Oh, Music Fest. The weekend I've loved to hate since my first summer in Dawson, when my boss offered me a pass to the entire festival, and then asked me to work double shifts all weekend. Maybe my dislike of the festival is really just me being crabby that I can't just relax and enjoy it.
"Kid's Fest" happens on Saturday, from 11-2 or something like that, in the main tent. Tante Cat wanted to come with me and the boys this year. At 9 am Saturday morning, I receive the following message from her:
"I'm just going to bed now. Should be good to go for noon."
Tante Cat is a bartender at the Pit. She also loves to party. And she loves my boys.
After some back and forth about meeting at the tent vs picking her up at her house, she finally writes:
"Let's be honest here. Can you just pick me up at the Pit?"
So with that determined, I commence operation Prepare Aedan to Leave the House. It takes a lot of warning and discussion to get an almost 3 year old ready to leave. I had to make promises of balloons and a "treat" at the festival grounds. But it worked, and we were on the road by 11.
We hadn't been on the road for more than 5 minutes when Aedan said: "Uh oh. He's scratching his face!" A moment later, Collie began to wail. I pulled over, jumped out of car to assess the damage, and began to wail myself. The whole side of Colm's face was covered in blood. His hand was covered in blood. His shirt collar: covered in blood.
We turned around, got him cleaned up at home, put on the sock mitts for the first time in a long time, and then got back into the car, headed to town for the second time. I was dreading the festival now, because taking a baby with a severe eczema flare out into public means you either get lots of unsolicited advice, or people awkwardly not mentioning it at all.
However. The balloons. And the treat.
After a quick stop at the farmer's market, I swung by the Pit, making my way past the gauntlet of drunk people from Whitehorse to find my friend and drag her out to the car. We headed over to the festival grounds.
As soon as we set foot in the tent, full of little kids and their parents and face paint and balloons and a woman playing a ukelele, I panicked. I froze.
"Okay," I said to Cat. "I'm good. Let's go."
But the balloons! The treat!
The look of joy on Aedan's face as he ran into the fray and stole a red balloon from some kid was enough to make me choke back my panic and relax and even enjoy myself a little bit.
I chatted with other moms (and eczema only came up twice, not bad) and nursed my baby and watched Tante Cat enjoy her buddy and then we got Aedan some mini pancakes all covered in maple syrup because he loves maple syrup. Then I took Cat home so she could sleep, and we all drove home again. Both boys passed out before we were even out of city limits.