Speaking of our non-Orphans, two of them stayed behind with Dad while one of them napped, so I went to the Thanksgiving house early, partly because it would take a long time to unload and unwrap all the food I made! I had so much fun with this. I made:
Parmesan pine nut crackers (appetizer)
Spiced Carmelized Cauliflower
Shalloty Green Beans
Apple Spice Yams
Cornbread (two kinds)
Holiday Cranberry Sauce
and brought ice cream we had way too much of from another event.
The cornbread was fun; one was from a Trader Joe's mix, and the other from a recipe on the cornmeal box. Gabriel "made" the scratch one, and Julian "made" the TJ's mix. I gave them as many jobs as possible, though nothing is more fun for them than cracking eggs. I'm sorry to say that the TJ's mix once again trumped the scratch version: heartier, more flavorful, richer color, and just, well, cornier. But I'm in the wrong blog to talk about that!
I had about an hour to hang out and be a grownup and chat with our old friends, with Gabriel quietly doing a color-by-numbers upstairs. Dave later arrived with Katrina and Julian, and we had a little trouble keeping the boys under control, but for the most part, people were understanding and seemed to get a kick out of them playing together. I'd talked to them very sternly about The Rules, especially No Running, since the hostess has an injured foot and it was important she not be run into or have to do any hasty movement.
But all discipline broke loose when other grownups undermined my efforts! I wish I'd gotten photos of this, but two women ended up playing with Gabriel and Julian on the furniture, in which the boys sat on the back of the couch and then were either pushed or shaken down with their hands. Then the women gave the boys piggy-back rides out to the car. I'm not sure who was laughing harder, but they all had such a good time that it was hard for me to step in and be the stick-in-the-mud saying "no jumping on furniture!" I was delighted they were all having so much fun, though I was concerned that the hostess probably didn't share in that perspective.
Another thing to let go at Thanksgiving is kids' eating. I expected better of Katrina, but all she'd eat was cornbread and parmesan crackers, and let the whole room know, in vociferous vocals, of her MortifiedOffendedness when I dared offer anything else. Gabriel, to my surprise, was very open to trying new things, and had a good well-rounded meal.
Julian, also to my surprise, barely touched anything, though he choked down some turkey and green beans once he realized he wasn't getting any dessert otherwise. And boy, did he milk the lack of attention from his parents, heading back to the dessert table numerous times and asking some hapless childfree adult for help. He had 3 helpings of ice cream and then pie!
Anyway, I hope our host and hostess agree, but it was a rousing success overall. I look forward to the day when we don't have to be so careful and calculated and on the alert. Next year, we'll have a 2-year-old, and they're not famous for being persona grata at childfree grownup events! Though Katrina was so cute and overall so good (save during dinner) that she might have built up some goodwill. Along with my Holiday Cranberry Sauce, the biggest winner of all I brought.
Still, many of our original motorcycling group's events have long since withered away, especially those that involved actually riding motorcycles. I so hope this one doesn't. It's just too much fun. Then again...life is full of changes, and it wouldn't hurt us to spend Thanksgiving with other families, and have other kids there.
Though Dave had cleaned up the whole kitchen before he left to join us, we still had a lot of leftovers to put away and dishes to clean after we got home. We went to bed nice and early after all that, tummies and spirits full.