December 1, 2014

A Tale of Two Holidays

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.  Well, actually just the worst BUT you would never know it from the photos I took.  You can thank Flat Stanley for them.  If it weren't for Henry's 2nd grade assignment, believe me, I'd have deleted all evidence of this weekend.

Here we have a nice photo of what I had hoped would become a day before Thanksgiving tradition:  a family movie in the afternoon.  It is only the second movie I've taken the boys to see; I thought it would be fun.  What you can't tell from the photo, is that Liam had been having a six hour meltdown, complete with shoe throwing (at Henry's head) and name calling (at me for forgetting his water bottle earlier in the day).  By the time we arrived at the theater, I was exhausted and out of consequences.  (I had paid for the tickets the day before--otherwise, we would not have left the house that afternoon.)  Henry spent the entire movie with his head on my shoulder.  Liam spent it scouring the floor for popcorn and candy.  He considered it a bonus when he found a wad of gum.

Thanksgiving morning did not dawn well.  The boys were already fighting before I left my bed.  I decided to ignore them and carry on with my culinary plans.  

They refused to touch these.  Except for the candy corn of course.  The rest, they said was "gross".  How can they be gross?  They were pinned over 900 times!  Never mind--isn't this a great picture of Liam coloring the Thanksgiving tablecloth?  

We didn't actually eat at home. That was never the plan this year.  We were supposed to go to a restaurant.  I made reservations four weeks ago.  During the hour long drive to pick up Grandma, she called to say she wanted to stay home.  So as you can see from Stanley's happy countenance, we spent this holiday in a tiny senior apartment.  All four of us.  There really was only room for Stanley.

No worries.   Tomorrow is another day.  In fact, the next day I planned to cook traditional Thanksgiving fare while the boys set up the tree with Grandpa.  The meal turned out okay but the boys wouldn't touch any of it because it wasn't served in paper cartons with ketchup packets.  They also tried to take out the seven foot tree by lobbing various articles of clothing at it from the upstairs landing.  Then they broke two nutcrackers, three ornaments and a string of lights.

While waiting for the four course dinner they had no intention of eating, the boys indulged in healthy finger food.  They were so excited, in fact, that they hid olives under the sofa cushions.

There are no photos of the worst thing that happened Friday.  After clearly and concisely being told NOT to touch a birthday gift for one of Henry's friends, Liam waited until I was outside, then brought a stool over to the cabinet, climbed up and grabbed the gift.  He tore into the package and lost some pieces.  I found the evidence just two minutes after tucking him in for the night with hugs and kisses.  I don't think I've ever been so mad at him.  Never.  Ever.

I was up until midnight, washing dishes, sweeping up ornaments and fishing crudité from under the couch.  I cried myself to sleep.

I woke up with red eyes just in time to take Henry to his swim lesson.  Finally, some good news!  Henry completed his fourth level and is moving up to the "Dolphin" lane.  It's a wonderful accomplishment.  I was so proud.

Seconds after I took this photo of him reading his award badge, he informed me that he doesn't want to go back to lessons next week. Or ever.

It was around this time that I decided we had plenty of Stanley photos.  There really wasn't any point documenting the rest of the weekend.  Besides, I had a professional portrait appointment for the boys on Sunday.  I was looking forward seeing them dressed in their best with big smiles on their faces.  At least for fifteen minutes.

It was with that thought that I put on a happy face Saturday afternoon.  It was warm enough to work outside on the house decorations.  As I was stringing lights and tying bows, Liam played in the garage.  He didn't play catch though.  No.  There was no catching involved when the tennis ball he bounced on the wall hit him in the left eye. 

So much for our holiday portrait.  I know purple is a festive color but it doesn't work with the background I picked out.

Besides, I don't need a $259 package of professional prints to remember this weekend.  I'm trying hard to forget it ever happened.


  1. Oy! Sorry it was such a messy weekend! Hopefully you and the boys can put it behind you!! Lots of hugs!!

  2. Oh my gosh. I would have been SO furious. This is really not ok! I'm so sorry. You need a break. I hope you can get one, somehow.

  3. Oh, what a horrible, awful weekend.

    Damn, why is this parenting thing so f'ing hard?

  4. Oh my friend. I'm so sorry this was such a horrible weekend. Just so sorry. There are no other words, and I know your heart is broken. Sending much love over through the dark night!!

  5. Lara, sorry to hear you had such a rotten thanksgiving. It's times like these that really push us to the limits. Sending you lots of love. (I know I'm not posting at the moment, but it doesn't mean I'm not still around). xo

  6. Oh my! Definitely a weekend to forget. Sending a hug!

  7. Wow is all I can say.. Yep another nice plan on your part but something just cant always plan on..
    Sorry for you.. A memories you can look back at and say see how far we have come..
    Hugs to you.. (yes I am just now catching up with things myself)