Thanksgiving is one week from today, which means it's only a matter of days until you can eat leftover pie for breakfast without people judging you. It also means that we're only days away from dysfunctional family get togethers and the yearly seasonal joy of attempting to get wiggling children to sit still at the dinner table. Ah, don't you just love the holidays?!
I used to love Thanksgiving; specifically the fact that it was a mid-week holiday during which one could rest, relax, and enjoy the mouth-watering smells emanating from the kitchen. Now that I have kids, those midweek Holidays just mean that I'll have two kids at home that I have to entertain instead of one.
Thanksgiving, Before Kids:
You sleep in Thanksgiving morning and enjoy a hot, freshly-brewed cup of coffee while watching the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade from the comfort of your bed. If weird-looking floats and marching bands put you in the mood, you might enjoy some morning sex.
Afterwards, you'll whip up a delicious brunch with the bounty of ingredients you picked up at the Farmer's Market two days ago.
Your spouse spends several hours preparing a beautiful turkey and a delicious gravy that will be the star of the Thanksgiving spread at your in-laws house. You tell him that he makes the world's best bird, and you think it's wonderful that he always cooks the turkey no matter who is hosting dinner.
Before leaving for your in-laws house for Thanksgiving dinner, you take a long, hot shower, blow dry your hair, put on makeup and choose a stylish outfit that flatters your amazing figure.
You show up for dinner on time, proudly carrying a homemade pumpkin pie that you spent several hours preparing the night before. No canned pumpkin in this pie, just organic pumpkin that you roasted and mashed yourself. The pie shell is also homemade with artisanal butter churned by a hippie living in Topanga.
You enjoy a relaxing dinner, including several glasses of wine, but you do get slightly annoyed that everyone who has kids leaves at 6:30pm, before they've had a chance to try your spectacular dessert.
After dinner is over, you and your spouse meet up with some friends at your favorite local bar for a nightcap because it's a holiday weekend and you don't have to get up early the following day.
When you finally get home after midnight you eat cold Thanksgiving leftovers in your bed and probably have more sex.
Thanksgiving, After Kids:
Your children wake you up before sunrise, because kids don't care that it's a holiday.
You park your kids in front of the TV while you suck down your first cup of coffee and wait for the caffeine to enter your bloodstream. It's possible that you nod off for a few minutes, because the next thing you know your children are fighting over the remote and there is strawberry yogurt smeared all over your couch. You wonder if your spouse is losing his hearing because somehow he is able to sleep through the racket.
Your spouse eventually comes downstairs, not because he's planning to help with the kids, but because he needs to get his turkey in the oven if it's going to be ready in time for dinner. You and your spouse have a fight about why he always has to cook the turkey, even though you never host Thanksgiving.
You decide to take your kids for a walk, because it's only 7am and you will go insane if you have to be locked in the house with them for one minute longer. Also, you're pretty sure Starbucks is open on Thanksgiving, which bothers you on a moral level, but which, ultimately makes you cry with happiness.
While you are out, your Husband manages to dirty every single pot, pan, and utensil in the name of the world's most delicious bird. The sight of your kitchen makes you weep, because you know that you will be up an extra two hours washing dishes.
While your kids nap you throw together a pumpkin pie with canned pumpkin and frozen pie crust.
While the pie is baking you fall asleep on the couch, and inadvertently burn the crust.
Just as you are about to get in the shower, your children wake up. You get them dressed in their holiday finery, which takes approximately an hour, and then pass them off to your spouse so that you can take a five minute shower. You don't have time to blow dry your hair, or put on makeup, and the only outfit that looks cute on your postpartum figure is at the drycleaners, so you throw on a pair of black leggings and a shirt that's passably clean, and call it a day.
In the ten minutes that you spent getting ready, your children have managed to smear food all over their clothing because your spouse was busy basting his turkey and not paying attnetion to your offspring, so you have to change their clothes again. You have no back-up holiday finery, but you do manage to find some clean clothes that (sort of) match.
It takes another 30 minutes to load up the kids, the turkey, and the burned pie, after which you are irritable and running late for dinner. You show up 20 minutes late to your in-laws, and discover that your younger child has pooped through her diaper, and that the turkey has leaked all over your trunk.
You and your spouse fight, again, about how stupid it is to have to bring the turkey every year. While everyone sits down to eat, you go to change your kid's poppy diaper only to realize that you have gone off without extra clothes, which means your daughter will be dressed for dinner in a diaper and nothing else.
When you finally get a chance to eat, there is no more stuffing left, and the turkey is ice cold. Your kids refuse to eat any of the Thanksgiving food because it's not in nugget form. You chug a glass of wine, eat a few bites of cold turkey, and then your kids melt down because it's their bed time.
You and your spouse leave before dessert, and don't have time to pack up leftovers.
You eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich after your kids go to bed.
You fall asleep at 8pm, right after you and your spouse have a third round of the turkey fight.
This year, I'm thankful for wine.