Scenes from Saturday + Raising Cane

I’m reading more biographies as I get older and often find myself nodding along at more than one passage. Not often at the genius parts or the reason the biography was written, but at the glimpses of the ordinary parts. People, polymath, prodigy, or sage, are vastly more alike than different.

This becomes especially clear about parenting.

I came across this passage from a book on Queen Victoria from her personal secretary: ““It was easier to go back to [her work] than children having tantrums,” she said. “She always had the excuse of the red boxes.’’

Well, then. She found it easier to be the head of state for the largest empire in the world than to be a parent!

I found that reassuring during this stressful and hectic pre-holiday time. It’s hard, for everyone, but it’s worth it.

Things that probably shouldn’t go together. Riddles and Advent calendars. Especially before coffee. There is no need for scrap paper before 7 a.m.

The leaves are all picked up, the leaky faucets are all fixed. How will Michelle fill her idle time this weekend? How about pre-assembling five gingerbread houses for Ally’s birthday party? Thankfully, we purchased pre-baked gingerbread. I already had a cake and pizza to make.

So…no time for the couch, she put the girls to work (after completing the daily Advent puzzle).

You can see Ally is still half-asleep.

But she soon woke up. A few moments alone with all that decorating candy might have perked her up.

Tie-dye shirts, in moderation, sure. Tie-dye bagels? Not something I’ll be baking.

It was chaos at the Transfer Station. I’m going to blame the weather but if there is one accepted and expected place for a classic fancy park, it is the main garbage building. C’mon, people.

The birthday girl always needs to have her hair done. Hoping this holds up overnight for the piano recital on Sunday.

Somewhere in the last year, we reached a tipping point where I finally overcame, maybe just through sheer volume, Ally’s taste buds and she now prefers my Sicilian to other takeout pizzas. I was honored she requested it for her party.

Oh, and after Walgreens left us in the lurch last week, we did manage to finally get Ally her second shot. The whole house is now boosted and up-to-date for the holidays.

While I hope the hair lingers for the recital, I hope the shot does not. Fingers crossed.

Finally, it was time for the party. The cake this week was chocolate strawberry. I still haven’t found a better way to get flavor into a buttercream icing than those dehydrated fruit crisps.

One of the girls told me it looked just like one they might get at the grocery store. I choose to take that as a compliment.

I’d put the percentages at about 60/40 in favor of the kids in terms of how much candy went in their mouths versus onto the houses. Ally’s is pretty indicative of how they all looked. But, judging by the sheer volume coming from the room, they all had a good time.

Maybe it wasn’t just Ally. Maybe it’s turning nine years old. Or maybe it’s only eating straight sugar for an hour and your body starts craving actual food, but those little sugar sprites took down this tray of pizza startlingly fast.

The exploding candle was a hit. Not only glitter all over the house, but now on my baked goods, too.

Post-party, it was finally couch time. We wrapped up the day with 8-Bit Christmas, a cute family holiday movie that mostly remixed A Christmas Story with a few unique twists. Not sure it totally earned that ending…but the girls enjoyed it.

Turns out a lot of things in the 80s require explanation for today’s kids. Analog clocks, cassette tapes, most of the clothes, car crank windows. Okay, thanks to the Focus my kids didn’t need help with the last one.


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