We've returned from Houston, where we spent Christmas with the husband's delightful family. Let me just say, I know there are a lot of poor, sad women out there who hate their in-laws, especially their mothers-in-law. I would not be one of those people. And she wouldn't be a daughter-in-law hater either. We really had a terrific time with them. The only complaints I can make are that I got extra fattened up by all of the delicious food (for which I have to take some responsibility, making two Dutch apple pies and a shitload of cookies AND the turkey gravy), and our sleeping situation sent the child into another, YES ANOTHER, tailspin. We were in a room with two single beds, and the child was on the floor. Had we ALL wanted to hear her howling in the night, we could have forced her to sleep in what was once her little crib, now turned "toddler bed" in the little room next to the husband's parents' bedroom, but I felt I couldn't really subject everyone to that. So we put her on a palette in our bedroom, on the floor next to my twin bed. Sleeping on a floor never hurt me as a child, so there's no "pity poor Hootie" going on with that situation. The problem was that Hootie was allowed the much-desired sleeping proximity to her mother. Which resulted the last three days in me ending up SHARING my SKINNY LITTLE TWIN BED with her land-grabbing, horizontal-laying butt. MUCH TO HER TOTAL GLEE. So, as is the case when we return home, it was back to the routine. Last night was straight from hell, with the whining and cajoling and the "MOMMY!" (repeat for TWO HOURS, interspersed with other dialogue and requests, some of which were legitimate, some of which were pure 3.5 year old bullshit). We like to say in our household that the child's inner monologue is being broadcast because someone left the mike on in her head. Read on. I don't make this shit up. Our room is adjacent to hers and we're lying there, me reading Buddhism for Mothers and my husband with his laptop on his belly, reading either www.DarkHorizons.com (yes, this gags me out) or maybe some news site or something. She's bellowing "Mommy" ad nauseum, which we are ignoring, since we've already addressed bathroom needs, drink of water needs, please can you adjust my pink blanket so that it is silky side down needs, and I dropped my Glowy Stick needs, I'm NOT KIDDING. Then, a slight pause. Is she giving up? No, there's a mumble (or what SHOULD be inaudible mumbling, but comes out as FULL FLEDGED TALKING), "I don't think Mommy can hear me. Maybe if I say it really LOUD, she'll wake up and come in here to me. Okay. Here I go. 1....2....3..... MOMMY!!!!"
Are you fucking kidding me?
Yep, that is what my child said. Followed up with stuff like, "She's not COMING. Maybe I wasn't loud enough. I'll try it again. 1....2....3....MMMOOOOOMMMMMMYYYYYY!!!" (and other wonderment that this strategy is not, in fact, working). This did go on for two hours. I went to the front bedroom to sleep. I COULD STILL HEAR HER WITH ALL THREE DOORS BETWEEN US CLOSED. AND the computer was on, humming its obnoxious hum.
So, the sleep thing, it begins again, anew, afresh. For the 734th time. Delightful.
But the Christmas and festivities and games and conversation were all terrific. And, much to my own chagrin for having thought otherwise in advance, my daughter enjoyed going to see the Nutcracker Ballet. I personally thought there'd be no way a 3 1/2 year old would even GET the Nutcracker, much less sit for three hours on my lap ENRAPT as I narrated the story for her. But she did. It wasn't even so much as saying that she was well behaved, or that she "did well" or anything, as though her presence was an unfortunate side-deterrent to enjoying the ballet, or as though we had no option but to bring her with, and could we just get through it without a tantrum? She ENJOYED it, was actively watching it, probably moreso than many others in the audience. Of course she won't remember that when she grows up, but for the time being, for being 3 1/2 years old, she got as much out of a visit to the Nutcracker Ballet as anyone at that stage of life could. And I'm glad that we went, treated by the husband's sister and brother-in-law. It was remarkable.
We also went out to see our friends play in a band. Not a "current" band, mind you. A band that was actually a real band when we were in college in the early 90s. A band which sings songs primarily about food, about strange and wistful relationships, and about broken down cars. All original music. A band whose music is incredibly catchy and Texas Rock. They are called Banana Blender Surprise and their music is fantastic, and they only get together and play a few gigs a year, usually around Christmas, when people gather in Houston to see their family over the holidays. We danced like we were 23 again, and had a terrific time. All these 30-somethings, acting like we know what's up, taking our kids to the family show from 4-6 before tucking them into their beds with their grandparents and going out to rock the house again at 10. We stayed out until 2, drank lots of beer, sweated through our smoke-infested clothes and remembered the good ol days when we'd go every Tuesday night to the Black Cat Lounge and watch them play. FANTASTIC, it was. But, that said, I'm glad I'm going to bed tonight at 10. Wait. That's one minute from now. G'Nite.