Because I am a VERY MEAN MOTHER I did not allow my children to stay up until midnight last night. They were complaining about this still, today, even as their jaws cracked with monster yawning and their adorable little heads spun completely around in the way that only small children’s heads can do when their owners haven’t had enough sleep. And because I recognized that the late bedtime last night (10:00! I thought I was cool, laissez faire, even! But no, I am the meanest mama ever!) meant that today could be a little bit rocky, I cleared the calendar and made sure we could spend the day at home doing absolutely nothing.
Or maybe I dragged the kids to church, took them out to eat with friends afterwards, and then took them to ANOTHER party this evening. You know, I didn’t have a single drop of alcohol last night. Clearly I didn’t need it, what with all the CRACK I’ve been smoking.
Last night was a fabulous way to usher in the new year. Our party hostess had come up with all sorts of fun New Year’s Eve activities for the kids, and then of course we did everything early because no one was really planning to let their spawn stay up until midnight. My favorite was that she let the kids write their “special wishes” for 2006 on paper stars, and then we tied the wishes to helium ballons. The whole lot of us trooped outside in the snow, once everyone was ready, and counted down and released the balloons with a hearty HAPPY NEW YEAR!
The array of wishes we released into the crisp night air ran the gamut. Monkey told me his wish for 2006 was that everyone have a happy Christmas. When I pointed out that Christmas had already passed, he said, “Oh.” He’s a deep thinker, my son. I suggested we change it to everyone having a happy 2006, and he said that was fine. Okay.
Chickadee’s wish was “I wish there would be no more war.” Deep, huh? Impressive, even? Do you feel the same way after I tell you that she’d been wish-less until her friend wrote down “I wish for more toys” and HER mother suggested wouldn’t she like to come up with something else, like maybe that there would be no more war? So, really she wrote “I wish there would be no more war,” but what she MEANT was, “I wish there will be plenty of opportunities for me to suck up and appear to be wholesome while I am plotting my next bit of mischief.”
There were a few really touching wishes; and several compromises. “I wish for peace on earth and an Xbox 360.” Well, way to cover the bases, I suppose.
There was (as predicted) lots of food and many children and all of the usual suspects that make for a nice evening. My good friend–he of Tide pen obsession fame–managed to make his behavior notable yet again. First, he asked me if I would go to Hooters with him. Right in front of his wife!
Turned out that he’d been entered into some drawing for something and he had to BE THERE for the final prize announcement or he couldn’t win, and his wife didn’t want to go. I’m still trying to decide if the fact that I seemed a suitable and safe stand-in was flattering or insulting. (I declined.)
Later in the evening, someone suggested we get a game of Trivial Pursuit going. “Men against women!” someone suggested.
“Oh yeah!” says my pal, turning to another guy and gesturing in my direction, “Remember last time when we played, Mir was on our team? We kicked butt! We want her!”
“Um, hello?” Both men turned to face me. “Last time we played men against women I WAS ON YOUR TEAM??” He was not to be deterred, however, and wanted to go on about how I had been the powerhouse on their team, blah blah blah, completely missing the point of how he had just called me a man. It wasn’t hard to believe that I was the reason his team had won, before.
News Bulletin for 2006: I’m a man, and I’m great at Trivial Pursuit. Why not invite me to your next intellectual endeavor at Hooters? Dude!
Anyway, it was a great evening, and after my children melted down one too many times I poured them into their matching penguin pajamas and stuffed them in the car and took them home. They went right to sleep (truthfully, I think Chickadee would’ve fallen asleep in the car if Monkey had stopped giggling and chanting “shake my boooooty!” for a few minutes), and I… ummmm… well….
I fell asleep before midnight. I’m old.
Today I remembered why I got a new computer. It’s because my old one is a piece of crap! And funny, having completely cleared out the playroom and set up the kids with their own computer station has not changed that fact one bit. I do very much enjoy being able to glance into the playroom and not want to kill myself rather than have to face the mess in there, true. But installing a few games on a computer that’s having a nervous breakdown doesn’t actually make for a real kid-pleaser. Go figure.
Anyway, it was something of a relief to get out of the house today, both so that I wouldn’t have to hear the whining about how the computer froze up AGAIN, and so that the children didn’t have the chance to actually mess up the pristine beauty that is the freshly-shovelled play area. I’m thinking of just shrink-wrapping the doorways and not letting them in there at all, come to think of it. Just imagine how easy it would be to maintain, then!
Off to church, where the children spent the bulk of the service tearfully insisting the the other one had had a longer turn on my lap, and it’s not faaaaiiiiir. One of Chickadee’s more fervrent wishes came true today, though–she got to be an acolyte. Normally this is a well-orchestrated thing, planned far in advance. But, well, it turns out that when New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday, church is a wee bit empty. Heh. She’s been wanting to do it and not a lot of folks were around, so the head usher gave her a crash course in proper lighting technique and she was very excited.
The prelude played and Chickadee processed carefully down the aisle, holding the metal candle lighter with both hands as she’d been shown. I was sitting with the choir and she kept glancing my way and I smiled back. When she reached the altar, she tipped the flame down to the first candle. It took a moment to catch, and she visibly exhaled when it did. She flashed me a grin before moving on to the second candle. The second one lit easily, and she was perfect, taking a step back before gently lowering the wick to extinguish the lighter’s flame. I could not have been more proud.
Aaaaand then she did what I can only describe as the base hit to first. The lighter was very nearly flung aside (though she did manage to dangle it from two or three fingers by her side) while she SPRINTED back down the aisle and shoved the metal pole back at the ushers. It was… not exactly… acolyte-y. Though I’m thinking she may be a candidate for track relay. Also that I might need to find a new church.
Then out to lunch, where Monkey had a great big hairy hissy fit over… ummm… something. Something about his kiddie menu/activity book thingie. He wrote his “s” backwards! That was it. Yes. It sent him into a fiery rage, as writing one’s “s” backwards is wont to do. Lucky for me, part of his meltdown included copious amounts of kicking, and my shins were right in front of him!
We took a brief trip outside the restaurant. Or, rather, I took a brief trip outside the restaurant with his right arm, which I had abruptly wrenched from his body when I stood up and headed for the door after this little display. The rest of Monkey continued to wail over the ruined book, which now had both a backwards “s” and several pools of blood on it.
Fortunately all was set to rights with a $4 bowl of Kraft macaroni and cheese. (No, they don’t even pretend, anymore… the menu says they PROUDLY SERVE Kraft macaroni. I was tempted to scribble on the check that I am PROUDLY AN ASSHOLE for paying the factor-of-16 mark-up for it.) Chickadee had a corndog, as did my friends’ son, which allowed us to devote half of the appointed dining time to discussing the relative merits of food on sticks. It’s because we’re all so high-class that we’re able to dine out with our children at all, I suppose.
(In case you’re wondering, I did assert that my salad would’ve tasted even better on a stick. None of us were quite clear on the physics necessary to make that happen, however.)
After a bit of downtime at home, we were off again to our annual latke celebration. The children trashed the house while we saturated an entire city block with the grease of a thousand latkes crisping in a gallon of oil. While we grown-ups ate ourselves into a starchy stupor, the kids demanded that we light the candles and have PRESENTS! Eventually we succumbed, and then we all played dreidel, and then it was home and to bed, again.
I’m about to turn in, myself. I’m exhausted. I fear I am coming down with a cold. Or maybe it’s just that my arteries have all turned to congealed potatoes and crab dip. I’m totally starting my diet tomorrow. More fruits, vegetables, and chocolate. (Hey, I like to set attainable goals.)