Jay and I thought it would be fun to take Fruit Bat and Kitty Cat to the Seattle Soapbox Derby yesterday. We thought Fruit Bat might like the little buggies and that Kitty Cat wouldn’t think it was too terrible a way to spend part of an afternoon.
It started merrily enough. There were lots of people. Lots and lots of people. And many of them were, um, different-looking, and so interesting to watch. Mostly they were polite and friendly. A large proportion of them smoked (it was hip and cool Fremont after all). Try explaining smoking to a four-year-old. It goes something like this:
What is that man doing?
Well, honey, he’s sucking smoke into his lungs.
Because some people like it. That man must like it.
I don’t know.
But that’s weird. Why would that man do that?
Uh, I don’t know.
Fruit Bat and I have had several of these exchanges and I haven’t yet come up with more sound reasoning as to why some people smoke. I dabbled in smoking, a long time ago, so I can sort of understand the draw (for me is was my big chance to be a bad ass. Or as bad of an ass as I could be, which wasn’t, it turned out, very bad). But I also think it’s a stupid thing to do and, when explaining it to a child, the habit does seem, indeed, completely absurd.
But I digress.
Family un-friendly music thumped through speakers mounted along the street. Songs such as: “Party like a Rock Star” and “Posse on Broadway”—Sir Mix-a-lot was one of the Derby judges, so I guess they had to play his song–– and a bunch of Rihanna, none of which is horrible, but none of which I’d choose to play to my four and two-year-olds.
Then there was the waiting. Much waiting. Into which was injected the whining. Fruit Bat hated the standing around. And there was a lot of it. One funny “soapbox” would zip down the street, then, when it crossed the finish line, there was yammering about the soapbox and judging of the soapbox. John Curley yammering and judging. Sir Mix-a-lot yammering and judging. None of the judges, amazingly, were dressed up like Diego or Blue or singing She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain When She Comes, so were totally uninteresting to my children.
When the drizzle began, after the fourth car and an hour or so of derby fun, we decided to split. Not the most successful outing in the history of our family, but I was proud of us for braving the crowds and traffic and tempers of Fruit Bat and Kitty Cat.