We’re all over the board in our family when it comes to Mardi Gras (I mean “Carnival season” – sorry, Errol!).

My husband and stepson are not big parade-goers, although we usually make it to Endymion and Rex together at the least.

Georgia thinks she likes parades and always begs to go only to immediately beg to leave once we actually get there.

Actual conversation from last Sunday:

Georgia: “Mama, please can I go with you and Sissy to the parades?”
Me: “Georgia, honey, no. You hate parades, remember? You always want to leave before it even starts.”
Georgia: “No, Mama, not this time. I promise. I really want to go.”
Me: “OK. Look at me. You CANNOT tell me you want to leave the minute I set down my stuff. IF you go, you HAVE TO STAY THE WHOLE PARADE. DO YOU UNDERSTAND?”
Georgia: “Yes, I promise. I promise promise. I won’t ask to leave.”
*30 minutes later, after loading our stuff in the car, having my husband drop us off, and weaving through the crowds on the neutral ground to try to find a patch of ground, the literal moment I set down my stuff*
Georgia: “Mama, I know I promised, but just … can we leave now?”

When I said no, she took my phone on the premise of playing a game on it and TEXTED MY HUSBAND PRETENDING TO BE ME AND BEGGED TO BE PICKED UP.

I am the opposite of Georgia: I never actually want to go to parades, but once I’m there, I usually have fun. I took Ruby and one of her roller derby besties to Pygmalion last week, and even though we got completely drenched, we had a blast catching wet Frisbees and yelling encouragement at the equally drenched majorettes dancing stoically along.

And then there’s Ruby. She is my Carnival superfan. I took Ruby to her first parade when she was just 9 weeks old, and although that was mayyyyyybe not a great idea – she was completely overstimulated and screamed her tiny head off for about two hours afterward; mistakes were made, OK? – she has loved it ever since. She goes to every parade possible and never complains about the walking or the crowds or the noise. She laughs and dances and gives most of her loot away to tourists and younger kids.

Which is why it’s extra-sad that Ruby woke up with a 103.5 fever on Wednesday and was subsequently diagnosed with the flu.

“But I can’t be sick,” she told her pediatrician. “I got the flu shot, and also Nyx is tonight!”

Alas, she missed Nyx, and although she tried to convince me that she felt great and her throat was maybe a little scratchy but barely even sore at all, she was sidelined for Muses, too.

My friend promised to glitter a special shoe just for Ruby, and that took some of the sting out of it, but she is still a pretty sad, sick little girl.

I hope she’ll rally in time to make it to some Sunday parades, but there’s no question that she’ll be back to fighting form by Tuesday. After all, she’s never missed a Mardi Gras since 2007, and she’s not about to start now.

Please send her healing vibes, and have a happy, safe, DRY Mardi Gras – I mean “Carnival season” – y’all!