Tuesday, November 12, 2013

That Time I Almost Cried at a Parade

So yesterday I had one of those really crazy days, the kind where I want to cry while it's happening but then end up laughing so hard with Hank while I'm retelling it. Here's what happened:

We've been a one car family for the past week or so because Hank's is broken and won't be fixed until next weekend. So most everyday I take him to work and pick him up again because if I don't, the boys and I are stuck at home. I usually try to get out and do something everyday, if not for their entertainment, for my own sanity. And because I had taken Hank to work that morning I definitely wanted to take advantage and do something. One of the best things about Henry's age is that he has a million of his own opinions and ideas, and when I ask him what he wants to do, he can totally give me input. And his one wish for the day? To get a cookie from our favorite coffee shop.

I thought I would make a fun morning out of it and walk around, collect leaves, and enjoy one of our last Autumn days before the cold weather sets in, so we got all packed up into the car and headed downtown. I specifically parked over by the library- much farther away from the coffee shop than necessary- so we could get a good walk in too. I had the stroller for the carseat to click into, and then the skateboard attachment for Henry. I also brought a wrap in case Charlie wanted to go that route.

We started walking towards the square and I noticed that there were a ton of people in military uniforms everywhere. It was Veterans Day, so it made sense, but the sheer number of them was curious...until I heard a marching band. Then I realized I had forgotten there was a parade! So fun. And what a perfect surprise for Henry. His Uncle Abe was a soldier and it's something we are very proud of, so I loved that we'd be able to take part in something honoring him. Our plans immediately changed and we began walking over to where the parade started, when I realized that we had a lot of time to kill. The thing with having a 12-week old though, is that at least in my case, things work best when they fit into particular blocks of time between naps and feedings. And having time to kill or changing plans isn't always conducive to having a successful outing. But whatever, there was a parade!

November iPhone Pictures
November iPhone Pictures

So because we had time before it began we went over to the coffeeshop and Henry got his cookie, and we sat for awhile. It was a beautiful day- leaves were falling off of the trees as we sat there, and the air was the perfect crisp November kind. Charlie had been sleeping soundly in his carseat, but towards the end he started getting a little fussy. I figured if we got moving again he would doze off, so Henry finished his cookie and we headed back down to the parade area. At this point I could go on with detail after detail but here's the gist of it, in one overly-dramatic sounding paragraph:

Downtown was packed with SO many people. And I have this stroller with one baby inside, and another baby on a skateboard that happens to be attached to it, that happens to be the biggest spectacle ever in our small town when we go anywhere (what IS that? did you make it? how is it on there? etc.) I'm wearing multiple, unnecessary layers. Charlie is crying so I'm getting super hot, and the parade is insanely loud with gunshots and the band and sirens. I need to take Charlie out of his carseat because he's crying, but then I'm unsure how I will be able to push the stroller and steer it safely with H on the skateboard, or push the stroller and have him walk next to me safely with so many people everywhere. I pull us over to a quieter corner, try to feed Charlie, try the wrap to no avail, so I just hold him, and he's good but every time a loud noise happens, he's scared and crying again. And to add to it, throughout the parade there are various moments of silence for fallen soldiers, and of course I want to be respectful for these brave men and women and honor them with silence, but I have a crying baby and have to keep moving. We're so, so far from the car thanks to my genius planning (haha), and every time I try to turn down a street we are blocked by the parade and can't cross. We must have walked around trying to get back to our car for no joke, close to 90 minutes. Towards the end Charlie had calmed down and all was well but for the time prior it was just one of those times I don't think I'll ever forget. Definitely earned my "take two kids out in a difficult situation while being totally stressed and trying to act like I'm not" Mom badge with that one.

But then you see my photos and it looks perfect right? It made Hank and I laugh because that's the funny part about the internet- you show what you want, share what you want. My time at the parade looks like a great day. And really, it was, in a "this will be funny later" kind of way, and I love that it at least opened up a conversation with Henry about what it means to be a Veteran like his Uncle, but I have to just laugh thinking about all of it.

