July 4th, 2009: My child apparently does not like fireworks.
Last year, she spent firework-time in the back seat of the car, strapped into her seat and playing with toys as we idled in a line of about 300 other cars full of people who had the same idea about which fireworks display to go to. We tried to get out of line and followed a silver Infiniti turning around in what we thought was a campground but which turned out to be someone's yard. A barefoot, mullet-headed, shirtless, hillbilly, grizzly beer-stinky-beard and all, came tumbling out of one of the 5 campers parked in a line and started screaming at us for driving on his lawn. I noticed he did not pester the much-older-than-us people in the far more expensive car, who used the distraction to hightail it out of there.
Anyway, this dude ran right up to our car and was thumping on the windshield and driver's-side window, all the while yelling "What the *bleep* do you think you're *bleeping* doing? You can't just drive on anybody's lawn! How would you like it if I came to your house and *bleeping* drove on yoru *bleeping* lawn?!", and so on and so on. Ryan was frantically trying to turn the car around and get the hell out of there. I noticed the guy had a lit cigarette in his hand, except I'm pretty sure it was hand-rolled and not tobacco. He was holding something behind his back, something he was going to an awful lot of trouble not to show us or any of the other cars still in line, and from the awkward bend of his wrist I felt sure it was a gun. Ryan rolled down the window and tried to apologize, all the while trying to burn rubber and get us the hell out of there, and I almost wet my pants because I thought for a few very long seconds this guy was going to stick his gun into the car and blow holes in us. Yeah, he seemed that pissed. I also thought it likely he would use the butt of his gun to break our windshield. Ryan managed to get us clear of the crazy-eyed grizzler, and we shakily drove home.
Later, when we could laugh about it, we thought perhaps someone should tell that guy that if you don't want your yard along a major traffic path to be mistaken for a campground, you should not put 6 campers and two tents in it.
This year, we stayed home all day and watched movies and ate snacks. When it got dark and the first booms sounded out, I pointed out a few of the bright blossoms of color to Piper. She was not impressed. When I asked her if it was pretty, she said no and buried her face in my neck. Ryan took her into the back yard, where one of the big displays from nearby was visible, and she started repeating "No, no, no no!" over and over and saying "If you don't like it? If you don't like it? I don't like it! No wannit! Ready go inside okay? Go inside okay please?" He brought her back inside, and she was clinging to him in a death-grip and huddling into his chest.
Once inside, we could still hear them going off, and after every BOOM! Piper would say:
"I don't like the bampire (vampire)."
"I don't like the vampire."
BOOM! BOOM! POP!
"I don't like the vampire."
She did this for over an hour, occasionally slipping in "I don't like the vampireworks."