New Year's Eve has lost its lushy luster. Sean's always working and I'm always pregnant. This year, Aunt Tricia (she is very brave and probably highly medicated) spent the night with me and the triple threat. When Lillian first started talking she used to call her Aunt Trash. We love our Aunt Trash. The plan is to hit up the kids event in Annapolis around 6, and see the fireworks at 7:30. By the time we arrive, the event parking prices are in effect. My usual garage is charging $20. After doing the rounds and checking out my secret spots I pull into another lot... also $20. I tell the guy standing at the gate that I'm not going to stay. He's holding a fistful of bills ready to burst from his grasp, and tells me to come back when I can't find another spot. He says he'll save me a space. Good. And I'll save you from having to hold my $20. Jerk. I perform a perfect three point turn and pull out. Nearly taking out the fence and the ticket booth. Eat my dust. Minivans rule. We ditch downtown and head to Maggie Moo's. Lillian gets cool mint ice cream with crushed Starlite mints, and marshmallows (gag me with a spoon). Grady gets blue cotton candy with double sprinkles. When he flings a spoonful at Tricia's back when she's not looking we know it's time to go.
We make it home. I put Dempsey to bed. Lil and Grady play in their room. Tricia and I sit at the table and finish off the kids sparkling cider (okay, that part is not really true). I remember that her bags are up in the kids' room. We look at each other and bolt up the stairs. Grady has managed to pop the lid to her Burt's Bees chapstick and rip open three packs of gum. He's chewing a wad of gum and sucking on a paci at the same time. You just haven't lived until you've seen a gum covered paci. They both have on a pair of Tricia's boots that are as tall as they are. Grady stinks. Time to change another diaper. I mention to Grady that the next time he has to poop he should tell me before he goes in his diaper. Then he can go on the potty instead. He thinks about it. "No, thank you." he replies. Whatever...at least he's polite. I set the kids up in my room with sleeping bags, popcorn, a princess tent, a Cars tent, flashlights and a movie. An hour later, they're asleep.
The next morning the grown ups chant. We're going to a grown up party! We're going to a grown up party! The kid drop off is at noon. I start packing their stuff as soon as I wake up. Woo hoo! I gather up all the lovies and throw them in the washing machine. Two blankets for Dempsey, a blanket and duck for Grady, and a blanket and two pigs for Lillian. Tricia's underwear is missing. Grady...where is Aunt Tricia's underwear? He claims he doesn't know. He wants medicine for his cold. So does Lillian. I get the medicine from our locked linen closet. Which kid are you and how much do you weigh? I squeeze the red syrup into Grady's mouth and realize the bottle is now empty. I tell Lil I'll have to go look for more. I turn around to relock the closet and Grady is aiming at me with something red. He shoots me in the shin with the bottle of Resolve carpet cleaner. Nice. I put everthing back and lock the door. I run downstairs to switch the load to the dryer. Run back upstairs to the kitchen to find more medicine. I open the cabinet and stare in. What am I looking for again? I can't remember. I go into the kids bathroom and burst out laughing. Tricia put her makeup bag on top of the towel rack to keep it away from Grady. Ha! That bag is just taunting Grady to climb onto the back of the toilet and snatch it. I gather cereal bowls from the basement. One has a shriveled up worm dangling perilously over the edge. Someone must have been trying to revive him. Sweet kids. Go back upstairs to fold laundry. See Lillian. Oh yes, medicine. Reopen kitchen cabinet. Another empty bottle of medicine. Pretend to fill the syringe. Squirt air into Lillian's mouth. She doesn't know the difference. Moving on. Lillian asks, "Can I take my ugly doll?" Sure. She changes her mind, "I don't want to take it. It's ugly." Isn't that the point? She's looking for Sean. "What's daddy doing?" I tell her that he is in the bathroom. "Why does he take a long time to go potty?" she wonders. I have no idea what he does in there but Mommy hasn't gone to the bathroom by herself since 2007.
I start loading the car. Three kids, three bags, three sippy cups. I inspect each child. Clothes, shoes, coat...check, check, check. I look down at myself. Shirt...check. Pants...check. Shoes...no shoes...must get shoes. On the ride I force Tricia to seat dance to 80's rap music. See...don't you feel cool? Nope...she doesn't feel cool. We talk about when we were teenagers, driving my mother's station wagon. Just think...at least I own this sweet minivan right?
I drop off the kids and my parents pray that I come back. My dad calls five minutes later. Hmmm...should I answer? I do. "Lisa," he says "I've never seen anyone pull out of a parking lot so fast in my life. You were on two wheels and I just saw hair flying." He obviously exaggerates. He's jealous. Minivans rule.