Last week I changed my blog header to the snowy frog scene and bam, it snowed.
If you're like me, you're spending this week in a pre-Thanksgiving frenzy. I don't cook, but Chuck and I do go away with the kids, which means packing and wrangling, driving and bickering.
For the last five years we've shared a timeshare condo on the ocean with my parents and Chuck's. It's right in Connecticut, so the drive isn't more than an hour and I swear I'm not complaining—ocean view for the holidays? Yes, please—but the condo is one story so we sleep in close proximity (all 10 of us). We have snorers. We have sleep talkers.
We have a toddler.
Toddlers have the propensity for destroying rooms, meals, and lives.
Think I'm being dramatic? I bet you $100,000,000 you've never had a toddler.
I'm hoping this year will be less stressful than last. Cam had just started crawling and the condo we were staying in was dressed in industrial style, uber modernistic furniture. Steel legs on chairs, dagger edges to the coffee tables, pointy sides to the beds, you get the idea. Add a few Matchbox cars to the floor and suddenly the place is a rollerskating arena of death, especially for senior-aged family members who've had a few too many cocktails.
Oops! Did Grammie just plummet face-first into the steel bolts of the fireplace?
Cam slept well in the Pack 'N Play the first night. (Why the hell do they call it that anyway? It should be called the Please Sleep in Me. Please.) Lulled into a false sense of well-being by Cam's feat, Chuck and I drank and ate way too much at Thanksgiving dinner the second night* and of course, Cam woke up screaming every 30 minutes after we put him to bed.
Around 11 p.m. we decided we couldn't spend the whole night like that. Despite the 15 fans we'd brought for white noise no one was getting any shut-eye. Chuck and I packed up Cam and all of our stuff and started for home. On the way, I called our next door neighbors who were dog-sitting and let them know we'd be home.
"We let her sleep at our house and we know you've missed her," they said, "so we'll bring her back home."
I told them that wasn't necessary. We were straddled with a baby who wouldn't stop screaming. We'd be okay without the dog, but they insisted.
An hour later we pulled into the driveway and found our neighbor Bob standing in our driveway, holding our dog. We stepped out of the car with a still screaming Cam and smelled...
"I'm sorry," Bob said. "When I opened my door your damn dog ran into your yard after a skunk. I chased her into the woods. We both got sprayed. I opened your door to see if I could find a towel and she ran inside. So yeh, it reeks!"
Bob had been drinking. Or he was high on skunk fumes. It was hard to tell. If you've never smelled skunk spray right after it happens, it has a sweet onion pungency to it that makes your throat burn and your eyes water. When we went inside it was even worse—but I had to put our screaming monster-child to bed.
"I'll open the windows and crank the heat," Chuck said, "if you deal with the kid." He winced—from the skunk or our child, I didn't know.
Bob followed us inside and apologized. Chuck put the dog on our screened-in porch and started to wipe her down. Thankfully she'd only been sprayed on her snout. I put Cam in his crib. He immediately stopped crying.
"Little fucker," I said as I shut his door. The upstairs was safe from the smell but it was brutal downstairs, where Bob had parked himself on the couch. He was examining his shoes.
"The thing is," he told me, "when I ran out the door to bring your dog home I grabbed the first pair of shoes I found. These aren't mine, and they stink. I'm scared to go home. I think they belong to my uncle."
Chuck returned from the porch. "I got most of it. She's fine."
"I feel terrible," Bob said. He rubbed his shoes.
"It's fine!" I lied. "We'll probably just go to bed now. The upstairs isn't bad."
"Let's get the air moving. Where are the fans?" Chuck asked. "Oh right, they're all at the condo."
Bob wasn't moving. "Let's just go to bed," I urged Chuck.
"Right!" Bob said, standing up.
"No," said Chuck. "I need a drink."
"Yes!" Bob said.
And that is how Thanksgiving ended. With watery eyes and burning throats, we tied one on with Bob. Eventually he got over his shoe worries. Eventually Chuck and I went to bed. And the best part—the part I am most thankful for—is that Cam slept until 9 a.m.
In EPT (Exhausted Parent Time) that's fucking noon.
Happy holidays to you and your family. Like myself, I hope you have a skunkless, toddlerless time!
For more holiday merriment, check out these Thanksgiving posts from years past:
• I have no idea what day it is. Plus, quit bitching about your gift cards
• Happy Thanksgiving, Buttfart Face!
• If you were in line tonight at a liquor store, I am thankful for you
• Anyone wanna trade grannies?
• Because a frozen turkey is riding shotgun, that's why
• Is that a drumstick in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?
* Slight exaggeration for dramatic effect. In other words: We were okay to drive. I don't take drinking and driving lightly.
About me: I'm 42 and added another gherkin to our pickle party of a family. My husband Chuck, our 9-year-old Junior, our 6-year-old Everett, our toddler and I live in a town in Connecticut I affectionately call Mulletville Lite (aka my childhood hometown). My friends call me Nutjob, and they're right. In my husband's spare time he dresses up as a Viking and chases ghosts (and I'm the nutjob?). When I'm not busy working as a graphic designer, I lie in a ball in the corner.