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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Trying to Decide


As you know, next week is the Inauguration of our 44th president. We live in the DC metro area. We could go downtown and be a part of the festivities (but not part of the actual inauguration because tickets were gone the night after Obama was announced the winner).

Do I want to go?

Absolutely. I want to go and be a part of our country's history. I want to be able to tell the kids that they were there. I want to get some pictures and see the sights and just be a part of it. It seems amazing that we live in this area and have such opportunities to experience everything. We may not be here for the next inauguration. This is probably our last chance to do this! Plus, if we do this then I think I can probably talk Juice into going downtown for the 4th of July some year.

Should I go?

Probably not. There will be a record number of people downtown next Tuesday. We would have to rely on Metro to get us there and back. I've been reading the Washington Post's guide to the inauguration and they said to plan on walking at least 3 miles to get into the city. And then walking to the parade route (which is all we'd go down to do anyway). They have closed down almost all of the metro stops downtown and shut down all the bridges for pedestrians only. Lolli said her sister (who lives even closer to downtown than we do) was told not to go anywhere that day, to stock up on their food because the grocery stores will be closed or out.

Could we do it?

Juice said he'd take the day off. The Metro stop is very close to us here. We can get there without even needing to park our car there. We are the end of the line so we would probably be able to get a seat on the way down. Butterfly is very good at staying close. I would even probably put a backpack leash on her just to be safe. If we took BOB (our awesome stroller) we would have a place for her to sit. The boys would be secure. And warm because we have fleece liners for it. We could take all of our gear and load BOB up. We've done it before. Or we could carry the boys all day. That would get tiring after awhile, but it's doable. Hey, I even hiked in the wilderness with a boy strapped to me so I'm not worried about all the walking and carrying them. We could carry them and then put Butterfly in one of her single strollers. That might even be better than BOB because frankly, BOB is huge and can be cumbersome in large crowds. It would be cold. But it would be amazing.

So why have I not decided to go?

The crowds. I would worry about us being separated just by the press of people. I would insist on us getting a tracphone for Juice and I would take our cell in case of separation. I worry that Metro would shut down and we would have no way of getting home. I worry that something will happen and they will shut down Metro as we're on it. If you don't know, there are no bathrooms in Metro at all. That could be dangerous for Butterfly. The security worries me too. Because with three small children come a lot of stuff. I think I would have the bare minimum with me: diapers, wipes, nursing cover, change of clothes for Butterfly, and something to keep her entertained on the train. I would leave my wallet at home and take my id and cash in my travel pouch inside my clothes. But what if something horrible did happen and I intentionally put my babies in harms way?

I'm so torn. I really do want to go, but I guess I'm afraid to do it. What would you guys do?



  1. I would be just as torn as you. To be soooo close and have it STILL be inconvenient to go is the kicker.

    I might try it - take the stroller, though. You might gain a little more personal space that way. Use it's large size to it's advantage. The backpack leash is a great idea.

    Hang towards the back of the crowd - close enough to see but far away enough not to feel crowded.

    Oooooooh - wish I could help more! If you don't decide to go - flip on the TV - park the kids in front of it - and tell them you all watched it together. :)

  2. Oh man! I still sometimes kick myself we never made it to St. George to see the Olympic torch when it was there 8 years ago! I'd say do it, take the stroller for sure and brave the crowds. Can you have a back up plan if the Metro does shut down? Will a very long bus ride get you home just in case? Good luck making up your mind about this piece of history!

  3. I'd go and either get a sitter for the kids or take one extra adult so the ratio is one:one. Have a meeting spot and plan for getting separated.

    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
    Mark Twain

  4. Oooh! I think I'm with MommyKnows. It is just such an opportunity! Good luck deciding!

  5. Well, I've already talked to you about this today....I wish I could go. I completely agree with you about the opportunity. We LIVE here for crying out loud! But I know for sure I can't do it with my kids, and I'd feel bad about leaving them all day. So we're staying home. I'll be jealous if you go, though.

