We terrorized six homes, five gas station bathrooms, three restaurants, two museums, and countless friends and family, all in less than a week. Our first stop was nanny and pop-pop's house, it's December 23rd. Before we leave our house, Grady decides to pee on the potty. As his feet dangle over the edge he looks up at me. So innocent and wide eyed. He says very seriously, "Daddy has a big penis." Come on! Really? Is he paying you to say that? Daddy is not allowed to babysit anymore. In the van, we blast the music. Lil and I belt out our favorite eighties songs. Madonna comes on and she wants to know what a Material Girl is. We talk about having material things compared to spending time with our family and friends. Lil says, "So tell me about this material girl again...she spent all her money at Chuck-e-Cheese and McDonald's?" Well...something like that.
On Christmas Eve we arrive at Aunt Emma and Uncle Chris's. They have less than five monthes to go before their house is overtaken by offspring. We decide to start breaking them in. Grady teasingly rattles thier Taiwanese tea set and shoves the plunger into the toilet a few times for good measure. Emma often wonders if the fact that she and Chris are Grady's godparents is some kind of sign of what's in store for them. I think she'd better start putting some big bucks into the offertory basket on Sundays. At least he's cute. You could have an ugly kid. Later that night we visit the great grandparents. When you get there and half the party leaves or has already come and gone, you start to sniff your armpits but then you remember you have kids. You blame it on them.
On Christmas morning Lillian manhandles my stocking. She takes a deep breath. "Mom," she tells me, "don't cry, but there's nothin' in your stocking." Well thats because my Santa Claus is your father. You want stocking stuffers after you get married? Kill off Mrs. Claus and marry Santa. I can see her mind working. We load up three kids, a hundred pound dog, a load of crap and shuffle off to Buffalo. We have many places yet to bless.
Wouldn't you know it. That big, fat, super jerk followed us to Buffalo. Two days after Christmas, we're on our way to the science museum with four kids packed into the van. Our fourth is Conor. Conor is the seven year old uncle to Lillian, Grady, and Dempsey. He's Sean's youngest brother and our godson. Sean and I were married for five years before Lillian was born. His parents got tired of waiting for a grandchild so they had their own. Warning. They are professionals. Do not try this at home. Our first stop was Ted's for hotdogs. After lots of stares, flying french fries, uneaten hot dogs, and Grady's swan dive into the gallon of lemonade they dumped on the floor, it was time to take our four terrorists elsewhere. Back on the road, Sean was cut off by a big, fat, super jerk. Those weren't the exact words that he chose but we knew what he meant. Lil was curious, "Is that the same jerk?" Nope, not the same one. That is the Buffalo, big, fat, super jerk. Conor shared his own story about a jerk he came to know while driving with his dad. His jerk was a guy on a motorcycle, riding on the sidewalk. Conor named him 'jerk ferk'. Lillian thought about it, "Now we have three jerks!" She was daydreaming about her own jerk and not listening to Conor's story. She got real excited and blurted out, "I'm going to call up your dad and call him 'jerk ferk'." "Noooo!" Conor said "the other guy was the jerk ferk!" Poor Grandpa.
The following day the aquarium is lucky to have us. Lillian takes one look at the lobster and asks, "Is that lobster as old as you Grandma?" Poor Grandma. The fish are committing fishicide. They are petrified of Grady. Conor's fish must have sent the glub glub memo. The night before Grady had tossed his paci, some legos. a ping pong paddle, and an entire container of food into Conor's fish tank. Poor fish. On the way home Lil and Conor talk about the overfed fish. Conor is curious, "Do you feel bad for me?" Lil nods adamently, "I would want to kill him." She keeps going, "I hope they didn't die while we were gone. Don't you hope they didn't die? I feel bad for Grady and the fish. You might have to get new fish. They might be dead. When we get home let's run upstairs real quick and see if they're dead." She talks too much. Last week she killed off the big, fat, super jerk, and now it's her brother and the fish. Talk about a terrorist. And I told her to rid the world of Mrs. Claus in exchange for stocking stuffers. At least Madonna is just making bad money decisions. Bad mommy. Who wants to invite Lil to their sleep over party?
Later the conversation turns to Lil's new American Girl Bitty Baby, Molly. She's squealing, "Guess who's going to baptize my baby?" I really have no idea and I'm afraid to ask. "Grady!" she smiles proudly. Lord help us. She does love that little terrorist. She squeezes a plastic tube into Molly's mouth. "I'm giving my baby medicine because I dropped her on her head and now she has a headache." Lil complains, "She's still crying." Welcome to my world sister. Sean tells her maybe Molly is hungry. She thinks about it, "But my boobies are under my shirt and I can't get to my shirt!" Damn carseat buckle. Blocks those boobies every time.
We are finally back home. All homes, gas stations, restaurants, and museums have recovered. Madonna is still working on her financial issues. Emma and Chris are having a girl. The jerk didn't follow us home. Mrs. Claus and Grady are alive and well. Molly recovered from her head injury and eventually stopped crying. The fish are fine, thier New Year's resolution is to lose weight. We really miss our Buffalo family. And Sean has a really big...heart.