But y'all should know by now I don't have one of those 'Here are pictures of our Christmas parade experience; Look how much fun we all had' type of blogs. Nope. Not at Inklings.
Our friends are our age, but they have a 2 1/2 year old daughter. We've been friends for a while now, get together pretty much every weekend, and while I've known that they have a younger kid and we have older kids, sometimes it takes a certain situation to bring out the true colors of the age difference between our kids...
Mom of Younger Kid: My friend came prepared with gloves for everyone (even my family), chairs, blankets, snacks, drinks, her camera (with memory card) and cash in case there were food vendors set up. She had a diaper bag bursting at the seams with anything she could possibly need, otherwise known as A Prepared Mom of a Toddler
Mom of Older Kids: Considering I haven't carried a diaper bag in 5 years and have kids old enough to fend for themselves, sometimes I forget I'm the mom and have to take care of them outside the home. I found some gloves in the pockets of my coat (that I haven't worn since last year), that I gave to The Girl because her hands were cold (The Ginger got a pair of gloves from our friend), we at least had jackets and scarves (thank goodness), I owe my friend $20 because I don't carry cash with me, and the memory card for my camera was conveniently sitting beside the computer... at my house. I'm now what's known as The
Younger Kid: Completely happy with a $3 light up mini-sword and $1 licorice rope that a street vendor was selling as they walked by.
Older Kid: The Ginger wanted the big $5 light up sword, kettle corn, hot chocolate, cotton candy and
anything else that a street vendor walked by with, and the $1 licorice rope tasted funny according to both The Ginger and The Girl.
Younger Kid: Dancing to all of the music as the floats went by, waving frantically at the people in the parade, and just all around mesmerized by what she was seeing.
Older Kids: The Girl cracked 1 smile... ONLY 1 (we made note of it), and was embarrassed when one of her friend's mom who was walking with the Girl Scout troop in the parade waved at her and called her by name.
Younger Kid: Covered ears and slightly hid when the loud souped-up cars and motorcycles came roaring down the street, until she realized the sound wasn't scary.
Older Kids: Yelled at the top of their lungs when the loud cars came and clapped and screamed when they revved the engines and almost blew our eardrums out.
Younger Kid: Loved her time at the parade.
Older Kids: Would rather have been watching movies or playing video games in our warm home. How do I know? Because they told me when the parade was over.
I'm not trying to paint a picture that my kids are just full of bah-humbug during the holidays. Prior to the parade, we sat around and watched cheesy ABC Family holiday movies on Netflix. My kids LOVE doing that at this time of year. And there were things they enjoyed about the parade, but while they said overall they had a good time, they weren't terribly concerned with attending next year's parade.
Being the mom of older kids is so different than being the mom of younger kids. I remember the days when I had a diaper bag stockpiled with everything from diapers and wipes to antibacterial cream and bandaids to juice boxes and snacks, prepared for anything that could possibly come up. Once the need for a diaper bag passes to the wayside, I kept my purse stocked with Lego mini-figures in case The Ginger got bored wherever we were (you can still find a Lego or two in my purse to this day) and snacks. Then, when the kids become school-aged, you pretty much abandon any of this prepared ish and leave the house with your wallet and shopping list... and that's it.
as that mom in the past, and have already earned my Badge of Preparedness, so I could move on to the next Mom Stage. I've also earned my Survived the Terrible Twos badge, my Throwing Diapers Out the Window badge, my My Kids Make Their Own PB&J Sandwich badge (which means I can nap more, even when they are hungry because they can now fend for themselves), and my Go to Your Room badge, for those times that I don't feel like arguing with my kids, I can just tell them to go to their rooms and they actually listen.
Now to just prepare myself to earn the Kids with Cell Phones Survival badge, the Daughter Dating badge, the Kids Found the Porn Channel Survival badge and the Kids and Driving badge.