March, Walk, or Crawl to the Beat

It's been a busy time since I last wrote about urban chicken raising. In the year plus, I served as the coordinator for one of the country's largest art events, Somerville Open Studios, and I did it all while expecting triplets. Our family welcomed the babies at the end of May, and since then, I have been figuring out where they fit into my crazy world of art. Merging art and parenting has not been an easy task, but hanging with these sweet babes is pretty darn awesome. Plus I REALLY enjoy making things for them. 

Somerville is a pretty great place to raise kids. When we found that we were expecting, we did the research that every parent does.. good neighborhood, good schools, the usual. One of the things that I liked the most about Somerville is it's never-ending calendar of family friendly and very fun events. This past weekend is one of my favorites, as I've never seen it in other places that I've lived. The Honk! Festival of Marching Bands. 

Every October for the last 10 years, the city of Somerville is taken over by marching bands from all over the country. When I first found out about this crazy festival, I was sitting in my living room wondering why the hell there was a marching band on my street. Since then, my knowledge of the event has grown, and for the past three years, I have had the opportunity to participate in the parade that happens on the last day of the festival. The parade goes from Davis Square down in to Harvard Square and is a heck of a lot of fun. Along with the marching bands, they also invite community organizations. Organizations such as Somerville Open Studios. 

As it turns out, last year at the parade, I was likely pregnant without knowing it. This year, I was excited to get the 4 month old trio out into the world for "babies first marching band parade". SOS is full of amazing and incredibly talented volunteers and it was decided that a wild array of dragons and monsters would grace our group. Heading up the creative effort was one of my favorite artists Hilary Scott. I asked him if it would be possible to work on something for the babes to ride in, suggesting that maybe their stroller could be transformed into something. He'd seen photos of the stroller and asked me to bring it over. Measurements were taken and he had the idea that it could be turned into a monster-ey, dragon-like head that would make the babies look as though they were being eaten. I thought it was a fantastic idea. He rustled around in his amazing garage and pulled out some hula hoops to compare them to the size of the stroller. It was easy to see that his creative mind was building this fantastic creature. 

Building the framework for the monster

Building the framework for the monster

The day before the parade, the building began. He helped other participating artists get creative in building monsters to carry and wear in the parade. Many piles of scrap foam, lots of foam adhesive, and colorful paints were acquired and his back yard was transformed into a fantastic place where all of these ideas came to life. 

Along with all of the fabulous monsters, I decided that the babies couldn't just be babies. They needed to get in on the dragon fun too. I whipped out my crochet hook and made them some sweet little dragon hats. While October in New England can sometimes be pleasant and warm, it can also turn on a dime and be cold as hell. If it was cold, they'd be adorable dragon babies. If it was hot.. well, then they'd just be tiny humans being devoured by a monster. My GWAR-loving husband would be amused either way. 

For the most part, the babies slept through the parade, but somewhere around 3/4 of the way though, my sweet but very feisty middle baby woke up. I'm pretty sure that she was either going to lose it or love it, and I'm super happy she decided to love it. She looked around as though she'd decided that fame was definitely her game, and she occasionally gave little screams of delight, and LOTS of excited grins.

Eventually, about 3 hours after our parade adventure began, it came to an end. We fed the babies in Harvard Square and then decided that getting on the T with our monster stroller wasn't really the right move and that walking back would be the best idea. While it was a long walk on its own, the number of times we were stopped were uncountable. As it turns out, when you have a monster stroller and three babies in a parade, things are fairly normal. When you walk down the street with the same stroller and there is NOT a parade happening around you, not only are you seen as an oddity, but an oddity with triplets. It can get a little crazy sometimes, but it certainly was a fun day. I look forward to involving the trio in whatever fun community event rolls around next. 

Walking by windows gave me a good perspective on how crazy we looked. 

Walking by windows gave me a good perspective on how crazy we looked.