Friday, January 07, 2005

Happy New Year!

I'm back in action. That's right. The holidays are over, I've completed the decorating, drinking, baking, eating of fattening things, shopping, drinking, wrapping, eating of more fattening things, visiting, stressing, drinking, hosting, drinking and...for some reason, I don't remember where I was going with this.

But the big Holiday 2004 season is done. Now, on to the Big Letdown of 2005. For the kids, this began New Year's Day. We had some friends over on New Year's Eve--my two single-mom friends (well, one is in the middle of deciding if she's going to be single or not--why this is such a wrenching decision, I just don't get!) and their kids.

Ryan took a nap from about 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., and was able to stay up past midnight. Cara, working on her natural kid energy, was up until 1 a.m. For fun, she and her friends created holiday "poppers" that exploded with metallic confetti when the ends were pulled at midnight by everyone. It was a great thrill, very festive, and I'm still finding sequins around the house. Mike and I were up 'til 2 doing a clean-up.

Ryan, being a kid of great intelligence, decided that since he went to bed at 1 a.m., it would be a good idea to wake up at 6:45 a.m. He taps me, I open my eyes, and he starts doing this "Walk Like An Egyptian" thing in my face. I hissed at him to go back to bed, where he remained for another hour. Cut to later the same day, he naps for three hours....Me, I'm on the coffee Rx.

By 4 p.m., both kids were looking for playdates. I was looking for a quiet place to hide. Finding none, I decided to take everyone to Home Depot. Happy New Year, everybody! The moaning and groaning that ensued should make me remember that, the next time I want some "me time," I should tell Cara and Ryan I'm going to everyone's favorite do-it-yourself warehouse.

Of course, we only go there for things like big pieces of plexiglass. That's right. Santa brought a 500-piece puzzle that was set up on the coffee table in the living room for about five days. Because it takes more than five days for me to do a 500-piece puzzle. Santa forgot that kids aren't going to really invest a lot of time in a puzzle when there's a perfectly good SpongeBob video game calling their name.

So, the half-completed puzzle had to be moved before the New Year's gathering. On his own, without telling me either what he was up to of that he might need some help, Mike flattened a box from a Hot Wheels race track set and proceeded to try to slide the puzzle on by himself. The unfortunate result led to him calling for my help. I looked at two days of puzzling down the drain, and proceeded to slide what was still together onto the floppy Hot Wheels board. At which point, Mike got an itch on his face and just let go of the left side of the cardboard.

Me: "Do you need a brain transplant?! I could have left the puzzle out during the party and it wouldn't be as wrecked as it is now!"

Mike: "What? I had an itch!"

Hence, the plexiglass shopping trip. So that a half-finished puzzle can be moved out of sight without actually destroying most of it. And, perhaps--and I'm getting misty-eyed just thinking about it, we'll have started a new family tradition--"Happy New Year! Let's go to Home Depot!"