Thanksgiving Happenings

Oh Thanksgiving. A day where Americans everywhere stuff their faces with the fattiest home cooked food we can find and brush off the calories with “Oh, it’s Thanksgiving” and grandparents everywhere lecture their grandchildren about not using the exercise equipment they spent hundreds of dollars on. Maybe that’s just my family.

Whenever the holiday season comes, or any large family gathering (weddings, funerals, barn raisings) I gain new found respect for my mother for raising four kids (virtually) single handed. (yes, there were a couple men in the picture at different times but they were of the un-fit lazy father variety). Now, H and I have one darling little daughter who’s almost 2 and a half years old. For whatever reason, we’ve deluded ourselves into thinking she would never hit that “two year old” phase where either won’t do what you ask them to do or they will but not with out screaming and pounding fists on her part and several times outs, begging and yelling and coded cursing under the breath on the parents part (my personal favorite veiled curse is Fudge Monkeys.) Here’s how my Thanksgiving went:

7am: I wake up. OK, I’d already been woken up several times by J kicking me in the back, Polly nipping me in the arm wanting to play, and J scratching and scratching her eczema. But I actually got up at 7am. Yes. I consider getting up at 7 on my day off “sleeping in”. Fast forward to J waking up at 8 or so and the morning routine of getting her cereal and getting her shows on. Blah blah blah. Not interesting. Ok, let’s skip to

9:30am: I start making the awesome cheesy potatoes with what must’ve been the most potent onions EVER! I only needed a half cup for each one (I made two dishes, one for the inlaws and one for my family. I’m a giver.) but I actually had to rinse out my eyes after each chopping session. So, I’m cooking and being all domestic and meanwhile J and the cat are who knows where doing who know what. Time to wake up H. Yes, I let him sleep until 10 on the weekends and holidays. I should get a medal. Or a pony. But then I’ll have to take care of it so…a tiara will work. And they sparkle more than a pony. Where was I? Right, telling H he needs to watch J and cat so I can make food because I can’t do both seeing as the kitchen is on the opposite end of the house from the living-room and there are walls and what not separating the kitchen from J’s room. This is very important to keep in mind for future events: I told H he needs to watch J because I can’t.

 I continue my awesome cooking while H watches the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade (“Shouldn’t you at least have J in here with you as an excuse for watching this stupid thing?” “Where is she?” “I don’t know, maybe you should go find her. I need to go torture my eyes by way of onion.”). While I’m cooking J comes into the kitchen and I take a break to kneel down and give her a hug when I notice her cheeks are very shiny, as are her hands. “Sweetie, what’s all over your hands?” Cause she’s totally going to tell me she got a hold of her antibiotic ointment and smeared it all over herself and the cat. Which is exactly what happened. Shortly after I notice J’s shiny cheeks, our brand new kitty comes in the kitchen looking like she just came in off the street, her once beautiful coat now clumpy looking and sticking up all over the place. I yell for H to get the hell in here and he cleans the cat while I clean the kid. At this point I think back to a time when, in my new mom naivete, I thought about how much fun it will be when J starts doing all those fun little mischevious things that I read about on blogs everywhere and curse my stupidity.

After everything’s out of the oven I realize we have to leave in less than an hour. So I go tell H if he’s going to shower,he’d better do it now. I kid you not this how the conversation went:

“H, get in the shower. Now. It’s getting late.”

“But…Santa’s almost here.” (he’s still watching the parade and J’s in her room NOT watching the parade.)

“Are you kidding me?” He now looks very sheepish and I can’t help but love him ever more than I did before this day. “Let me go get J so you can at least have a valid excuse for waiting for Santa.” After Santa comes and goes, he showers and we leave. 

Fast forward to the in-laws. Not much happened other than we discovered slightly dark patches on J’s pants that we failed to notice before we left the house. We figure out quickly it was remnants of the anti-biotic ointment episode. Oh and she refused to eat anything other than baby dill pickles and crackers. The cornerstones of any healthy toddler diet. And once again I got to hear mother-in-law (MIL) talk about how J always eats well for her and how shocking it is that we had to get her soy milk because she refuses to drink cow’s milk at home. “She drinks lots of milk over here.” Then shortly after she says, “Well, it’s chocolate milk…” Are you freaking kidding me? You give my kid chocolate milk as part of her regular meals and consider this a good thing? This has been an on-going battle with MIL. She doesn’t see anything wrong with the amount of snacking and sweets she gives the kids (Explanation: She watches J four days a  week and our nephew three days a week who’s 5 months older than J.) Enough of that ranting. Let’s move on to when I was sitting in the dining room and got to hear grandmother-in-law talking about how my kid looks so much like my sister-in-law. Seriously? This is ALL I hear at el-in-laws’ house. How much J looks like everyone on THEIR side of the family and how  she gets all her little quirks from THEIR side of the family. Apparently after my stint as the vessel, my influence was over. Grr. We left shortly after to visit my side of the family which is a whole different level of stress.

