Tuesday, January 29, 2008

aaand we're back!

Holy cow, the holidays really kicked my ass this year. We had a lovely Thanksgiving and Christmas, but there was way too much travel and fuss. There were some lovely moments, some of which I'll try to write about here, but I'm still catching up.

Here's a quick rundown of the Things I Learned This Holiday Season:

If I'm nuts, I come by it honestly because my mom is nuts, too. There were 18 people on the guest list for Thanksgiving and all but one showed up. I actually like large holiday gatherings but it requires an oh-what-the-hell attitude to actually be fun; instead, my mom went into overdrive to ensure that everything was perfect. And it was. But in the crazed run-up to the big day, she didn't have time to focus on her granddaughter, she couldn't hold a conversation about anything besides The Big Day, and she was wrecked afterward.

SweetBabyGirl and I spent way too much time watching TV and going to the playscape at the mall (where I caught some persistent bug that didn't depart until after Christmas).

Christmas was shaping up to be even worse, with more than 20 guests, but one lobe* of this extended gathering split off when it became clearly insane.

I also learned a thing or two about my own reaction to stress: I'd started planning Dada's birthday party--her birthday's December 29 and I was going to have a party at home with a bunch of kids--when the ax fell: I woke up with a headache, worrying about the guest list.

I got up, took something for the pain, then commenced with the vomiting and runs for much of the rest of the day. (Sorry to be so graphic, but the latter problem was why the anti-nausea drug wasn't working: couldn't keep anything down, couldn't keep anything up. So to speak.) Got more meds at the doctor's office and started to see daylight.

And the next day, I called the Spaghetti Warehouse and booked a table for Dada's birthday party, then invited the neighbors and a handful of others, all wonderful people willing to wear silly party hats to honor a 4-year-old. And we had a great time.

Lesson learned: the Perfect Gathering is a crazy goal. And the birthday girl had a blast--she kept turning to me and saying, thank you for my birthday party, Mommy. What a great kid. She deserves a fun party and a sane mother, which was just what she got.

*The lobe would include the following people: my mother's boyfriend's daughter's boyfriend, his brother, mother and stepfather and the stepfather's twin sons. Got that?


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