Out of guilt for not having the energy to take the boys to the ice skating rink downtown, I took them to the Christmas parade. I conned my dad into joining since Steve wasn't back in town. It wasn't my best idea, but it was at least funny.
We were our usual lateness. Arriving downtown with 20 minutes to spare and then having to park 18 minutes away. The boys were all bundled up with the exception of Deuce's hands. The mittens I tried to cram on them just simply wouldn't fit. Sure, they were infant size and he's 2, but still. I probably should have noticed that they didn't even have a spot for the thumb, but whatever.
We made it to the parade and had to put the boys on our shoulders so they could see. Considering we were in the 'most popular section' where the TV crew was, I was shocked that there were only 4 rows of people in front of us! It was so crowded that dad and I couldn't turn to talk to each other. We had to just yell at the back of the heads of the people standing in front of us. (Who kept turning around assuming we had to be asking them "When the hell is Santa going to get here?! My shoulders can't take much more of this!".)
In typical downtown-fashion, there were a pan handler standing directly behind me, smoking, and telling anyone who made eye contact with him about his arthritis. Well, first it was arthritis, then it was an work accident, then a dog bite...you get the picture. I'm still not sure how these people always find me to stand behind, but I spent the entire parade worrying that his unattended cigarette that he was waving around like a flag twirler was going to either set my hair on fire or melt the Deuce's jacket. Either way, I was devising my plan of attack should this happen for the rest of the parade.
But then the gospel float came by and the entire crowd was mesmerized by their rendition of White Christmas. Everyone except the Eldest one. Perched atop granddaddy's shoulders he belts out the most off-key version of Rudolph I've ever heard, bobbing back and forth as he sang. If you couldn't hear the snickers from the crowd, you could easily see their shoulders bouncing from giggling. Proud of remembering all the words, he sang even louder until the float was out of site. The old couple next to us was not impressed, but that's okay, because when the firetrucks came by he was so excited his candy cane fell out of his mouth, bounced off my head and landed on her freshly-starched scarf. (Which is how I know God has a sense of humor.)
Finally, Santa came. I don't think I've ever been so thankful to see that sled. Before the float had even passed, dad and I both turned on our heels and headed through the park. Which turned out to be a poor decision on our parts as he stepped in a fresh pile. Still not certain it was dog poo, dad tries to convince the Eldest One to 'give it a sniff'. Not falling for this or many of granddaddy's other tricks, he says, "Gangaddy, my nose is topped up." (Smart Kid.)