We live in the Des Moines area and until we had Meg, we went to Yankee Doodle Pops at the State Capital every year. I love it. Love, love, love. The Des Moines Symphony plays a bunch of patriotic music out in front of the terrace on the west side of the capital. You bring your own chairs or blanket and sit on the lawn. Most years (all?) Simon Estes, a famous opera baritone from Iowa, sings some songs with the symphony. (In a week or two, he’s going to Africa to sing at the Gala for the World Cup Final Match) After the concert, the city shoots fireworks over the river. Its one of my favorite things in Des Moines. I love the 4th of July.
We didn’t go last year, because Meg was a month old and we weren’t very skilled at getting out of the house. Plus, we were so exhausted, we thought sleep sounded better than fireworks. I was disappointed, but too tired to really dwell on it.
This year, they had the show on July 1st, a Thursday night, which we thought was odd. Everyone I know has Monday off for the 4th, not Friday. Why have the show Thursday night when most people have to work Friday? I had to talk Thomas into going. The fireworks usually start at 10. Meg goes to bed at 8. To bring her would be keeping her up way past her bedtime. Plus, Thomas had to work all day Friday. But I really love it. And we didn’t get to go last year. And it’s the 4th of July. And we might not get to go next year (if we have another baby).
So we packed the diaper bag, slathered everyone in sunscreen, and put a red, white, and blue outfit on Meg. We loaded up the stroller and collapsible chairs. We got there about 6:30 (there was a jazz group on before the Symphony). Meg loved it! She stood there and danced and danced. It was adorable.
Everything went great until about 8:30. I brought Meg’s bedtime bottle, because she would want it on time even if she wasn’t going to bed. She was getting fussy, so I pulled it out…and realized I forgot to bring a nipple and ring so she could drink it. Disaster. We had her sippy cup. She refuses to drink milk out of it. Takes one sip, makes a face, and won’t touch it. We tried putting it in my water bottle. Took one sip, made a face, and wouldn’t touch it.
We’ve been trying for awhile to get her to drink milk out of sippy cups, but she refuses. She won’t drink milk out of anything but her bottle. She drinks water all day out of sippy cups. Just not milk. I’ve never been as annoyed about that as I was last night.
So, she’s freaking out, because she can see a bottle of milk, but she can’t drink it. I search on my phone to see if there are any stores around that sell bottles of any kind. There’s one 3 blocks away, but its almost 9:00. The website doesn’t list store hours. I decide to try it, if only because the walk will distract her. So, we head off, missing my favorite songs by the symphony. We were gone about 20 minutes walking around the East Village. Only bars were open. I missed a lot of the show.
We went back to our seats and placated Meg with animal crackers. It worked. After the show was over, we walked to the bridge to watch the fireworks. We saw two sets! The I Cubs (triple A baseball team in Des Moines) shoot off fireworks after weekend games, so we saw those first, then the city fireworks. Meg wasn’t very interested. She thought the lights were interesting, but saw no reason to look at them for an extended period of time. The noise didn’t scare her. She was basically underwhelmed and didn’t understand what was so special. But I loved it.
Overall, the night went pretty well. We didn’t get home until 11 and all of us are dead tired today, but I’m glad we went. It was fun. I think its important to expose Meg to cultural events, like Thomas thinks its important to expose her to sporting events. Plus, I'm happy I didn't have to miss one of my favorite events again this year. I hope we can go next year!