Posts tagged mardi gras

A fairly fab day

We went to Fair Day yesterday (the big, um, fair, that is one of the main events of the Mardi Gras festival). The last time we went, two years ago, it was really disappointing, but yesterday was great and I feel like we’re actually meeting some two-mum families.

 We were supposed to be there at 11.30 for a meeting about the parade entry. Leigh designed the logos for the t-shirts and banners and the organiser particularly wanted us there to talk them through with people.

As usual, we were disorganised and running late, and then the printer wouldn’t work properly. So we arrived 20 minutes late with some not-quite-right print outs. We couldn’t find any sign of a meeting – maybe they were thinking we’d be the catalyst for the meeting to happen.

Anyway, a few people approached us about the designs and that was a good excuse to meet some new families. One mum is involved in a weekly group for families with kids up to four years old. She took my email address and is going to give me the details. I feel nervous about turning up to an event without leigh (they meet on mondays) but I think I will go because Hunter had a ball playing with this couple’s little girl and has been constantly referring to her as “my friend Ella”.

We also bumped into one of the women we met at the planning meeting a few weeks ago. I think she was grateful for the company because she said she doesn’t know anyone terribly well either and her partner doesn’t like to socialise so won’t go to events with her. Hunter really likes her daughter, too.

The kids’ section was great, with a jumping castle and play equipment and a few activity tables with craft, colouring and bubble blowing. Hunter loved it – especially the jumping castle, which she was talking about non-stop before we got there and has talked about non-stop since.

Outside the kids’ section were all the other stalls and talk about a mixed bag. The Mature Age Gays stand had home made preserves for sale. The Sydney Gay Nudist stand was manned by a fat hairy guy wearing nothing but a tiny little pouch (at least I think that’s what it was – I tried not to look).

I think we’ll need to steer clear of some of the stalls next year. There’s nothing explicit but there are some that I didn’t think were really appropriate for young kids – the ones advertising raunchy magazines and night spots, for instance. There wasn’t anything really overt but they were just a bit racy. I think next year we won’t wander far from the kids’ section and the food section.

We also bumped into Grandma while we were there. We actually saw her on our way in but we were hustling to get to the meeting so we didn’t stop. Leigh called her when I was watching hunter on the jumping castle and she came over to say hello.

All up, we had a really nice day, and as a bonus the weather was great. Last time we went it was a zillion degrees and the hike back to the car was horrible. This time we coughed up for a paid parking spot 10 minutes down the road and the walk back was nice.

Now we’re really looking forward to the parade and Hunter can’t wait to see her new friends again.

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Getting ready for Mardi Gras

Every year since I was first pregnant with Hunter, we’ve said we’d like to join the Rainbow Babies group in the Mardi Gras parade. Every few months since Hunter arrived, we’ve said we must join one of the Rainbow Babies parenting groups and meet more families like ours.

Every time the list of activities for the month arrives in the email, we say we really should join in this time. And then we never do.

We live in western Sydney and the events are always inner west or eastern Sydney, so they’re a bit out of the way. And we’re socially inept. We know we need to meet other families with same sex parents, but we’re bad at putting ourselves out there in social situations.

A couple of years ago we decided we’d go along to the Rainbow Babies play area at Fair Day (a big mardi gras festival event – unsurprisingly, it’s basically a big, you know, fair). We went along and all the people who were there were in their own little groups. There was nowhere to sit and noone spoke to us.

Eventually we bumped into the one family we know, and sat with them for a bit, but we actually had a weird relationship with them at the time and it was awkward and not fun at all.

That really put us off and since then we’ve been burying our heads in the sand. But lately Hunter’s started asking why she has two mums when all her friends have a mum and a dad. And I think it’s our responsibility to show her that there are other families like hers, even if it means going outside our own comfort zones.

So we signed up to go in the parade this year, and committed to going to the Rainbow Babies picnic on the weekend.

As it turned out, it was pouring rain on the weekend and the picnic was cancelled – but this was a good thing. The organiser said she’d be at a cafe near the original picnic spot if anyone could make it for a quick meeting about the mardi gras entry.

Since we’d finally overcome our inertia we decided we’d go to the meeting. The day was truly awful and so the group was very small – just five adults. This meant we got to meet some new people without trying to fit in with a big group where everyone already knows everyone else, and it means when we do go to a big gathering, we’ll actually know some folk.

As a bonus, it meant we got a very large say in how the mardi gras entry will look and what theme we’ll adopt. And Leigh is doing all the graphic design.

The overall MG theme this year is Brave New World(s?). The Rainbow Babies entry in the parade will be themed Children of the Revolution. The T-Rex song of that name will be playing on a portable sound system and everyone will be wearing hippie-inspired garb and handing the crowd fake flowers made from coloured paper and lollipops.

Leigh’s designed rainbow coloured hearts, flowers, peace symbols and smilie faces for people to print onto iron-on transfer paper or sticker paper, to go onto white t-shirts.

I’m really looking forward to it!

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