Monday, November 28, 2005

Thanksgiving Blackmail

Thanksgiving morning, I woke up, stumbled out of the bedroom, and found Mark muttering to himself over a collection of baby diapers, baby food, baby toys, baby blankets, and three baby bags.

"There's too much food," he said. Arthur's recently started eating pureed winter squash. "I can't fit it all into the food bag," he said.

"Put all the food in the diaper bag, and put the diapers and clothes in the toy bag," I said.

"What about the toys?" he asked.

"We don't need that many. Put them in the food bag."

I don't know where this early morning wisdom came from. Normally I'm a stumbling wreck for about ninety minutes, my morning shower, or a Pepsi (whichever comes first). I must have been channeling some domestic goddess. (Reading this over my shoulder, Mark remembers a different version of the morning.)

Then we went off to Thanksgiving at my folks' house. I made up for my earlier lucidity by forgetting to bring the snack crackers for horderves.

I wasn't sure what to expect this Thanksgiving. I thought it might be extra weird or overly Anne Geddess. But it wasn't. No one was late, the turky didn't need an emergency thawing, no one read symptoms of food poisoning from a book, the oven didn't blow a fuse, we didn't have to cook the meal on a camp stove outside on the deck, the potatoes didn't burn, no one got slimed by a garbage disposal imitating a gyser, and we didn't get snowed in. All of these things have happened in the past, so I'm a little disappointed things weren't a little more exciting. In fact, the only thing that we've discovered is that a certain unnamed relative needs to clean up their language in front of the baby.

I was thinking that if this certain unnamed relative (you know who you are) were to pay me not to reveal their name on this blog, then I could turn around and ask my readership to make a counteroffer. I suppose that I have to wait until after the holiday season.

Besides, Mark and I have discovered that there's a lot of artistic material we have to lock up in the grown-up trunk. That and we like humor that's just plain wrong. So; good-bye Avenue Q, Company, Camelot, A Chorus Line, Once Upon a Matress, Hairspray, if not all of our original broadway musical soundtracks and a bunch of our Madonna CD's. I don't have a problem saying, "Arthur, it's OK to sing 'you can be as loud as the hell you want when you're making love' within a context of an artistic performance at home, but not everyone likes the same art you do." But Mark just doesn't want phone calls from a school principal.

I guess we'll have to get a replica of Michelangelo's David for our family room.

Saturday Mark went into work, so Arthur and I went to the local Holiday Market. It was fun. I like the Market, all though every year there's the same old same old. Arthur, however, went just about bonkers looking at all the lights, the sparkly crystals, the cat paintings, the dicrylic jewelry, the stain glass, the wooden toys, and everyone.

I walked around the place for about two hours while he looked at everything, squealed, and jumped around in the baby bjorn sling. He also started babbling more; he did the same thing after a September wedding. Mark thinks that our voices talking to him have become a kind of background noise, and other people talking to each other is new somehow.

The weird thing was that we made a lot of new best friends. Arthur was happy, so instead of talking about what they had to sell, the merchants launched into the Oh What a Beautiful Baby aria. I should be grateful that they don't scowl and throw things, but I still think it's odd when people try to touch his head. At least Arthur was too high up for children under ten to reach him. Arthur babbled all the way home, and then passed out for about three hours.

He had so much fun, I convinced Mark to come with us the next day. This time Mark wore Arthur as we went from stall to stall. After the first merchant performance of "Oh What A Beautiful Baby," Mark leaned into me and whispered, "You're right, people are strange around babies."

We didn't buy anything. Well. OK. One tie-dye sock for Arthur to hang from the mantle with care. And something secret that Mark says I'm not allowed to write about until after the holidays.

We've poisoned the cat, and now she's toxic. I hadn't realized how much she rubs herself all over everything and tries to make us pet her. OK. To dispel the image of a zombie cat lumbering all over the house muttering, "Pet me... brains..." we didn't exactly poison her; we put Advantage Flea Death on her to kill some fleas. Although, it is kind of horrible to have her trying to suck the oxygen out of the room all the time.

Muriel seems to know that she's toxic, and now waits until my hands are full feeding Arthur to jump up on the couch and try to sit on us both.
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