My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

Nell and Snidley Take a Bath


Let me just get this out here right at the start: I hate Thanksgiving. Don't get me wrong. I'm all for the idea behind the holiday. I think it's a good thing to have a time to reflect on how lucky we are, how many things we have to be thankful for in our lives, even when it doesn't appear that we are fortunate on most days. In that vein, I'm tremendously thankful that I am healthy and generally happy in a career I enjoy most days. I'm incredibly thankful to have a great husband, to actually have stayed in a marriage for over 11 years (which is not easy, let me tell you), and to have produced two amazing, intelligent and healthy children. I'm thankful I have three wonderful and talented sisters, a great brother-in-law, and that my children's grandparents are all living and in good health. I have a roof over my head and am able to feed and clothe my family. I have a car with heat AND A/C AND a CD player. This wasn't always the case. I'm incredibly thankful that I am "classless" that is, not middle-class or upper-class or lower-class. More, artist-class. Poor but talented. Poor but smart. Poor but interesting. Though they are uniquely flawed and irritating for different reasons, I'm glad I have the parents I do. I'm glad I grew up the child of artists.

No, rather what I hate is the focus on overindulgence, which is one of those American "traditions" that drive me insane. The conspicuous consumption, the unnecessary gluttony. Not only that, but in all the Thanksgivings I can remember, there has always been sickness. Mostly this is because the holiday is in the fall when people begin to catch a variety of awful maladies, myself included. It's one of those times of the year when I just cross my fingers and hope for the best (the best being that no one is so sick that they are incapacitated or hospitalized). Many of my memories of Thanksgiving involve stomach ailments. So, the whole food thing just doesn't sit well with me. If you get my drift. I also despise football which I hear is a big thing on Thanksgiving day. But, since I'm not related to any men with one iota of interest in sports (amazing but true!), I forget that there are people who spend most of this holiday in front of the television watching The Game.

The other thing I hate about it is the "tradition" I seem to be locked in, due to my mother's inflexibility. We HAVE to serve certain foods. We HAVE to eat at some ridiculous time that does not mirror a normal mealtime. We HAVE to spend the day with the family. Frankly, my ideal Thanksgiving would be to flee to a cabin in the woods, along with my sister and brother-in-law. We'd do something theme-y like an all Greek meal or sushi or something completely NOT turkey, potatoes, etc. (And, since I'm a vegetarian, turkey has less than zero appeal to me anyway). We'd put the kids to bed early and watch movies until we fell asleep drooling down our shirts. There'd be beer and pie. We'd take a walk in the early morning woods through the fog. We'd tromp down to a stream and Dusty could see fish and snails and other such woodland life. It would be quiet (apart from Red), I'd be with the people I liked, and, most importantly, my mother would not be there. I love my mother, honestly I do (see above sentiment). I just don't want to spend a lot of time with her. She annoys the crap out of me.

This Thanksgiving went fine, though. Red had a cold but since the Almighty Meal was held during her naptime, she slept through all the festivities. Which was a good thing. She an Attention Sucker Upper.

Red has made some developmental leaps lately and by leaps I mean she's learned how to climb into every damn last chair in the house. And, from the chair, she climbs onto the table and would probably end up on the ceiling if there were footholds on the walls. So our routine now is to put all the kitchen chairs into the art room (cordoned off by a baby gate) after every meal. This is annoying but otherwise, Red ends up pulling everything off the table and then standing on top of it with a wide grin on her face. That kind of heart attack, I don't need. She's riddled with enough fat lips and facial bruising as it is. And that's just from regular walking. And stumbling over her own damn feet.

She's also suddenly become attached to a stuffed bear known both as Gift Bear and Green Bear. Green Bear is a Gund bear called, according to his tag, Evergreen. He was given to Dusty a few years ago by some old lady friend of my old lady mother. And of course, when old ladies give children gifts, they are invariably problematic and useless. Green Bear have never been a bear Dusty's particularly cared for. He is also unwashable due to his special green fur. Red decided to grow attached to him during this most recent cold. She hugs Green Bear and totes him about by the ear. She sleeps with him and screams when she must be parted from him (bath time and meal time, mostly). Because she's had a cold, is teething and drooling profusely, and Green Bear cannot be washed, he has slowly become a very disgustingly wet Snot Bear. He's overdue for a vigorous sponge bath and brushing. Any takers? I'm not sure I'm up to the task, frankly.

Thanksgiving night, Dusty got to watch some Rocky & Bullwinkle shows. After that, she decided that she was Nell, Daddy was Dudley Do-Right, Red was Snidley Whiplash, and I was the horse. The horse! Thanks, kid. I'll remember that.

So Nell and Snidely got a bath together. Something you'll never see on television, I can assure you.

Yesterday was Dusty's fifth birthday. How it happened that I have a five year old daughter, I don't really know. I doesn't seem like I've been a parent for five years. Then again, it doesn't seem like I've ever NOT been one. It's really hard to believe that I had a life before all this. How did I not die from boredom before I had kids? And when do I get to be bored again? Boredom is such a luxury now.

Dusty is quite satisfied with her loot. The only things she really wanted were a Barbie Fairytopia and new Playdoh. Check and check. She also got Candyland, her first board game. We played the hell out of it yesterday. I made a chocolate cake shaped like a princess dress, bedecked with every sort of "hundreds and thousands" sugar decorations in the house. It turned out quite nice considering I was winging it. This coming Saturday is the Party. Many will descend upon the house. If we're lucky. I've got my sickness deflector shield up over the house and my fingers are crossed.


11:35 a.m. ::
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