Parades are NOT Sporting Events

I love a good parade... until I actually go to one and remember what jerks people can be.

I took my three kiddos to our first parade in our new town. I was pretty nervous about herding everyone by myself at an event that could be chaotic and noisy. Things went pretty smoothly at first. We drove around until we found the crowds lining the street. A parking spot was quickly secured and in no time we found the perfect spot to set up out chairs in a shady spot between two groups of moms with kids. A few minutes later the parade was making its way by. Perfect!

Then the candy started flying. Then the rotten older and bigger kids on both sides of us started bowling over my kids to get every little last piece they could. At first, I thought "Oh, their moms will see this and take care of it" and yep, their moms did see it. In fact they watched as their children dived, dodged, and grabbed over, around, and under my kids for the next hour...and did NOTHING.

I was almost shaking with fury. It's not as if I think my kids need the extra calories and dental decay. It's the principal of the thing. Isn't there an unspoken set of rules for parade viewing??? I could have sworn there was at least some moral code about being neighborly and doing unto others as you would have done unto you.

Maybe no one's said it out loud. Maybe someone needs to. Okay! I'll volunteer!

The Ten Commandments of Parade Patronship:

1. Thou shalt not set up thy chairs or blankets in front of parade die-hards (definition: people who saved their spot for hours ahead of time). If they were that dedicated enough to come early and wait, they have earned their territorial claim to that chunk of sidewalk. Go find your own space.

2. Thou shalt respect other parade patrons' bubbles. Please keep your chairs, children, cigarette smoke, and cussing to yourself.

3. Thou shalt get thy fat booty out of thy chair and place thy hand over thy heart when the flag goes by. Others died for that flag to be flying past you. The least you can do is show it a little respect.

4. Thou shalt claim candy from thy own chunk of parade territory. No trespassing on others territories. If you’re that desperate for candy, hit the store after the parade.

5. Thou shalt remember that a parade is a community event, not a sporting event. Be neighborly and community-like. If you feel the need to compete and "win" so badly, enter your children into a competitive sport, like hockey.

6. Thou shalt get slightly emotional at the sight of a marching band.

7. Thou shalt teach thy children to respect others and to not take advantage of someone who is weaker, slower, or smaller.

8. Thou shalt "work" for thy candy by waving generously at the parade participants. You reward their float efforts with waving recognition and they reward you with a sugary shower. Make sure to show your gratitude for the floats and the free candy.

9. Thou shalt leave your parade territory cleaner than how you found it. Pick up your own trash especially, but feel free to teach your child a lesson about being a good citizen by picking up other garbage you see too.

10. Thou shalt not be a jerk when driving away from parade. Go slowly, cautiously, and politely.

Any others you would add???


Jodi said...

Wow! What is wrong with people? Whenever we've been to a parade in Poky or Inkom or Downey, older kids are actually doing the same thing but are diving to get the candy to put it into our kids bags. It's almost embarrassing because our kids get so much candy!!

I'm not surprised the kids acted like they did if the moms did and said nothing about their behavior. Manners must not be a part of their everyday lives.

Hope your kids were able to enjoy the parade despite the rudeness!!

Bethany @ Organic Enchilada said...

I completely agree with EVERYTHING you said. I have never seen such behavior until we moved to Utah. I'm not dogging Mormons, because I am one, but I am 100% sure that all the people who ruined the 4th of July parade for us here in our town were LDS because in between knocking my kids out of the way to get candy, the adults were talking about who was in their ward.

We couldn't even see the parade for all the people choking the street trying to get their share plus everyone else's. I kept wondering what the big deal was since all this candy could be bought at a gas station for a lot less trouble.

And we were some of those possibly weird people who got there hours early and had the perfect spot to watch the parade - right on the curb. It was a no-go. And my kids were in the parade, too! They only reason I saw them was because I could hear the VW engines approaching, and then I pushed (literally) my way through the crowd to take a picture. It was the only part of the parade that any of us saw.

Gee, can you tell you struck a chord here?

Jeigh said...

I think you nailed it. And I'm glad I'm not the only one who gets emotional over marching bands!

Patty Ann said...

We have the same problem here in the small town we live in. Sad to say, mostly the natives don't behave too badly because I would probably have to courage to really tell them off, but the out of towners can be so annoying!! Oh well, Maybe I should bring a copy of this to the next parade and hand it out!! My pet peeve is people who stake out their "places" the night before with their cars and chairs and quads and don't leave spaces for anyone else. They don't move those things, so you can't even sit behind them and see. I don't get why people think they have a right to everything at the expense of those around them.

Lind Family said...

I am with you and Jeigh. I do get slightly emotional over marching bands. I went to watch Carli compete once at ISU when we were in high school and actually cried. There I sat, alone and at the very top of the Holt Arena, bawling my eyes out.

Also, I totally agree with people getting off their booty's and paying some respect to our flag. Nothing bothers me more. That is another thing I cry at. I love our flag and our country and get emotional over it.

Thanks for this awesome post! Oh, I have one.

#11 Thou shalt not blare thy sirens and horns of thy fire engine or ambulance. It scares the babies to death and hurts everyone else's ears!

Lisa said...

Hey my friend!!! I don't know what happened and how I missed 3 posts... oh well. I LOVE this post - but I really think other moms must hate me! I'm the one who purposely steps in between my children and the others and tells them to BACK OFF. But I've also taught my kiddos to share some of their booty with the even littler ones who are fighting with the older bigger ones (bigger than mine) who usually end up being siblings. Oh the joys of trying to be polite and a good example AND trying to be a good mommy lion!

Erin said...

I agree with Lisa. When I see my kids getting pushed around and jipped like that, my mama bear comes out. I'm the mom that will stand in between the little miscreants and my angels and scoop up the middle ground candy. I also have no qualms about telling them to back up or off or over or whatever. If their mother's aren't going to do anything, then I will, dang it.
Inconsiderate people are an epidemic in this country, and it's one of my biggest pet peeves!!!

iamwoman said...

I love this!

Myya said...

Next year you should print this & put it on posterboard the day before the parade so the die-hard jerks can read it. So sad when parents don't pay attention to their kids behavior, then the grow up to be jerks just like them. Shouldn't people want their kids to be better then that??? So annoying!

Monika said...

This is great! I have to admit that I have told the bigger kids to get out of our spot and let my kids in. Thanks for the commandments. I think I will try to live by them. By the way...do you know what you are having yet?

Sami said...

I so agree with all of them! I don't usually go to parades for that very reason. Reminds me of a time when Roon and I sat outside all day on July 4th to get a good spot to watch fireworks in Idaho Falls, and some jerks came along and sat in front, around, and ON our blanket! What the flip?!

Mormon Mommy Blogs said...

Love it!


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