To my complete and utter joy, I’m not responsible for any of the main dishes this Thanksgiving, so when it comes to the meal itself, I’m mainly going to be eating and not apologizing for the dryness or coldness of anything I prepared. I’ll also be responsible for my toddler, and I can already picture some of the things I'll end up thinking when my kid is eating thanksgiving dinner. At least I'll be prepared, right?
I’m somewhat hesitant to write that my son is a pretty good eater, since I definitely don't want to jinx it. However, I'm choosing to think positively (that's what the holiday season is all about, right?) and hope that his normal habits will continue when it's time to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner. This will be my son’s third thanksgiving, though technically it’s only the second one he’s been able to enjoy, because infants can’t really do turkey and stuffing (trust me). To be honest, I’m looking forward to it more than I have previous years. We’ll probably dress him up, we’ll go to his grandparents’ house, we’ll eat delicious food, and we’ll enjoy the day a little more than we would if he were old enough to ask questions about the holiday’s questionable origins.
In other words, I'm going to appreciate Thanksgiving with a toddler when I can and for as long as I can. That means I'm going to have a few thoughts throughout the day, while making mental notes of the good times (and bad), and I have a feeling that thinking train will look something like this:
"He Looks So Adorable Sitting There In That Tiny, Fancy Shirt..."
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: small children dressed liked miniature liberal arts professors melts my heart. My son will most likely be attired in corduroy, a subdued sweater, and a shirt with a collar in a complementary color palette. I’m so excited I can barely stand it.
"...I Can Even Look Past The Mashed Potatoes All Over It"
Speaking of my son's clothing, I barely notice the stains on it anymore. They’re just always there, like marker on his fingers and dirt on his shoes and my credit card in his hand (that's not a metaphor).
"I’m So Thankful For This Kid..."
Ah yes, the moment of clarity. This tiny human, this snuggle bug, this giggle monster, this silly bear, this awesome addition to our family who’s bursting with love and who humbles and inspires me every single day. I’m so glad he’s here that I’m going to start crying into my stuffing.
"...And For All These People Who Love Us..."
The people who are passing the gravy, who prepared the gravy, and who set the table for us, are the same people who are staring at my kid just as lovingly (OK, almost as lovingly) as I am. That's worth noticing.
"...And For Machine Washable Clothes..."
Wait, does gravy stain? Something tells me it’s not as easy to get out as mashed potatoes. Oh well, he was probably going to grow out of that shirt before New Year’s anyway.
"...But Mostly For The Fact That He’s Sitting Calmly And Quietly At The Moment"
These moments of reflection can really only happen when I can sit still, which also only happens if my son sits still. So, basically never.
"Oh, I Guess He Likes Green Beans Now?"
Am I seeing what I think I’m seeing? Did he just go for a second bite of green bean casserole? Someone get a camera.
"Oh. I Spoke Too Soon."
I knew it was too good to be true. Of course that second bite of green beans was spit out and is now sitting in a saliva-covered pile next to his plate. At least there’s fruit in the apple pie and raisins in the stuffing. That’s about as best as we can hope for today.
"Now, I’m Thankful For These Extra Napkins"
I’m not even going to tell you what he’s doing with the green beans now, let’s just say that it’s unappetizing and messy.
"I Guess This Means I Don’t Get To Relax With The Other Adults, Huh?"
It was lovely while it lasted. What mom doesn’t dream of having Thanksgiving dinner with a toddler on her lap using his sticky fingers to sample every single thing on her plate?
I realize that sounds sarcastic, but actually I’m quite endeared by it right now. It’s gotta be that sweater.
"There’s Always Christmas, Right?"
The season of perpetual hope, as all '90s kids learned from Kevin McCallister’s mom in Home Alone. Maybe then I’ll get to have a peaceful meal. (But probably not, and that’s Ok because there’s always Santa cookies to look forward to.)