Tuesday, June 27, 2006

It Ain't Easy Being Queen

Every year my hometown, Myton, Utah, has a celebration that used to be called Myton Homecoming, in order to entice people who couldn't afford to live in a place with no jobs to come home and visit. Now it's called Myton Daze, I suppose because most of the people who attend live in Myton and most people who have moved away don't happen to be home on the weekend of the year the town (officially) parties. Except this year, BabyG and I did just happen to be in Utah for Myton Daze...fortutious, especially, since my mother Kathleen is the mayor and had a big hand in organizing the event. We got to go be proud of her.

As a little girl I dreamed of winning the annual Little Miss Myton contest, mostly because I believed a world without the sparkling crown adorning my own head would be a terribly cruel one. My Aunt Sallie won one year, and her own jeweled tiarra sat on top of the piano in my grandparents' family room, torturing me. I wasn't allowed to play with it and the top of my head pounded viciously with the desire to put it on.

I never got it together enough to actually participate. My dad owned the bar next door to the park where the celebration was held, and Myton Daze/Homecoming always just crept up without my having prepared some talent or other to wow the world with. The one year I got to almost participate in Myton Daze at all, in a square dance performed by the entire third grade class of Myton elementary, I showed up at the dress rehersal but by the time the actual dance began I had run across town and was busily watching my Aunt Fern's cat having kittens with my cousin Darren. Poor old Rowdy didn't have a partner and had to dance with Mrs. Jones.

Just today, however, my father lied to me and told me that I did win the Miss Myton contest. He said it was the same year he won the ugliest shirt contest and our dog, Sidney, won the best looking dog event. Neither event actually ever existed, but my dad has a wonderfully fictive memory that is almost always becoming to me.

All this is coming up becuase this year I was unable to resist putting BG in the baby contest...even though I feel like I'm supposed to hate baby contests. My own mom told me she never entered me in one because she would have ripped the eyes out of all the judges if I didn't win. Not to mention Myton Daze/Homecoming didn't start until I was seven...I don't think they ever had a retro baby contest.

Baby contests are not in the realm of green parenting, they are more like orange parenting, or neon parenting, or Fire Engine Red Parenting. People say the contests are all about the parents' needs, not the childrens'. I think people are right, because I pretty much NEEDED BG to become Queen Baby of Myton. Every six months old drop of her knew this as she sat on my lap on the stage in the little elementary school and giggled winningly at the judges, one of whom was my former Kindergarten teacher. She fluffed back her incredible head of hair and pretended to be a mix between Miss Breck and the Gerber baby. Of course, BG won out against the one other baby in her age division (six to nine months), who was her first attendant. So BG's cousins Cole & Haydon won several races; her cousin Alexia won a watermelon eating contest, and BG won Queen Baby.

She won a fabulous crown that I sat on just about right afterwards. I had to bend it and glue it back together so that she could wear it during the big parade the Queen and her mother rode in on a float. The parade's path follows the mile of strip that is Myton's main street. I looked forward to the event the entire day before it began, and bathed BG and made sure she had the right amount of sleep to really enjoy her first ride on a float.

But the Karmic gods got me for entering her into the contest in the first place, in the end: it was HOT, first of all. Notice her tongue sticking out in the picture to the left. I almost dehydrated my baby who was too mad to eat because the fire department was riding behind us. That meant we were followed by honking, siren rearing folks. Giant Red Monsters, so far as BG was concerned, and Queen BG was NOT impressed. In fact, Queen Baby howled at the top of her lungs for about the entire fifteen minute duration of the parade. I wanted to jump off the float and save my baby and my own concience, but it was too tall for me to jump off of without dropping the queen.

And so it begins, BabyG paying for the sins of her mother.

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