It’s the morning after and the kitchen is almost back to normal (thank you Friday housekeeper), the children are out at the park (thank you Nanny #1), H is sitting on the sofa in his Y-pants (I’ve no one to thank for that, nor do I want to) and I’m having sweet potatoes for breakfast. At 10 am. I shipped the kids off after breakfast and crawled back into my bed. It was very, very necessary that I return to a horizontal position for at least an hour this morning.
What? No, I’m not hungover. I wish! Hanging over would mean that I sat around last night, boozing it up, chatting with friends and being silly. Instead, I’m more in a state of mental and physical exhaustion. Last night was not only about giving thanks, but about my personal ongoing learning. Last night’s lesson? Dinner parties with children.
Originally when I hatched this idea of inviting everyone over, midgets included, I planned to have Nanny #1 downstairs, movies playing, babies supervised and entertained, older kids with games and puzzles. Yeah. That didn’t happen. Instead, I had several older children dismantling my sofa and jumping on the furniture while Pixar films blared in the background. Two infants clung to my legs screaming as I tried to finish my 3-course meal I’d spent all day preparing. Somewhere in the chaos I realized that dinner wouldn’t be ready early enough to suit the younger generation and found myself whipping up a last-minute pasta dish with what I could find in the cupboard. (Note to self: other people’s children don’t like whole-wheat pasta. Or biscotti. Buy white, processed food next year. At least no one complained about the “black dots” in the organic whole vanilla ice cream or they would have been wearing it.)
There were no baths for the girls. I do believe they got clean diapers at some point. I made several half-hearted attempts to put them down. Eventually they just disappeared, carted off to their cots by their father as he discovered them in various states of droopiness amid the masses. At about this point, I managed to drink as much champagne as I could find, which included any glasses that didn’t belong to me but were within reach. Sorry, girls, but you know where the full bottles are and how to open them.
Finally dinner was served. The appropriate amount of praise and adulation came my way. I actually got a few bites into my mouth when not running for salt/butter/serving spoon/corkscrew. As the clock approached midnight, the masses began to disperse, leftovers in hand, thanks and well wishes passed around. H and I plopped ourselves onto the sofa, watched an episode of Modern Family and then I crawled off to bed. (Thank you babies, for sleeping until 7:30. Mommy loves you.)
All in all it was a wonderful holiday. We’ve so much to be thankful for this year. But what did I learn? First off, when I host a dinner party, there will be someone to help with the girls, unless there are no other children present. I’m sorry, Nanny #1. The next time you promise to stay late, then you stay. You don’t announce the day before that you’ve decided to go to a concert with friends. Lesson #2: 3 square meters per child. The next time we have 7 children in our living room, we’ll be living in a bigger house with a playroom. Lesson #3: White pasta. Children don’t care about their glycemic index.
Christmas? Bring it on.