. It was my job to convince her to go to the parade. I also thought I would coach her on the holiday in general. "Do you know what the parade is celebrating? Memorial Day," I said. "Do you know what Memorial Day is?" Then I wondered if I should continue. I went the easy route: "Soldiers," I said. "Do you know what a soldier is?" It occurred to me she might not know, and she didn't. How to answer that question? I wondered what I was getting myself into. I went with: "It's someone who protects our country." Among other things. Anyway.
When we were in the car I thought I'd show her off a bit for Mitch so I asked, "What is the parade celebrating, Frances?" And she said, "CANDY!"
Maybe they give out candy so parents can convince their kids to come.
Turns out they did in fact have candy. They also had loud marching bands and loud gunfire and loud police motorcycles tooting their loud high-pitched horns. Someone told us they might fire canons and I'm very thankful we missed that part. I thought Ruby's presence would carry more weight once we actually got there but no--. In fact, most of the time Frances was on Mitch's shoulders way way back from the road. She felt safer there. Once in awhile she would get down and sit on the curb (hands still on her ears) in hopes of candy, but as soon as some tootsie rolls came spinning her way she was up again asking to "go away from here." Poor girl.
Clark, on the other hand, had a ball, though it had very little to do with the parade. I spent most of my time following him around, pulling him out of the paths of double jogging strollers on the sidewalk and making sure he didn't walk into the street in front of the marching band. He's in a painfully cute stage, mostly steady on his feet and marching all over the earth to see what's what. One woman on a bike going by said, "Above average cuteness." Yes, yes it is.