This past Saturday the kiddies had the priviledge of walking in the Days of 47 Children's Parade. From what I understand this is a unique opportunity and the dearies will most likely never walk it again, at least not as a primary child.
Being the "awesome" parents we are, Chad and I decided to make a big deal of it and get a hotel downtown (really we just knew we would never make on time, and figured our odds were better if we were only two blocks away...but we don't need to tell the kids that).
We spent the eve of the parade swimming in the hotel pool and taking the kids to Trolley Square for dinner. It was good times. There were no near deaths or mishaps at the swimming pool and the kids actually sat(I use the term loosely) and ate at dinner. It almost felt like we were on vacation.
After dinner we did a little window shopping, while Beckham tried to steal something from every store we visited. In an attempt to avoid being arrested for shoplifting we decided to leave Trolley and go back to the hotel to let the kids swim a little longer before bed. We also hoped this little plan might wear the children out.
This ploy worked for the older three, but immediately backfired. In the process of wearing out the children, Chad and I had also worn ourselves out. Consequently, physical exertion seemed to have the opposing affect on number four. As a weary Chad and I lay in bed a newly invigorated number four came charging into our room. Chad and I are still baffled by what may have caused Beckham's spastic surge of energy...it is the eighth world wonder to me.
Eventually the kid fell asleep, but 7:30 came quickly and we were all quite groggy and grumpy...not the way I wanted to start our "special" day.
We made it to our wards gathering spot LATE of course, despite our best efforts, and proceeded to wait another forty-five minutes until it was our turn.
Some things I learned about the children in that time: One, the kids are not unlike gremlins in that they do not like sunlight...at least not when they have to sit in it for forty-five minutes with nothing to do. Two, the kids, unlike gremlins, SHOULD be fed after midnight and in our attempt to make it "on time" completely forgot to feed everyone breakfast. Three, I am glad that water does not multiply children as it does gremlins...refer to number two.
Finally it was our turn to strut our stuff. One thing Chad and I did remember to do was bring the wagon and a ginormous cooler full of water...both of which saved our bacon.
As a sidenote, our float was an amazing replica of the new Draper temple which was floating in the clouds. The temple was hooked up to hydraulics which allowed it to rise above the clouds and lower back down again. On top of the temple was attached a bunch of balloons, two hundred to be exact, which went along with the floats theme that "Temples will take you UP where you belong".
As I said, it was finally our turn to take to the parade route. The kids' dispositions seemed to improve slightly at this notion, but were still in need of improvement. The six blocks we walked seemed like six hundred in the blazing heat and I couldn't help note the irony of the situation. Here I was with Chad and all of the dearies, marching to the tune of Families can be Together Forever, with the temple right in front of me...sort of. Meanwhile Quinn is throwing a major tantrum in the wagon, the baby is screaming in the stroller and Beckham is throwing his balloon, for the hundredth time, on the hellishly hot street in attempt to pop it. I am sorry to admit it(but you know I will anyway), but at that particularly sweltering moment in time the notion of "forever" made me...umm...a little anxious, to put it nicely.
Thankfully by the time the cameras were on us the kids were so stroked out by the heat that they were over their gremlin phase and happy to smile for the TV.
The children were happy to find at the end of the route and after much effort of being pulled in the wagon, all of the festivities awaiting them: bouncy slides, a firetruck spraying refreshingly cool water, popcicles, FOOD...
It was a wonderful end to the day, except for the part where we lost Quinn. And after receiving some sustenance and hydration the kids seemed happy and grateful for all that had happened. I think Chad and I were too, but we are not in any hurry to do it again anytime soon.
And just for the record, I do "want to be with my whole family" forever, even if they do drive me nuts sometimes.
Hmmm. We actually look fairly pleasant in this picture.