  6. What about getting a hotel downtown? Although, they are probably all booked . . . Maybe a babysitter and you and Juice go. I think that you could do it with the big stroller and a backpack leash as back up. Stock the stroller with supplies and give it a whirl. I think it would be an awesome thing to go see, but I don't know if I would do it either and that's with just my one kidling . . . the security issue would make me a little nervous with all those people. Good luck deciding!

  7. I'd go in a heartbeat!!

    See if you can rope some other friends along as well (ones without kids). If you can managed to have more adults than kids, it will greatly help your survivability rate.

  8. I sure feel for you - I don't know what advice to give. I would be very scared of the large crowd with my children. I like the idea of having more adults than children going along. I would have a back up plan if you do go for the childrens safety. If you stay toward the back of the crowd you would probably see more if you stayed at home and watched it on tv. I always tend to try to lean toward doing what I feel more peaceful about. Follow your heart it will guide you.

  9. Anonymous1:01 AM

    I'd say go. It's such a historic moment, the kids will thank you later for making the effort to take them there. I feel that way about my parents dragging me out of bed to go see Haley's Comet even though I don't remember much of it now. If you start out and it's obviously a bad idea, you can always head back, right?

  10. GET A BABY SITTER! I BET YOU COULD GET ONE! THats the route id take! Then you dont have to drag all the stuff and you can move faster with out all of it anyway! GO! YOU SHOULD!

  11. We are not going. I would be terrified to take the kids there with so many people, especially Patrick, who at 6 I can barely take my eyes off of because he tends to think he's big enough to decide to walk off on his own. I heard that security isn't allowing strollers, bags, or anything like that anywhere near the ticketed areas, and that they are projecting 2m people. I don't even know how that many people will fit into town, for heaven's sake! Also, the potential for terrorism, wackos, and everyday crime will be huge with such a crowd, and if anything did happen, how would I save my children from what could become a stampede or a riot? No. We will have a party at home and watch it on TV. If I leave the kids at home and go myself, we will miss out on experiencing it together, and they will learn nothing.

  12. Oh, go for me! Well actally, go for you. But I sure wish I could go!! Ask your lovely friends to babysit. It will be a better trip!

  13. I understand the pull to go but I also know how awful the crowds are and how easy it is to get separated. Have you looked at where the security barriers will be placed? They have listed what won't be allowed through those. Astarte listed some of them like no strollers, no backpacks, etc. Do you have tickets for the parade? I heard on the news this morning that the park service will be counting heads and will cut off at the number allowed into the viewing area whether you have a ticket or not. I am a fuddy duddy though. The idea of going downtown at 6 am and standing for hours just doesn't appeal to me. Now going downtown on the 4th in 1976, I was there, going on the 4th in the 80's to hear the Beach Boys, I was there. I have been on the 4th in the past 2 years to hear the National Symphony Orchestra. For those things the battle of the crowds was worth it to me. But those were all things that you could participate in from a distance. I am not that thrilled by saying I was 2 miles from the presidential viewing box on inauguration day. Maybe they will walk down the parade route, maybe they will ride in the limo. With my luck, they will be in the limo and I wouldn't even get to see the new president. My other reason for not going is I am protesting the country's over hype that he is the country's 1st Black President! He is BIRACIAL. His mother was white. Did they miss that? He is just as much a white man as he is a black man. It just makes me crazy. So I will be in front of the tv, with a good view, with Chang-probably against his will, staying toasty warm.

  14. After spending several days "going" around DC with you and the three kids, I have no doubt you could brave all obstacles and everything would work out great! However, I totally understand your concern over the crowds and the people. Maybe you haven't decided because you know deep in your heart that there are some things you shouldn't do with your kids. I think this is probably one of them. Plus, I don't think you would be happy or comfortable leaving them that long with a sitter. If something awful happened, I'd rather be with my kids in a crowd or at home but not separated. While I have no doubt you could, maybe the question is if you should? I think that might be why you can't decide.

  15. I'm TOTALLY torn too!!! I heard NO strollers! Is that true?? So have you decided yet???


I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble. --Helen Keller