Thanksgiving got less relaxing when I became a mother. This year, though, my third Thanksgiving with Ros, was the best one. Don’t get me wrong; she pooped her pants after eating too many grapes during appetizer hour. And, sidenote, our washing machine died a few hours before THAT. Plus, I was dealing with both congestion AND morning sickness all day, wearing the only pants that I can comfortably button at 8 weeks pregnant (pants that I could comfortably button BEFORE Thanksgiving dinner).
I can confidently say that this was my best Thanksgiving as a mom, poop and all. Three-year-olds are infinitely easier to please with a big, special day than two-year-olds (who in turn are infinitely easier to please than one-year-olds). My three-year-old was EXCITED to go play with Grandma and Grandpa so Mommy and Daddy could run a 4-mile race in 11-degree weather. She couldn’t wait for me to leave her with them. She went right down for a 3-hour nap after that playdate, because she was MOTIVATED to get her rest for a big awesome Thanksgiving dinner. Sitting at the big table with everyone else meant something to her. Trying all the delicious food was something she was excited to do. And when it came time for dessert, she was thrilled to try apple pie for the first time and then, adorably, said “more pie, please!” She had a hell of a day. And these days, watching her have fun that she herself recognizes as fun is one of the most fun things I can do.
This morning we needed to get out of the house despite the 13-degree morning, so we took off for the Discovery Museum in Acton, MA. I could have taken her to this museum as a 2-year-old and she would have enjoyed it the way 2-year-olds sort of enjoy things half the time and lose their minds the other half the time. As a 3-year-old? She had the resilience to actually enjoy the place like kids are meant to. She didn’t lose her mind when the water squirted her in the face at the water table, or when a baby knocked over her block tower, or when another kid pushed her out of the way and took the block of fake cheese that she was playing with. She squawked, got over it, and kept playing. She wanted to check out every single thing, and she had the ability to engage with every single thing on some level. As her godmother is fond of saying, she’s getting organized. As she gets better at bouncing back, so do I: from tantrums, from poop accidents in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner, from broken washing machines. Let’s hope we both have more room for growth - we’ll need it for next Thanksgiving.