Memories of my first Mardi Gras are more than a little hazy: bright lights, the weight of bushels of beads on my neck, a bottle of cheap champagne carelessly dumped into a plastic water bottle, a drunken late-night phone call to my sister, me in a tutu spinning on St. Charles Avenue, the ceiling spinning in my dorm-room… Though I’ve (marginally) increased my level of maturity since then, this remains my favorite time of year.
Carnival is a chance to forget that I’m an adult, go out on the weeknights (gasp!), and completely over-indulge. When we found out that I was pregnant with Edith, it didn’t take me long to do the math: I would be 8 months pregnant on Mardi Gras. Insert Fat Tuesday joke here…
Though the experience was quite different, I had just as much fun. Here are my top 5 tips for parading while pregnant:
This year, with a 10-month-old, I will likely not return to the debauchery of the Carnival of my college days. “Throw me something, mister!” will turn into, “Gently lob something in our general direction but away from the baby’s face, mister!” Our parade day packing will require more than just what we’re drinking: appropriately festive change of clothes, protective noise-canceling headphones, baby safe “decoy” beads, etc… But as we gear up for Rex & Zulu on Mardi Gras morning, I’ll grate a little nutmeg into both my brandy milk punch and Edith’s baby bottle, we will have a family toast, and be grateful that this is the sweetest Mardi Gras yet.