Crappy Easter (Hey, Look! It's a Series Now!)

I was never one to boo hoo the approach of holidays, but here I go again.

Saturday evening before Easter was highlighted by a particularly nasty toddler-on-toddler assault between Matthew and his little brother, indirectly involving a sippy cup and the fireplace mantel, and resulting in a bruisy knot on Michael's forehead.

As observant as I am, I didn't, at the time, realize this was a foreshadowing of the day to come.

I wasn't, since last week, all too keen on the fact that I'd be readying myself and three toddlers alone for a 2:00pm dinner at my aunt's house. My husband would be at work until at least 4:00pm. I guess it also bears mentioning that I've been quietly lobbying them to shift dinnertime in one or the other direction because it always cuts right into my kids' naps, and then I end up with three screaming, starving, miserable little trolls by the end of the day.

But, no luck on that just yet.

When I woke up on Easter morning, or rather, we, because you know how much Matthew likes Mommy and Daddy's bed, I developed a bit of hubris. I really thought I could (and would) singlehandedly rally and mobilize the troops, arriving clean, dressed, and on time for Easter dinner.

After we were fully awake, I realized I was really quite excited to give my son his Easter treats. I was on the fence about the candy I bought, thinking perhaps he was too young, or he wouldn't know what it was (a package of five mini foil-wrapped chocolate chicks), and considered leaving it in the garage for another time, but they were so damned cute when they caught my eye, I couldn't resist bringing them inside.

I showed him the chicks, a pinwheel, a matchbox-sized Tow Mater, and a Crayola Color Wonder Activity Set (to deter further coloring on the walls). He was very excited about the pinwheel and his Mater, and wandered off with them into the living room.

I picked up his brother and brought him into another room to change his diaper. When I emerged, the chicks lay, headless, still in foil, all over the dining room table. He ate all the chicks' heads off. Now, there were some foil shards around the dining room table, so I'm assuming he didn't eat the foil as well, but I can't say for sure.

I gathered the fallen chicks, unwrapped them slowly, and lined them up on the edge of the dining room table. I figured he might as well finish what he started.

Four and a half chicks later, I emerged from the kitchen with breakfast, which he did quite well with, despite the fact that he had basically just eaten his weight in chocolate.

In all honesty, I thought he would get sick. He doesn't eat much candy, and he's certainly never eaten that much at once (the equivalent of a regular-sized candy bar). I was relieved to see we had gotten through breakfast without incident.

I was in my bedroom, changing his diaper, when I heard a loud thunk and then a piercing cry from his sister. Maggie Knieval, rarely satisfied with her accommodations, had hurled herself over the side of the playyard and onto the rug. I ran into the other room despite leaving my son with an open, very dirty diaper, on the bed.

"Don't YOU MOVE," I begged him, as I ran into the living room to check on Maggie. I discovered her on the floor, on her face, lamenting her defeat, yet again, against gravity. I scooped her up quickly and shuttled her into the bedroom to finish changing Matthew, who, very luckily, had not moved.

Maggie screamed and rolled around on the bed with her usual vigor. I guided her gently to keep her away from the dirty diaper just inches from her head. I finished changing Matthew and sent him back to play with his pinwheel and his Mater. Maggie remained with me until she discovered her brother's blanket and started playing Peek-a-Boo.

It wasn't a good morning. In fact, it was a pretty bad morning.

I had spoken to my parents earlier in the week about the prospect of my not being able to get everyone out in a reasonable time for Easter dinner. I told her I may need some help. So she sent my father. My father, who is very easily distracted by the Encore Westerns channel.

As I was dressing Maggie, Michael, under my father's watch, ended up with a second knot right in the center of his forehead. His first two bruises ever. I felt awful. He is toddling furiously, but toddling doesn't come without risks, I guess. I asked the boy how many fingers I was holding up, what year it was, and who was President, and he answered everything correctly, so I knew he was going to be just fine.

Still I, in vain, continued to wash and bathe and dress the children in their Easter best.

About halfway through this dog and pony show, I gave up. I sent Matthew and Maggie to my aunt's with my father, and I stayed with Michael who was knocked out (asleep, I assure you) until he woke up and we joined the rest of the family at my aunt's.

Long story short, my son is having a pretty elaborate tantrum, borne out of exhaustion, behind me, Maggie's hanging out of the top of the playyard watching him, and I'm wondering why I didn't buy more chocolate.

Is it me, or is this holiday rigmarole sometimes more trouble than it's worth? When will I learn it's okay to stay home? It's okay to stay home, right? I can figure out how to bake a ham, can't I? Can't I?

Momma Be Thy Name

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