I don’t love it when people call this little corner of the internet that I occupy once a week a “mommy blog.” I mean, yes, I am a mom, and yes, I do write a lot about my kids and my experience of motherhood, but I also write about love and loss and death and the highs and lows of living in New Orleans and divorce and marriage and grief and food.

That said, this one … well, this one is entirely mommy blog territory.

Georgia’s class is doing Flat Stanley. For those of you who don’t have elementary school-aged kids, Flat Stanley is a little paper dude who gets cut out, colored, and mailed to friends and family around the U.S. and the world. They take pictures of him in site-specific locales: Flat Stanley in front of the St. Louis Arch, Flat Stanley by the Eiffel Tower, Flat Stanley in front of the Hollywood sign.

I dutifully wrote down the addresses of several friends who live in cool places (Seattle, Denver, New York, Orlando, etc.), included envelopes with proper postage, and sat back to wait for Flat Stanley to return from his travels.

Oh, but one of my friends wanted some grade school quid pro quo. Her kid’s school also was doing Flat Stanley, and she wanted him to visit us in New Orleans.

Which is fine! We love visitors, flat or otherwise! I will insist with my dying breath that Mardi Gras is a family-friendly affair if you know where to go and that New Orleans can be a fun place for kids to grow up and to visit.

And yet – her Stanley hasn’t even arrived, and already I’m struggling to think of what kind of kid-friendly adventures I will take him on here. Although I can have an irreverent streak (I took a series of pictures of Georgia’s Elf on the Shelf wrapped around an empty bottle of Maker’s Mark that I need to remember to delete from my camera roll before she finds them), I can’t in good conscience take Stanley to Bourbon Street or show him sipping a Hurricane or Hand Grenade, and I’m not even sure that a cemetery trip would be appropriate for a bunch of Midwestern 7-year-olds.

So I’m seeking ideas. Here’s what I have so far:

  1. Flat Stanley rides the streetcar.
  2. Flat Stanley visits Jackson Square.
  3. Flat Stanley eats beignets.
  4. Flat Stanley … wears Mardi Gras beads out of season?

What else do you have? I’d say “swamp tour,” but that would require going on a swamp tour myself, and that’s a nonstarter.

Please help me show Flat Stanley a fun (family-friendly) time here in the Big Easy!