On Holidays And Salmonella

October is quickly coming to a close, and while that means the anticipation and excitement of the holidays for most people (read: children and senile, elderly people), for people with small children, that only means one thing:  lots of shit to do, in a really narrow window of time.

November and December are always busy months around here, and not just because of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and all the festivities that come with those holidays.  In addition to those two major holidays, Leland and Mallory also have November birthdays, and my own birthday is in December, not that it matters, because I have major competition in the form of a guy who died on a cross to wash away the sins of all of humanity, so yeah, I would say I’m playing second fiddle.

The last few days have been spent mentally preparing myself, organizing my to-do lists, and hoping I don’t get a lifetime prescription for Xanax in the process.  Yesterday, we stopped at Publix, where I let Leland flip through the birthday cake catalog in order to pick his cake.  Of course, he chose the one theme that was out of stock: Ninja Turtles.  Mallory also chose Ninja Turtles, which I guess is the result of being the lone girl with two older brothers.

Before any of that, though, we have to get through Halloween.  Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays, but now that I’m struggling to get flailing, sweaty limbs into cheap, polyester costumes, dragging them all over the neighborhood in the dark, trying to keep them from getting run over, and poring over candy so my kids don’t eat arsenic and razorblades, I’m really rethinking its existence.  Can’t we formally petition for October 31st to be “Drink Wine & Watch SVU While Eating Reese’s Day”?  That sounds like a much better celebration. Or maybe we can just petition for November 1st to be declared, “Eat Your Kid’s Halloween Candy Day.” I mean, if we have to go peddling from door to door with them, we should get a cut. Just sayin’.

The other day, I baked for the first time this Fall. I baked several dozen peanut butter cookies, and they were glorious. The kids kept milling around the kitchen, asking to help, and I’d let them help with little things. I always think these commercials that feature small children helping their parents cook and bake are kind of funny, because none of that shit ever looks that way in real life. If my real life experiences with baking with my kids are any indicator, the mom in the commercial should have flour in her hair, her nostrils, and her kids should look like vintage antiques, covered in a fine dusting of flour. There should be a screaming toddler somewhere in the background, due to the fact that she’s not allowed to crack an egg, because hello, salmonella?! Toddlers don’t understand salmonella.

For now, I’ll just listen to Bruce Springsteen and brace myself for the tidal wave that’s about to crash upon me in the form of baking, errands, cooking, and to-do lists. It’s all for a good cause. And on the days when I feel like I’m going to flip my shit, I’ll just pour some wine, and when my toddler inevitably asks me for some, I’ll tell them it’s got salmonella in it.


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