Sunday, November 29, 2009

Traditional Thanksgiving Notsomuch

Two days before Thanksgiving...
Bear, who has complained of a headache on and off throughout the afternoon (which I initially chalk up to a lame ploy to convince me she should lay around and watch unlimited TV), suddenly announces, "I feel AWFUL." A sharp glance at her shows me that she is unnaturally pale and listless-looking. A hand to her forehead confirms. Fever. Super.

The day before Thanksgiving...
Our hardwood floor is being installed, to an accompanying soundtrack of nail guns and a massive air compressor machine thing-y. On a scale of "loud", I rank it somewhere between being inside one of those compactors that squeeze old cars into tidy little squares of metal and a sonic boom, except nonstop all-day. The kids have the TV volume in my room turned up to 40 in order to hear it. It is exactly as nerve-wracking as it sounds. My cats are both having a psychotic break under my bed. I'm pretty sure they'll both have some level of PTSD by the time this home renovation s over.

Bear is full-on sick, with a chesty cough, sore throat, and low-grade but persistent fever. Bug mentions a "scratchy throat." I call the friend whose house we always go to for Thanksgiving dinner. Shouting over the nail gun's KA-POW, I tell her we're a no-go this year due the kids impersonating crop-dusters, except with viruses instead of pesticides. She understands and sounds fairly grateful that I'm not exposing her kids to whatever mine have.

I hang up and realize that I have nothing in my pantry that resembles Thanksgiving dinner. I flirt with the idea of a Chinese food Thanksgiving. Are Chinese restaurants even open on Thanksgiving? Mild panic.

The guys who are installing our hardwood floor are certainly handy with a nail gun and seem nice enough, with a level of charm you might characterize as being somewhat "rough around the edges." They are, however, most certainly not the kind of strange guys with whom I would leave my sick daughters while I go to the grocery store. (And, no, there actually aren't ANY strange guys with whom I would leave my sick daughters. Or healthy daughters, for that matter).

I call Tom and persuade him to come home for lunch, while I hit the grocery store.

I pull into a packed-full grocery store lot and realize that I have just become one of the people I enjoy mocking every year: the moron who buys their Thanksgiving dinner groceries the day before Thanksgiving. Freaking karma.

Before I go to bed, I manage to paint the stairwell in preparation for tomorrow's stairway carpet installation, make homemade rolls, cranberry sauce, and a big bowl of chocolate mousse for my non-pumpkin-pie-eating crew. I go to bed feeling like I'm ahead of the game.

Thanksgiving Day...
I awaken to Bug coughing like a seal with tuberculosis. Fabulous.

After breakfast, I install both kids in my bed watching The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. In the basement, I put the final coat of polyurethane on our dining room table, which I've been refinishing. In between checking on the kids and forcing them to sip liquids, I begin sanding and priming the dining room chairs. (Because the table looked so good refinished, I decided it would make the chairs look like crap. And I certainly don't need chairs with an inferiority complex).

At 2:30, I put the chickens in to roast. Did I mention that my non-pumpkin-pie-eating family also hates turkey? Because God forbid we be normal about anything.

I return to the basement and put a coat of paint on the chairs. I silently curse the person who invented spindle-backed chairs.

At 4:30, I pull the chickens out and make the side dishes. We eat:

Roast Chicken
Roasted, Spiced New and Sweet Potatoes
Whiskey-Glazed Carrots
Homemade Cranberry-Orange Compote
Jellied Cranberry Crap from a Can for the Picky People
Mousse au Chocolat, with whipped cream

Twenty minutes after dinner, I return to the basement and put the final coat of paint on the dining room chairs while the kids watch "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" in my room.

Around 9:30, exhausted and liberally covered in paint, but feeling not unlike a rock star, I hobble into my bedroom to take a shower.

"Hey, Mom!" Bug greets me brightly albeit croakily, nestled snugly under my quilt with her head on my pillow, "Are we putting up the Christmas tree tonight...?"


smalltownmom said...

You ARE a rock star, to get that much done!

Jen on the Edge said...

I bow to your greatness, as you are clearly a goddess.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

You rock--I can cook a mean Thanksgiving dinner, but not while also painting. Wow.

Tom said...

You are a wonder woman and the most determined painter I've ever seen. Thanks for the great dinner. Love, Tom

Rose said...

I've gotten the same thing; sore throat which I got from my daughter! I remember getting a burst of energy whenever my kids got sick; sounds like you do the same thing. Aww, sweet comment from your husband I see.

Grandma said...

Situation handled like only a Gemini could! Menu reads yummy. Can hardly wait to taste some of your good cooking. Hang in there! Hope Bear and Bug are feeling all better :-)

Nana said...

Her dinner sounds delicious!

Anonymous said...

You deserve a mother of the year award after that day! Seriously.

Hope the kids are feeling better.

Country Girl said...

Your a hoot. I enjoy reading your posts! You truly are a ROCK star!