The holidays are among us, and now is the time that I start frantically thinking about how I am going to manage these next few days, with two boys. Last year it was easy, Thanksgiving rolled around and I rolled my very pregnant ass to the dinner table (twice) and then rolled it back home. Oliver was still young enough that he didn't know any better and went along with what his parents said. Prior to kids, the holidays were a walk in the park. We would show up at one house, or restaurant wherever Ryan's family decided to have it that year, drink and eat until we couldn't eat anymore. Then head over to my families house. where we would continue to drink and eat until we couldn't eat anymore. The cousins would hang out and play games, it truly was a good time.
Now, its still a good time, its just....different. We don't make the rules anymore. We don't get to decide if we want to hang out a little longer. We answer to them and when they are ready, no matter how much fun we are having, we are ready too.
Planning for holiday adventures is always strategically calculated. Their naps must be adjusted a little bit, if they go to bed in the early afternoon, then I can get them up and we can get to the in-laws by 2:30. That should work, we better pack some snacks in the diaper bag so they have something to eat in the car. You know if you don't feed them exactly 30 minutes after waking they turn into gremlins. Oh you thought that was just a movie, apparently you have never seen a hungry child, who was just woken up from dreamland. Then there is the challenge of getting them dressed. While also trying to keep all their "kidness" off of your nice clothes. People always wonder why we are late. Have you ever tried to get two kids dressed, plus yourself? I don't dress myself in my 'nice' clothes until the last possible minutes, because you know how that Murphy's law works. The minute that I get my clothes on, someone is either going to have explosive diarrhea or throw up. Then there are the boogers that are carefully wiped on the shoulders of my shirts or the ground up, soggy animal cracker that manage to land where else? But right on my boob.
Once we make it to our destination, we have to deal with "shy Oliver" for a few minutes. he may see these people all the time, but the first 10 minutes or so, are spent clinging to us, like he is some spider monkey. Landon is more go with the flow. He doesn't really know what is going on, and is kind of like whatever. as long as there is food involved, he's happy.
Once Oliver warms us, then there is no stopping him. He is off, running around with his cousins and playing. happily. It's in these moments that Ryan and I can actually have a conversation or maybe even a drink. Sometimes if we are lucky we can eat in peace. But we try not to draw too much attention to ourselves, because the minute that we look comfortable, a child is going to need us RIGHT THIS MINUTE. Next it will be time to feed the children. Landon will happily scarf down all the food, while Oliver will turn up his nose and ask for peanut butter and jelly.
Dinner one is over. Now we will take 25 minutes to pack up our children and ourselves to head over to dinner number two. Don't forget the diaper bag. "Ryan, do you have the keys?" "No! I don't have the keys!" Where are the keys?!
Remember all that stuff that happened up there, about the being shy and becoming a cling on. Well get ready because its going to happen again. 10 minutes later, Oliver will be break dancing on the family room carpet. the family will dote on the children and Ryan and I will get another minute to breathe. Again, not looking too comfortable in fear that the children will notice and need us RIGHT THIS MINUTE.
On to dinner. again Landon will happily eat his 2nd dinner and Oliver will continue to pick at the potatoes and repeat, "I'm scared" whenever I remind him to eat his turkey. It will take some convincing, and maybe even some bribing to get him to actually eat. "Hey Oliver, you see that pie over there. yeah, well you can totally have some if you eat three bites of turkey, two bites of potatoes and four green beans." You might be thinking, Really? That's all he has to eat? I am not kidding when i say that getting him to eat those nine bites of food, will take an hour. In that time he will become distracted with his milk cup and spill it.
Are you tired yet? I am.
After dinner, Oliver will remind me that I promised him pie and throw himself on the floor in typical "wet noodle" fashion until he gets some piiiieeeee.
So now, my children have been up the majority of the day, their schedules are completely off and they are beyond tired. Its time to get their pajamas on and head home. Oh wait someone forgot to pack the pajamas in the diaper bag. Dirty looks are shot from across the room at the parent responsible for the memory lapse and the lack of pjs.
In all seriousness, that is probably how my Thanksgiving will be. But it's okay, I wouldn't trade these crazy, chaotic moments for the quieter, easier ones. My children are making memories with their families and we're instilling traditions that are so very important to us. Plus, Friday while all the loonytoons are out for SUPER SAVINGS we'll rest, veg out in front of the TV, watch holiday movies and eat leftovers!!