Friday, August 26, 2011

We Couldn't Even Sit in Our Chairs

I'm not normally a big complainer.  (At least I don't think I am.  Ya'll can read into that better than I can.)  Anyway - that obviously means I'm getting ready to complain.  (Which irritates me to all get out since I don't typically like listening to the complainers of the world.)  But I'm just out to point out an issue for the sake of a resolution.  That's really what I'm doing.

Let me catch you up to speed.  We took our two year old and our almost six month old to the fair parade tonight.  This was the fair parade I grew up with.  It was the fair parade that I brought great memories from.  Maybe I was naive to be thinking parade floats and marching bands, pointing out ponies and soldiers to our sponge - like two year old while we lounged in our lawn chairs, because that was definitely not what happened.

No - what happened was we showed up an hour early, popped out our chairs, had snacks (that we prepared), and fed our baby as we waited alongside the parade route waiting for the fun to begin.  All was glorious until minutes into the parade when the kids on either side of us bombarded the road at the first sign of candy... and then they stood in the road the rest of the hour long parade.  Not only did they stand in the road, but more kids who had not been anywhere near us to begin with, came and stood right in front of us for the duration of the parade.

Here's my beef:  I could have cared less about candy.  I didn't even bring a bag for my kid.  Candy from a parade, in my opinion, should be a couple of pieces a kid, not a bag overflowing.  It should be something fun, not something expected.  It should not be the point of the parade.  YET - we, who have been waiting an hour in our spots are now crammed behind a crowd of people and my 3 ft tall 2 year old - (you remember, the sponge?) - can see nothing.  

SO - we and the grandparents spent an hour holding and standing with said two year old just so he could see the parade.  He couldn't even be a kid.  And that candy?  Yeah - the couple of pieces I approved of him having was fought for by Gaga because the 5th graders standing near us were standing in the street and grabbing it all.  Candy didn't even get back to us. 

Our fair experience after the parade didn't even happen because everyone was exhausted... we couldn't even sit in our chairs for a moment of the parade. 

And so - where is the resolution?

At first - we thought maybe the police (who were everywhere) should have done something about it, as the safety of the bigger kids was on the line (as they were in the middle of the road and had to be told many times by parade officials to get back), but more prevalent than police were parents, and let's be honest, the parents were encouraging the behavior - and cops shouldn't be asked or expected to raise any children except their own.

Then - we thought - maybe there should be some kind of 'control' on the parade route, but then the same problem arises.

And then I got it - how about we really have a parade?  You know - balloons, floats, bands, clowns, and of course Shriners.  Maybe a ban on all things passed out: no candy, no fliers, no politician fans or nail files, nope, just entertainment... isn't that what a parade was meant to be? 

I'm not against politicians and politics - but when did the parade become so geared towards the adults and so not geared towards the kids? (And - just to clarify - throwing some candy at them does not gear it towards them.) 

I'm just aggravated.  I'm aggravated that a parade can bring out such greed.  I'm aggravated that I heard the 5th graders yell repeatedly at parade entrieswho were not passing out candy or a food item, "Where's the food?" over and over again. 

And you know what I would have loved?  I would have loved to have seen the look on my two year old's face when he discovered fire trucks and ponies, floats and bands.  I would have loved to have been able to sit with him in the lawn chairs we brought and laughed and taken pictures. 

All of that being said - I would have traded every piece of candy for those things to happen.  So, you know, how about a real parade?  I don't need candy, and neither do my kids, what we want is some good 'ole fashioned fun.  And less greed in the world...


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