Friday, 29 October 2010

Halloween parade; survival of the fittest

So this morning the infamous Halloween parade took place.

Littleboy 1 went off to school in his black bat costume, very overexcited (having climbed into bed before 7am asking 'do I wear my costume today?). I dropped Littleboy 2 at preschool as early as I possibly could (8.50am) aware that the parade would start at 9am and parking near the school would probably be difficult. But I had NO idea...

I realised from the amount of traffic along the route that every single bloody parent in town was driving to the school (due to the zoning in the area, hardly anyone lives near enough to walk). At the school, naturally the carpark was already full, and it was mayhem on the surrounding streets. Enormous cars were everywhere, their occupants zealously scanning the normally quiet residential area for parking spaces - never easy when you have to avoid parking near fire hydrants, on the wrong side of the street for street cleaning and other idiosyncratic restrictions which New York seems to love.

Eventually I managed to park about half a mile away and, at two minutes to nine, set off at a sprint along the road. I was not the only parent doing this by any means - luckily my weekly kickboxing class stood me in good stead as I am reasonably fit, and managed to overtake about half a dozen overweight Dads on the way. Meanwhile mothers were running in heels, business suits and with buggies - as we arrived at the school, one fellow runner said to me between gasps for breath; "I gotta be at my other daughter's school in XX (another town a few miles away) at 9.30. So I'm just gonna take one picture and GO."

Anyway, I made it just in time and switched on the video camera to catch Littleboy 1's class exiting the school and parading around the playground. Readers of the previous post will be glad to hear that most people did 'respect the integrity of the cordon' - except for one younger sibling, who was so excited that he ran out to see his brother and had to be herded back pronto.

For some reason my firstborn looked rather downcast during the parade itself, only managing a half smile when he saw me. I asked him if anything was wrong and he replied that he was 'really sweaty' - odd, considering it was a pretty chilly morning. I can only think that he had raced around so much in his costume before it even started that he was completely done in - no doubt all will be revealed later.

The Doctor, busy at work, scores nulle points for not being at the parade - every single Dad appeared to be there. It hadn't even occured to us that the Doctor should come (don't we ever learn?) but I reckon next year he might have to be granted a special dispensation for essential Halloween activities.

Still, it's not over yet. Tomorrow there's another parade, at our local parenting centre, followed by trick or treating on the day itself. It's just nonstop fun here in pumpkin land, and I'm going to be exhausted by Monday.....

17 comments:

conuly said...

I'm so happy everything went well!

There had been some confusion at my nieces' school as to whether or not parents (and aunts) are allowed to the class party (in practice, it seemed to be pre-k and kindy YES, everybody else NO, which *does* make sense to me). I got in before everybody else, only to hang around the doors to the second grade wondering if I should be the first grown-up in or not.

By the time I got downstairs all the other grown-ups had been stopped at the door, and I ended up having to sneak out the side rather than push my way through the crowd. Oy.

And we have dentist appointments on the first, after school! That's gonna be so much FUN!

knackeredmotherswineclub.com said...

ah! Mine had their faces painted today, even the baby had a spider's web on her tiny cheek. They do love it...x

Expat mum said...

So far we've done 14 consecutive years of our school's Halloween parade due to silly spacing of third child. We still have another three to go. Sigh. I mean, "Oh joy."

Mwa said...

I'm gladder not to have to deal with Halloween every time I read one of these posts... only husband wants to do a little Halloween dinner tomorrow. Serves me right for marrying a Scot.

Tanya (Bump2Basics) said...

Ohhh, I hope h Littleboy 1 did enjoy it and that you all have a weekend of spooky festivity! And well done you for respecting that cordon!!

Anonymous said...

Hilarious post. Loved the" special dispensation" reference!

geekymummy said...

I love and yet dread Halloween. I get stupidly stressed about it. Today I has my own costume for the office team costume (Dorothy, and my own actual dog playing Toto), and my son and daughter at preschool. My daughter was sick so Aladdin lacked his Jasmine.
Hoping everyone is healthy and well for pumpkin walk tomorrow and neighborhood trick and treat Sunday. Sigh, I have Halloween fatigue. Pass the candy!

Amodernmother said...

I remember thinking e same think when we were in San Diego ... Hubby never came to the school events and he was always the only one (pr seemed like it). Glad you seem to be getting into the spirit!

Metropolitan Mum said...

Oh my God. I so would have laughed to see that. Next year, you have to arrive before 7am, climb into a tree and film the mayhem of running oversized dads and high-heeled mummies. And then you have to do a vlog!! :)
PS: I am happy to report that preparations here include buying sweets, pouring sweets in a great bowl, tasting sweets... I hope there'll be some left for the poor kids tonight.

Iota said...

A vlog, a vlog! Yes! Though you probably don't want to post pictures of your own and other children. Bother. And will you be there next year anyway?

So glad the integrity of the cordon was respected. Impressed to hear of your kick-boxing fitness. Disappointed that you didn't actually tell us what LB2's costume was (or did I miss it?)

And I LOVED your use of nulle points. Oh my goodness, I can't tell you the number of times I've had "Sweden, your votes please" or "France, nulle points" on the tip of my tongue and had to stop myself saying it. I have once, and once only, tried to describe that particular cultural reference to an American. It's just easier not to start. Trust me.

Iota said...

Ah. Have re-read, and understand that the parade was LB1 (a bat) not LB2. But did LB2 wear a costume for the day at his preschool also? (Do you like the way I use also at the end of that sentence, in an American way?)

Metropolitan Mum said...

PS: Haha for thinking I am Swedish. It's the husband, not me. Jø jø. (I don't think it means anything, but it looks terribly Swedish :))

nappy valley girl said...

Conuly - Sounds chaotic! I'm never sure quite what is going on, either.

Knackeredmother - Ahh. They do enjoy it, and I do too - I just can't believe the amount of build-up here....

ExpatMum - well at least you're an old hand by now and probably know where to stand for optimum viewing!

Mwa - Good thing you didn't marry an American.....still, once out here, it all seems rather appropriate!

Tanya - I think he did enjoy it, although he claims he had a stomach ache. Maybe he was just freaked out by all the parents staring....

Anonymous - thanks!!

Geekymummy - office team costumes? Sounds hilarious. I hope Toto behaved myself!

A modern mother - The Dads seemed to be particularly into the Halloween parade - all whopping and shouting. Just big kids, really.

Met Mum - Next year I will definitely have a plan....

Iota - LB2 wasn't allowed to wear his costume to preschool, sadly, but he did get to wear it this morning to a party. He is Buzz Lightyear. A very popular choice this year, from observing the kids at the party....

Met Mum - you look very Scandinavian, and I think you had mentioned Stockholm, so I was just putting two and two together and making five....

Previously (Very) Lost in France said...

I love that... 'survival of the fittest'! I dreaded school events when the children were young (and in private school) then after 5years in France where there are no school events and now secondary state school which wisely doesn't invite parents to anything except Awards Ceremonies I'm FREEEEEE!!!

nappy valley girl said...

PVLIF - Wow, that must be very liberating. No school events in France? How do working parents cope without that constant struggle to rush home from work and off to some tedious school function?

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