Animal House

The parentals are here for Thanksgiving, and I know that many people find visitors—and in particular, family—stressful, what with the extra bodies and noise and dishes and foibles, but I am generally delighted to have other warm bodies in the house. Especially ones who are happy to entertain my children and buy me dinner.

(Sometimes it doesn’t take much to make me happy.)

These sorts of visits are always All About The Eating, and the fact that the Most Eatingest Holiday falls this week is just a bonus.

The new twist, this visit, is that of course last time they were here, we didn’t have the dog. So where the house is normally buzzing with excitement because GRANDMA AND GRANDPA!, this time we also have a small worried animal underfoot.

I was prepared for Licorice to freak out. She does that. Licorice is wary of new people and also seems perpetually convinced that we might be giving her away. So I figured she would bark and fuss and generally send the message that OH NOES, PEEPULZ, SKARRY!

I forgot, of course, that my parents travel with all the comforts of home… including a smattering of dog hair from their own beloved mutt. Licorice sniffed them thoroughly and decided that maybe they were okay with her. As long as she could turn tail and leap into my lap every few minutes.

Without a spectacular performance of anxiety from the dog, it was left to the children to have the freak-outs, and they didn’t let us down. I mean, they’re excited to have their grandparents here, so naturally they express that joy by talking a hundred miles an hour, getting huffy and explosive whenever a sibling—doing the exact same thing—somehow managed to metaphorically step on their toes, and screaming and slamming doors this morning while getting ready for school because why on earth would you allow guests to sleep past 6:00 a.m.?

I’m still trying to figure out why my parents keep coming back. It sure isn’t for the luxe accommodations.

This morning the children were scrambling to get ready and my folks volunteered to walk Monkey to school, so I suggested they take Licorice so that she could get some exercise. When they returned, Licorice was wet, empty, and VERY excited to see me. (I suspect she figured she was being sent off to her new home.) Finally we dispatched the second child to school and then Licorice commenced running back and forth amongst all the adults, trying to figure out whose turn it was to scratch her ears.

Funny, but with the kids gone it’s MUCH QUIETER. Maybe we’ll all leave and go somewhere—perhaps for cocktails—this afternoon before the kids get home.

Oh, I’m kidding. I’d settle for tacos. (Licorice likes tacos, too.)


  1. Randi

    Sounds like fun!! Grandparents visiting must be a real treat for all of the grandchildren – even the four legged kind. And Licorice must love them too! LOL

  2. Aimee

    I think that kind of holiday chaos is fun. I mean, sure, you wouldn’t want it every day of the year. And maybe it’s just because I’m currently living VERY far from my family and I have to work the day after Thanksgiving so I can’t travel anywhere, but it sounds good to me. Especially the tacos.

  3. Beth R

    Sending Licorice out for a walk with Monkey and the Grents was probably a GREAT way to get her comfortable with them. And you can’t beat an excited, EMPTY dog. That’s always a good thing :)

    Have a wonderful visit!

  4. Megan

    Family – the people who will sleep in the spare room or on the fold out couch, listen to the forty-leven hours of stories you’ve been saving up, feed you, clean up for you, assure you they are comfortable and well rested even when you all know it’s a total lie – AND they will pay for the privilege.

  5. Nicki

    Know what goes really well with tacos? Margaritas! Have fun.

    And the folks keep coming back for the kids. Trust me on this. Apparently I was only born to incubate grandchildren. If I’d have known that sooner I could have saved A LOT of years seeking parental approval and just started making grandbabies.

    Enjoy the visit.

  6. Half Assed Kitchen

    Sigh. We have no family here and no family willing to visit us for Thanksgiving. You lucky girl.

  7. Scottsdale Girl

    I am SO EXCITED to go see my grandparents in 3 days. YAY for grandparents! WOO HOO!

    Also yay for tacos, and margaritas, and guacamole….mmmm

  8. Mare

    I’m about to besiege my mommy-in-law’s home for several days, along with my husband and a wayward child we sort of adopted. When I asked if he could come along, she got all excited. She’s a wonderful woman.

    Clearly, your parents love your company, cocktails, tacos, NASCAR-mouthed kids, and your attention loving hound, not to mention you too. I hope you have a spectacular holiday with your family.

  9. Katie in MA

    Aw, c’mon – no money shot of your dad and Licorice together?!!

  10. Shari

    Your parents come to your house so they can laugh about the chaos at your house. Eventually they get to return to their quiet house with enough stories to keep their friends entertained for weeks.

  11. Kate at And Then I Was a Mom

    No margaritas? Really, it IS five o’clock somewhere. Fear not the social stigma of afternoon drinking.

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