Saturday, July 20, 2013


From age 9 until 18 I grew up in a small-like town about 30 minutes west of the Twin Cities. My dad still lives there so we obviously get out there on a regular basis, but I haven't really partaken in many of the activities they have in town in a long, long time. This is mostly because they often happen during Riley's nap time or after bedtime and we typically don't mess with sleep. But since her sleep habits have been crap lately we thought... what the heck.

This past weekend was the big Hamel Rodeo and one day I hope to bring Riley there, but we decided to take her to the parade instead. If we were going to skip a nap I wanted an easy out if things went south (which you'll see I ignored anyway).

The parade starts on a side road and then heads down main street which is where most of the folks congregate to watch. We decided to walk through my dad's back yard and into the neighbor's yard to sit under her shady tree on the side road.

In the end, Riley exclaimed that the "parade was FUN!" which was hard to believe since she cried during at least half of it. There were a lot of loud vehicles: police cars, antique cars, motorcycles, tractors, and at least six freaking firetrucks with incredibly LOUD sirens. We actually heard the first siren before we saw the parade start and at that time I heard the first of 392 "I want to go home" comments. I'm fairly certain if Jesse was there he would have said "ok, let's go home" after about the 5th time, but I wanted to fight this demon head on.

That, or I'm a bad mom.

Anyhoo, one siren in particular was super loud. It scared the crap out of me. I held Riley tight and put my hands over her ears trying to ignore her pleas to leave. After that incident it seemed that many of the firetrucks would stop the siren once they looked over and saw me cupping my hands over the ears of my terrified kid. You'll notice that there are no pictures here of the firetrucks because my hands were busy being noise mufflers. In fact, I didn't capture much of the parade and many of the pictures I did were blurry as my kid immediately grabbed my hand when it was away from her ears and told me to "put that (camera) down". Ha.

But then there were horses and a couple different groups of them. Some of them trotted, but some did a little dance and this was apparently enough to make this parade a success in my child's eyes.

Oh, and there was candy. Copious amounts of candy. Most people were sitting up next to the road, but we were a ways back taking advantage of the shade. I mean, I was with my elderly father, and my daughter who might just be the whitest child on the earth so the shade was the best place to be. And not that Riley would have let us get any closer to the (loud) action.

Pretty much all the trucks that were in the parade were throwing candy out to the townsfolk, but since we were so far back and no one else was really sitting by us, most of these fine people brought the candy to us. What they didn't, the neighbor lady picked up for us (I was too busy holding my kid's ears). We left most of the candy behind, but I let Riley pick out some to bring home - which we've hidden and she's completely forgotten, but not before a complete meltdown when we got home. FYI: a child demanding "I want candy" in between breath gasping, blubbery cries sounds a lot like "I want daddy". Don't mix up the two.

Wait, I thought I was at the Hamel Parade. Filler float?

This was also a highlight for our kid. Did I mention it was over 90 degrees this day?

Riley even got a Hamel baseball t-shirt. It's a little big, but incredibly exciting for me since softball/baseball was such a big part of my life when I was growing up here. Go Hamel Hawks!

As mentioned, after the parade was done Riley couldn't stop talking about how "fun" the parade was. I'm hoping this is a sign that my kid is a 'glass half full' type of person and not that she has some short term memory issues. Now, I'm off to buy some headphones so I'm more prepared the next time I torture my child with a parade.

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