As we all know, it’s Fiesta week here in the Alamo City. Amid all the parade floats, food booths, and cascarones, we San Antonians forgo our usual routines and change up our parenting styles in the name of our city’s annual celebration. We throw caution to the wind, and together with our families, party for 11 days straight.
Are you a San Antonio parent trying to survive the mayhem that is Fiesta right now? Then the following scenarios probably sound familiar, because you know you’re a San Antonio parent during Fiesta week when…
1). You begin the week with the excitement of a Kindergartner on his/her first field trip. So many events! So much food! So much to see and do! So much food! So many parades! SO MUCH FOOD!
2). Your child covets a new Fiesta medal more than the latest Frozen toy.
3). You tell your child to “SIT DOWN AND WATCH, PLEASE” at least six times during a single parade.
4). You have had a confetti-filled egg smashed on your head one, two, 38 times.
5). You have visited the Fiesta Store, Fiesta on Main, or El Mercado in search of the perfect puebla dress or guayabera shirt.
6). Your diet has been put on hiatus, and your family’s nutrition has gone out the window. Corndogs, chalupas, or chicken-on-a-stick, followed by a rainbow raspa or rapidly melting ice cream bar, are all perfectly acceptable dinner options.
7). You have given up on vacuuming for the week because the confetti is endless and seems to multiply while you’re asleep.
8). Bedtime becomes arbitrary. Normal practices are nonexistent. Your family eats dinner standing up instead of around the kitchen table. Quiet school nights at home are replaced with multiple evenings out around downtown. The typical schedule is exchanged for a week of chaos with a pace a la The Amazing Race: Get up, go to school, come home and change into colorful clothes, head out for Fiesta fun, return home two hours later than your kids’ usual bedtime, and do it all again the next day.
9). You have driven to a given location and, much to your surprise, encountered a random festival in honor of Fiesta, complete with carnival-style booths, Tejano music, and hundreds, if not thousands, of people.
10). You have busted out the glue gun and put your crafting skills to the test for the sake of your child’s shoebox float for his/her school Fiesta parade.
11). You have asked your child to momentarily hold your margarita or beer while you’ve wiped the sweat from your forehead—but not without explaining, “We do NOT take a drink from Mommy’s cup.”
12). You have discovered $10 worth of event coupons in your pocket or purse after returning home from said event.
13). You have endured the painful process of Child Game Prize Selection.
14). Your standards for cleanliness and sanitation have been drastically lowered. You usually refuse to visit any restaurant that received a less-than-stellar rating on “Behind the Kitchen Door,” and yet now you’ll consume barbacoa sold to you by a toothless dude in a wife beater behind a street corner booth for which you’re not sure inspection records even exist.
15). You have consoled a tearful child over a squished Fiesta flower crown.
16). You have found cascarone confetti in your or your child’s underwear and still have absolutely no idea how that could even happen.
17). After attending an event, the bottom of your purse looks like this:
18). You now own a gallon-sized Ziplock full of worthless crap that your child was so excited to win at NIOSA but will never think about again.
19). You have paid $15–$20 to park three or more times in a single week.
20). All of your Instagram pictures are hashtagged “#viva.”
21). You have dangled your child over a port-a-potty seat (and dealt with many interesting questions as a result).
22). Your child has been awestruck by the dozens of elaborately decorated Fiesta hats and asked, “Mommy, can we make a hat like that? Pleeeaaase?” You have responded by saying, “Um, I don’t know. Maybe? Someday, maybe.” Riiight.
23). Your child has dropped at least one food item on the ground prior to taking his/her second bite. You’ve been faced with the daunting decision of having to deal with a hungry kiddo on the verge of a meltdown or get back in line to buy another $8 cheeseburger. You’ve opted for the latter.
24). You pretty much disregard the concept of stranger danger and allow your child to exchange high-fives with and accept necklaces, candy, and various other trinkets from random Fiesta-goers (although you hold your child’s hand like a lifeline to avoid losing him/her in the crowd).
25). By the week’s end, you are spent. Done. Utterly exhausted from all of the excitement and thrilled for Fiesta to be over. And yet you know that come April of next year, you’ll be back out there enjoying the fun and flavor of San Antonio’s amazing, 11-day festival all over again.