Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Last night we packed up the stroller and took the baby girl downtown to see the fireworks. The fireworks coincided with the last day of the CityFolk Festival, so it was a teeming, smelly mass of humanity on the riverfront. We arrived 2 hours early so we could find level ground to park the baby on. Usually we would sit on the hillside, sloping down towards the river, but I had nightmares of Violet rolling down the enbankment to the water below. So, we sat in the grass surrounding the bike path. I thought I was being smart when I chose a spot next to other small children. Violet's sleepy screaming wouldn't bother other people toting sleepy, screaming children. Of course, I had not anticipated how inattentive these parents would be. I spent a good portion of my time fretting over the one year old boy who kept wandering into the throng of people on the sidewalk. Aaron kept telling me not to stare, but I couldn't help it. I just wish that people would have the courtesy to supervise their own children, so that obsessive worriers like myself could relax! Ironically, when Violet wandered into their encampment, she was admonished to be carefull around a folding chair. I guess we all worry too much about other peoples' children. So, anyway, we sat and waited for darkness to fall and Violet descended briefly into a frantic, crying mess after her repeated escape attempts were thwarted. Everyone else around us had snacks and I think that Violet felt left out. She kept trying to join someone elses family. I finally nursed her, once it got dark enough that the ogre family behind us wouldn't notice. They had the kind of children that would come over and ask about it and I was not in the mood for lactational activism. After that Violet settled in between my legs and watched the dirty people go by. Once the fireworks started she was a whole different baby. She forgot that she was tired. She forgot that she could not have unfettered access to nursing. The fireworks had musical accompaniment and Violet swayed and clapped along. It was worth all the trouble just to see her reaction. Even the big, loud finale didn't scare her. For the first time in a long time, I enjoyed the fireworks display without contemplating leaving early to avoid the traffic. When it was over, we hauled ass up the embankment (rather comically for Aaron and the stroller) to beat all the people taking the stairs. Next time we'll take a backpack and strap the baby on one of us with a carrier. I think we'll walk home too. It took us longer to extracate our car than it would have taken to hoof it back to the house. If only the neighborhoods weren't so scary!

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