First we went to the Aussie Rules Football match at the Oval (a place that is hands down the worst signposted sport ground I've ever been to).
That went off without a hitch mostly ... Emily only freaked out on the train into town twice and that was tunnel related. We took her ear defenders with us, in case the game or fans were too loud and she was happy as anything to have them on. She looked quite good walking through the underground tunnels with them on.
With the afternoon's success under our belt, we felt reserved optimism that the fireworks night wouldn't be another complete washout; thinking that Emily's only "fear" was the horrific noise the fireworks make and that they would be countered by the ear defenders.
Our first indication that smooth sailing was NOT ahead came on the walk to our chosen fireworks site - Carshalton Park. There were some individuals starting their festivities early and Emily could hear them quite easily, even through the defenders and was not amused.
At this point, Sue and I knew we were in for a crappy evening.
For the first few minutes of the fireworks, Emily refused to take her hands off her eyes, which obviously pushed back the ear defenders from her ears, completely negating any positive effects. We had a rug with us, and I figured system shutdown was imminent ... again, so let her lay on the rug. We put an afghan over her to keep her warm and she used the holes in that to peek out at the fireworks.
The tide had turned.
At times, she was even bold enough to completely uncover one eye to look at the fireworks. I told her how they were "sparkly" and she said it back to me.
After the fireworks, it was time to light the bonfire. I took Em over to the fence to look down into the pit where the massive fire was. As it was lit, I could see on Em's face how transfixed she was. The thought "pyro in the making" did cross my mind, but who knows what she was thinking. The flames were dancing and cut a very bright figure against the dark sky and she could have been taking any aspect of it in - most possibly that for something so bright it was nowhere near as loud as the fireworks.
We eventually retired back home and had some dinner, before Emily fell asleep in a pile on the kitchen chair.
While the evening wasn't a COMPLETE success, the fact that Em left the fireworks awake was a major milestone!