Actually, I was pleasantly surprised. Not a lot of drama for most of the night. (I have very hyper cousins and just thinking about them makes my head pound. One’s 7 and just uncontrollable and the other is 5 and autistic and equally uncontrollable.) Once again J refused to eat anything I gave her but my mom managed to feed her a little off her plate (huzzah). There was also a really sweet “jam session” with H and my grandpa. Grampa plays the accordion and had asked H to bring his guitar. That was just really really sweet and made for some great photo ops. Then my mom’s boyfriend took out his saxophone which he hasn’t played in years and that just made for some great pics and side jokes about saxophones going through puberty.

Then it was time to go home and it happened. That stressful drama. I found J stealing more sweet bread from a tray and was wrestling it away from her (literally. by the time I got it out of her tightly clenched fists, there were crumbs everywhere.) and she ended up bread-less and pissed. Screaming, kicking, punching and just mad. So mad that she ended up hitting her head on the wall which really pissed her off and as I was turning back to help her, the 5 year old cousin starts freaking out and moves to kick her. Yes, KICK her! I grabbed his arm and pulled him away just in time and that’s when my aunt informs me that seeing kids cry makes him upset. Now, I’m a very understanding person. Almost to a fault. Where a lot of people would be all, “HE’S upset?? He just tried to kick my two year old? I’ll show you upset!!” instead, I say, “ok, that makes sense. He doesn’t know how to handle this situation because he’s autistic so he’s acting out.” So I grab Jaden and bring her to the front door and try to calm her down because once she’s calm, Little Cousin will stop freaking out and screaming in the kitchen and my aunt won’t have to keep trying to restrain him from running into the entry-way and kicking my kid again. Which is exactly what happened. He breaks free of Aunt’s grasp and runs into the entry-way screaming, “She’s crying! She’s crying!” and kicks at J again. Thank the spirits my arm was in the way or she would’ve gotten what felt like a horse’s kick to the chest. At this H saw what was happening and grabbed J and brought her to the car. They finally get Little Cousin to the basement and my older cousin (she’s 24 and very sweet but not the brightest) starts talking my ear off about how weird it is that now I have the youngest kid in the family. “Isn’t it weird? First our moms had the youngest and now you do.” I look at her and say, “That’s usually how it goes.” Seriously, my kid’s just been assaulted and, TECHNICALLY, I can’t get too upset because he’s autistic and can’t help it and she wants to talk about the wonders that is the generational cycle? I pack up all our left overs, say good bye and leave.

Now, here’s the dilemma. H and I would really like to host Thanksgiving next year. We like cooking and it would be nice to not be the ones running all over town. But the thing is, now we have to be worried about Little Cousin freaking out. And H and I would like to have another baby in the next year and how is Little Cousin going to react when a freakin infant starts crying? And it’s not like we can tell my aunt, “You can come but leave your mentally challenged child at his alcoholic father’s house. Oh and since your other kid gives us a headache just at the thought of him, could you not bring him too? Is that cool?” Seriously, we are the BIGGEST assholes ever. And it’s not like we don’t feel for my aunt, she’s got a lot on her plate and it’s not fair of us to get all panty-twisted because her kids stress us me pulling out my immature side and kicking the kid right back. I’ve been known to pull the whole “eye for an eye” card on several occasions. When I was a teenager and my one little sister would hit my other little sister, I’d hit the hitter (obviously not hard. I’m not barbaric.)and say, “It don’t feel good does it? Don’t hit your sister.”

Maybe we shouldn’t have another kid. I might get arrested for child endangerment.

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3 Responses

  1. Oh my god, I got stressed out just reading that. Here’s my suggestion for next thanksgiving: You, H, J and baby (BABY!!) should stay at a cute little b&b instead of hosting (oh my god, the stress!) or running from house to house (again, the strss!). Claim a need for family bonding or say that H has some horrible contageous disease that you don’t want to inflict on the rest of the family…

    And what’s this child endangerment crud? It’s called teaching by example! 🙂

  2. Seriously…child endangerment??? HA! if only….do you have any idea what my sisters and i use to do to each other…it involved sharp pointy objects whenever possible….and two of us have two healthy, smart and very NOT abused children 😛 silly little thing you!

  3. […] to kill Jaden at Thanksgiving but then at Christmas they were playing so nicely together.” Oh, yes. I remember. So I said, “Yeah, we could do that. We’ll have Christmas at our house.” Mom: […]

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