It’s Carnival Time
Credit: Cheryl Gerber

So for those who might be wondering: I did take Ruby to Krewe du Vieux this weekend, and she loved it. We laughed at the floats, we caught some blinky rings and some obscene magnets that we gave away because Georgia can read now, and really the only thing that seemed to confuse Ruby at all was the woman next to us who said, annoyed, “Why are all of these floats making fun of President Trump? UGH! It’s RUDE!” and then later said, “I just didn’t expect there to be so many penises!”

“I don’t think she understands how Mardi Gras works,” Ruby whispered to me.

A few times I leaned over and asked Ruby if she needed me to explain anything, but she just rolled her eyes and said, “No, Mom, I’m good. Thanks.”

With that crossed off our to-do list, we are heading into the first real weekend of mainstream Uptown parades. Ruby is thrilled, my stepson is apathetic, my husband is annoyed, I am cautiously excited, and Georgia is claiming she can’t wait but that’s a lie.

I am willing to go to parades with Ruby – my Mardi Gras super-fan – and I usually even have fun once I get there. I am completely incapable of parallel parking, though, so I almost always make my husband drive us, which means he spends most of his time in parade traffic, which is why he’s annoyed. (I don’t blame him.)

Georgia, meanwhile, insists she wants to go. She swears she loves parades. She promises she won’t want to leave as soon as we get there. Then, invariably, as soon as we set our things down, she gets a headache or a stomachache or just casually shrugs and says, “I changed my mind. Let’s go.”

Last year, after she pulled that, I told her in no uncertain terms that we were NOT leaving after she had BEGGED to come.

“Fine,” she said, seemingly resigned. “Can I have your phone to play a game?”

After I handed it over, she started texting my husband – pretending to be me – and asked him to pick us up.

So Georgia is no longer allowed to go to parades.

She recently assured me that this year will be different because now she has a helmet (I bought it for her when I bought her some roller skates).

“I won’t worry about getting hit with beads if I have a helmet on!” she declared proudly. “So THIS YEAR I can go to parades.”

I’m skeptical. And Ruby outright refuses to be seen with her sister if she is wearing a helmet.

“Come on, Ru,” I said, “it definitely won’t be the weirdest thing on the route. It’s Carnival time. Anything goes!”

“Absolutely not,” she said firmly. “Georgia, I’ll just give you any stuffed animals I catch and you can stay home, OK?”

So that’s where they left it, but when the weekend rolls around, Georgia will probably change her mind – and then change it again.

Me? Well, I’ve survived Krewe du Vieux with my 13-year-old, so now I’m on for anything.

Happy Carnival time, everyone!