One more notch on the idiot post for you...(This is scarily starting to become a habit).
Now this little incident happened a week ago and I would have written about it before but trips to A&E and a distinct lack of food took precedence.
It's funny what turns out to be a highlight in the life of a child, whilst in your life, the same event just needs to be forgotten and brushed under the carpet as soon as possible. So I shall do my best to brush it under the carpet by writing a post about it...go figure that one!
So it's May in Brighton and what that means is that the Festival is upon us - Artists Open Houses, Street Performances, Music, Theatre, Comedy, Food, and all sorts of other exciting events which make you feel even more smug that you live in the best place in the world. Ok the best place in Britain (I'm only a little biased). Anyway, for the past 20 years, the Festival has kicked off with the Children's Parade - a veritable extravaganza of floats, music, costumes and dancing through the streets of Brighton. In my case, what that meant was, snotty crying children, sore feet, exhaustion, sunburn, ringing in my ears from the too-close proximity to persistant whistle-blowing and an overwhelming embarrassment at the lack of costume. But, and this is where the foolishness comes in - we weren't just witnesses to this fantastic spectacle. Oh no, we were part of the parade itself. I mean, seriously, what was I thinking? Whilst other parents opted out and decided sensibly to simply watch from the sidelines, I, along with two small children and an obvious lack of husband, decided to parade through the streets of Brighton in front of more than 10,000 onlookers, pretending it was Mardi Gras. Which, incidently is not on my list of things to do before I die. But seeing as it did very nearly finish me off, maybe it should have been. (At least then I would have been able to cross it off posthumously and thus achieve something). BUT, one of my small children had the opportunity to be included, so what was I to do? Well, sometimes, we just have to put our children first and deal with the consequences later.
For some strange reason I hadn't really forseen any problems. Surely it was possible for Renée to be in the parade, whilst Edie and I walked along beside her, inconspicuous, yet supportive at the same time? Ha, I'm nothing but a fool. Had I not seen the parade before? Well, yes, as it happens, but possibly before I had children, so my points of reference had been different. I had probably remarked on the beautiful costumes and the happy children and then sloped off spontaneously to sit and have a beer on the beach whilst leisurely planning the evening's events. Like I said, this was before I had children.
So imagine my surprise when, on turning up, I realised that the dress code of blue, white and silver (to tie in with out school's theme of 'Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines') was not just reserved for the children, but the parents as well. And why was I the only parent not to have realised this? Oh, the absolute shame. My embarrassment was further confounded by the appearance of a giant Queen Bee complete with a huge papier maché Beehive and worker bees which happened to walk past at the very moment I stood contemplating my ever-so slightly sombre (read dull and out of place) costume of jeans and jumper (not even in regulation colours I might add). Never before had I wanted to be dressed in purple and gold so much. I wanted to be a Bee, or a flying machine, or a dragon or a windmill, or anything else other than a Mother with a toddler in a pushchair who hadn't understood the dress code properly.
But hold on, I am perhaps missing the point of being a parent here. Whilst I was scarlet with embarrassment at the lack of costume and exhausted at having to keep Edie strapped into the pushchair for fear of her being run over by a giant helicopter made of tissue paper, Renée was having a fantastic time. Her airplane headgear and flying goggles were perhaps a little too large and meant that every two minutes she was in danger of toppling over, but she was having the time of her life blowing that damn whistle as loud and hard as she could.
As I paraded along the streets of Brighton, trying hard to be as inconspicuous as possible, whilst at the same time trying not to ignore friends who were frantically waving at me from the sidelines, I realised that it wasn't about me (duh!), it was about the children...and when Renée asked, wide-eyed with excitement..."Mummy, are all these people waving and clapping at us? At me?"...I smiled a genuine smile. "Yes darling, they're all here to watch you. You just enjoy yourself." And so she did.
Sometimes even the greatest of embarrassment is worth enduring to make your children happy. Just remind me when the next parade comes around, to at least get a costume!
hayley balozi posted a blog post
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