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Feb 28, 201409:57 AM
Joie d'Eve

Living, loving, laughing, and learning in the new New Orleans

Attending Parades with Kids

Even with their whining, meltdowns and injuries, it's still fun to take the kids year after year.

Parade fatigue hit earlier than expected this year. Ruby, my mom, and I hit the Saturday parades, and honestly, just by the time we’d walked the approximately 8,000 miles between where we parked and St. Charles Avenue, I was pretty much done. And then the whining started. Ruby complained that she wasn’t catching anything goooooood. The bands were too loooooudddd. No one was throwing anything to herrrrrr.

Oh, my God, I hate whining. I can handle tantrums. I can withstand the endless litany of “why? why? why?” with relatively good humor intact. I can negotiate with toddlers with aplomb. But I cannot stand whining.  

And it wasn’t just Ruby. All around us were children in various stages of melting down, mostly due to overstimulation and too much King Cake/cotton candy/candy apples, I guess. I overheard one mother telling her 5-year-old that if he didn’t cool it, she was putting him in a cab back home by himself, and I think she meant it.

Besides the whining, there were various physical injuries. While my mom was trying to hoist Ruby onto her shoulders, Ruby accidentally slammed her butt into Mom’s nose, not hard enough to break it but hard enough to cause a good deal of pain. Ruby herself suffered a skinned knee while scrabbling for a doubloon and damn near lost a hand trying to get a Tootsie Roll pop. And I, in a moment of hubris, tried to give my mom a break and lift Ruby onto my 5-foot frame, which would have ended in disaster if not for a stranger behind me lending a literal hand. As it was, I did something unpleasant to my back in the course of the whole ordeal, and it still twinges almost a week later.

By the time the fire truck rolled, we were all completely and utterly over it. Even I was whining to my mom as we walked (10,000 miles) back to the car. “My back huuuuurts,” I told her. “I’m thirstyyyyyyy. Next year, let’s leave town for Mardi Graaaaaaaas.”

Parades are like pregnancy and childbirth, I think – you forget the agony over time and eventually think it might be a good idea to do it again. Then, in the thick of it, you remember how much you hated it before.

We sat out parades on Sunday due to the weather, and we skipped weeknight parades because of school and other obligations. But this weekend – well, Le Krewe d’Etat is my favorite, and Endymion rolls right in my neighborhood, and Thoth is always a great time, too ...

So when Ruby asked me, “Mom, are we going to parades this weekend?” I just looked at her.

“Don’t be silly, Ru,” I said. “Of course we are.”

I can’t wait.

Happy Mardi Gras, y’all!


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Joie d'Eve

Living, loving, laughing, and learning in the new New Orleans


        Eve is further proof, if any is needed, that New Orleans girls can never escape the city. After living here since the age of 3 and graduating from Ben Franklin High School, Eve moved to Columbia, Mo., where she received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Missouri School of Journalism and became truly, unhealthily obsessed with grammar.She had originally intended to strike out to New York City and work in the cutthroat magazine industry there, but after Katrina, Eve felt a strong pull to return home, to her roots, her family, her waterlogged and struggling city – and a much more forgiving work atmosphere that would allow her to skip a routine of everyday makeup and size 0 designer label business suits and enjoy the occasional cocktail or three with an absurdly fattening lunch. She moved back home in January 2008 and lives in Mid-City with her two daughters, Ruby and Georgia; her stepson, Elliot; and her husband, Robert Peyton.Eve blogs about the joys and struggles of living in post-Katrina New Orleans, the unique problems and delights of raising a child in such a diverse and challenging city – including her experiences with the public education system – and her always entertaining and extremely colorful family.Eve has won numerous writing awards, including the Pirates Alley Faulkner Society Gold Medal, the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence award for column-writing and Press Club of New Orleans awards for her Editor’s Note in New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles and for this blog, most recently winning the award for "Best Feature Affiliated Blog."She welcomes comments, advice, empty flattery, recipes, drink invitations and – most especially – grammatical or linguistic debates.




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