So. That was my Monday. How was yours? ;)


  1. I'm so glad I just came across your blog. I'm going to become a mama for the first time next year and reading your experiences like this (with both the perfect times and the down right difficult) makes me so excited for what's to come. I look forward to following your beautiful little family :)

  2. i'll share a recent story with you so we can feel sorry for each other. :)

    last weekend i was grocery shopping with both of my kids when my oldest suddenly exclaims that he has to go to the bathroom. like now. a stomach virus has hit him mid shopping trip. so we race to the restrooms to find out the the handicapped stall was overflowing. so the three of us squeezed into a regular stall. my two year old was touching everything he could, and my six year old wouldn't let me leave the stall. (he's a tad bit clingy and was embarrassed that he had gotten sick in public.) so we were all smooshed together in this tiny stall, while the younger one was trying to squeeze by and rip out toilet paper/ open the tampon disposal can. and then i'm trying to wipe the butt of my distraught older child while trying to keep the younger one from crawling underneath the stall.

    someone enters the stall next to us and farts loudly. to this, my two year old exclaims "AH! THERE IS A MONSTER IN THIS BATHROOM!"

    oh, motherhood. it keeps me grounded.

    1. Oh my. That made me laugh so hard :D
      I can imagine that this was a horrible situation, but I must agree, it sound hilarious :D

    2. ahahaha deanna! that makes me scared for 2 kids, lol

  3. Oh my goodness, you definitely earned that mama badge, haha! :)

  4. oh that sounds so stressful! but also kind of funny. these things are always funny when you get over the stressful part :).

  5. Oh no! I sometimes have hints of this when I go on outings with my kindergarteners! We decided to hit up the park and the library last week. About fifteen minutes in, I turned to my co-teacher and said, "We tried to do too much." Whoa, what a miserable afternoon that was.

    You are a rock star for getting through the day AND taking some lovely photos!

    The Rambling Fangirl

  6. I loved this post. You've got be able to laugh things off, right?!

    Something you said got me thinking... what if there were a day, or even a couple days, where we posted photos on the internet of the messy, the unpredictable, the frustrating moments of life? We live in a world where social media can be such a blessing, yet it can make us feel less than, or even envious of others. Posting little snapshots of how real life can be for all of us would almost normalize all of the people viewing it.

    I wonder what that could/would do for our generation... ?

    Anyway! You're my favorite blogger ever, so keep being amazing and inspirational!


  7. Oh my goodness! I probably would have been freaking out, if only because I get really overwhelmed in large crowds anyway and to add in two kids, I'd be struggling not to lose it!

    My Monday was unfortunately not eventful in the least bit. It snowed here for most of the day and I just did some cleaning and some baking.

    Jamie @
    The Growing Up Diaries

  8. Random question….where is your stroller and that little side skateboard from?

  9. Oh man these are the moments where I think- why did I leave the house?! Way to go mama!

  10. Amazing. I have SO been there and have the idyllic pictures to prove it as well. ;) You totally earned that badge. xo

  11. I love the honestly of your blog. Being a mom is one of my favorite things and also extremely stressful.

  12. Ha - Loved this but only because I've been there myself! I have many a times been the fully schweaty mom on outings - I also found nursing made my body temperature be all over the place so I would sweat more profusely then I would have otherwise. Such a great thing to document - and I forget if I mentioned this in one of my previous posts but I'm so excited you are doing Project Life - I am a traditional scrapbooker (but haven't actually done one page in about a year!) so thinking I may need to go that route if I want any tangible documents of my kids childhoods.

  13. You managed a lot better than most people would in that situation (including me)! Go you. :)

  14. Oh my gosh, yes! This made me smile because I've often been in similar situations....Days like that I always need a wine at 5 o'clock.

  15. But I agree, your pictures look great. Do you always carry around a big camera?
    Your sons look so cute. :) I'm glad, that you can laugh now. And you can be proud that you made it through that 90 minutes and more with two childs all by yourself.