Tag Archives: fireworks

Fun in the dark with fireworks, mud and toffee

“I DON’T like fireworks, we should go home now,” announced our three-year old daughter, ten minutes before the actual pyrotechnics even started.

By that stage we were already standing in a field, in the dark, having persuaded our youngest two off spring to stay close to us with various sweets, candyfloss and toffee-apple bribes.

The elder two and a friend had disappeared into the night, shouting promises to behave and clutching all our remaining cash.

“We can’t go, it hasn’t even started yet,” said Bloke. “Anyway, I thought you were excited?”

Indeed, for the previous five hours, after finding out we were planning a trip out to watch fireworks, Bonnie had punctuated every conversation with “I’m soooo excited!”

She’d bounced around the house getting her warm coat and wellies on. She’d chattered uncontrollably in the car on the way, and had oooed and ahhed over the raging bonfire that greeted her across the fields on arrival.  

Bloke and I were discussing how much easier it was to be enthusiastic about Bonfire Night when it wasn’t pouring with rain and freezing cold.

Then Bonnie switched from Being Excited to Being Whingey.

“Pick me up Daddy. I don’t like fireworks Daddy. I don’t like being here Daddy, I want to go home Daddy.” (I stayed out of it. I’d done Bonfire night on my own the previous year, with a pram, in mud, in the freezing rain).

What do you do when your toddler shows expresses fear? Do you cut your losses and head home?

Or do you stick it out, running the risk of giving them a firework phobia for the rest of their days?

Bah, you tell them not to be daft, explain what the fireworks will look and sound like, and stick it out, of course.

Bloke picked her up, and told her he’d cover her ears if the fireworks were too loud. After an initial burying of her face into his shoulder, she was persuaded to turn around and watch the pretty fireworks along with everyone else.

She soon got used to the noise, and by the time the initial few rockets had gone up, she forgot that she didn’t like fireworks. She was whooping and ‘ahh-ing’ away, while simultaneously smearing her face and coat with the reddest, stickiest toffee apple ever purchased.

Meanwhile Bloke’s back was aching from having to hold her at an angle so they could both look skywards, while unwittingly having red toffee rubbed into his jacket.

We rounded up the rest of the kids, who appeared out of the darkness, muddy from head to foot. They patiently explained that as the display was at Casuals Rugby Club, they’d felt obliged to play some rugby. . .

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Firework fun? Or just standing around cold and wet?

FOR the first time in a couple of years, I succumbed to the offspring’s nagging to go to an organised firework display.

My usual objection is that it always seems to rain, or be the coldest night on record, or that there’s something better we could be doing, like watching TV, in the warm.

There’s the other issue of not knowing how smaller kids will react. As a toddler Dougie had the screaming ab-dabs at a cub firework display and we had to head home sharpish. He’s 11 now and loves ’em.

Living in a town centre rather than a village makes a difference. While many villages have a pleasant community event, with soup and sparklers and a bar nearby, us townies have to settle for endless pyrotechnics and the sound of gunpowder for two weeks leading up to and after November 5.

Quite frankly, it takes the fun out of fireworks when the squeals and blasts go off every night, all night, and wake up your kids.

However, there was an organised Fireworks Do at Casuals Rugby Club, where the boys play, so I relented.

As I stood for what felt like hours with our rain-soaked seven-year-old beside the dripping pushchair which held our indignant-to-be-strapped-in two-year-old, as our drenched eldest sons played football in the mud, I remembered again why I don’t do Bonfire Night. It’s cold, and wet, and boring.

Then the fireworks started. Youngest two instantly covered ears and eyes, until they were cajoled to look at the amazing sight of stars and colours and sparkles of light bursting in the sky above us. It was ten minutes of whizz-banging joy to make up for all the discomfort and waiting.

No one minded the journey home in a damp and muddy car, and there’s something to be said for the pleasure of getting back to a warm house and into warm clothes.

Next year though, I’m definitely staying indoors.

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