“The thing that impresses me the most about America is the way parents obey their children.”
– King Edward VIII
Teagle proudly waves her 'A Meriget' flag
in celebration of Independence Day
This year marks the wee Puffy one’s THIRD FOURTH! To celebrate this momentous occasion, she was granted front-row tickets to her first ever firework show! It was a family event. A myriad of aunts and uncles showed, bringing along a multitude of cousins, and some assorted seldom-seen family friends. To her delight, T’s Nonna was there, and her Aunt Ki, Mr. MikeCee . . .We even got T’s daddy to come out, which is a miracle in and of itself! Naturally, T was permitted to stay up long after her bedtime had passed by. . .in public. This is a frightening prospect for any mother that hasn’t been blessed with one of those magical mythical sleep-anywhere babies. One never can predict precisely how an over-tired- yet-still-very-much-awake two-year-old is going to behave. . .or not. An earler-in-the day zoo trip, and as a consequence, shorter than normal nap, added to my feeling of trepidation. Luckily for us, T did very well. This was thanks in no small part to the throng of my younger cousins that enveloped her in bigger-kid affection. They kept her little self well entertained through the long hours until darkness fell by plying her with juice boxes, crackers and carrots with dip, and giving her total dictatorship over their actions. As if that wasn’t enough for any pint-sized pioneer, she was also given several magical glowsticks, and her first-ever taste of cotton candy! Baby-head was in party mode, cheeks pinked and running around like a cheetah on a sugar-high, and having a super-puff-tastic time. For her, it was heaven.
Then there was the fire truck. Oh, the firetruck! I think my dear daughter would have lived on that thing had she been allowed. As it was, she became disgruntled when she was forced to give the other children a turn. Lucky for her, we were camped out right next to it, so she had ample opportunity to revisit the thing at frequent intervals. The fireman was her hero, and didn’t seem to mind helping her into his vehicle every 2.5 minutes. . .and grinning like a Cheshire as he stood by watching me cajole, bribe, and demand the Puff’s attendance when it was time for to come back out again. T’s father searched out the stand where the free goodies lived, where they were giving away little fireman helmets, and snagged one for T. She was thrilled by it, and even at 4 sizes too big it became a fixture on her silly Puffy head.
It should be noted that the Independence Day event we attended was not actually on the 4th of the month. Being her maiden firework adventure, it seemed it a wise idea to avoid the massive throngs. T and I had been ‘practicing’ for the fireworks. We watched an approaching thunderstorm, viewed cartoons that depicted fireworks, and ran around the house attempting to startle each-other by randomly shouting at tops of lungs,
“BOOOOM! I’M A FIREWORK!”
I was fairly confident that she could handle it, but just in case she didn’t, a quick getaway would be required. . .which means not wading through 4 billion people in the dark while holding a screaming, terrified toddler, only to then walk 10 more blocks before finally reaching the refuge of the car . A mother has to have contingency plans. There was a good-sized crowd there, hundreds of people, but nothing like would descend on the place on the day itself. . .
Of course, because I was prepared for the worst, Teagle was just fine. When the first firework hit the sky, there was a moment where it could have gone either way, but a quick snuggle and a whisper in her ear regarding what we had learned about fireworks put her right at ease. She was fascinated. She called out each and every color, and was impressed by the extreme glitteryness of it all. . .
The evening made a huge impression on my little girl. The first words out of her mouth the next morning were;
“Mommy! Can we go to see the sparkly fire . . . lightnings again?
And though she was a bit disappointed to learn that the magic of glowsticks only lasts for one night (who isn’t?) It was overall a very good new experience for her little self. She’s been droning on about fireworks and firetrucks for days now. . . and although I was sorely tempted to do it all over again yesterday, I decided that I can only handle an evening that exciting once a year. All in all, a good evening and a happy holiday week was had by all!