|yum... cheese doodles|
On yesterday's Thanksgiving post I mentioned that we always do Thanksgiving at our home. This isn't because I have Martha Stewart ambitions, although I do enjoy hanging with the relatively small group that comes over for Thanksgiving (9 this year, never more then 12). Msk's stress level is the main motivation for keeping Thanksgiving at our house, as well as Christmas, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day and whatever other party comes up.
Both my husband and I come from Baltimore and the majority of our siblings and parents remain in the area, so we always have a good size group come over. There are other houses close by, but we always volunteer, and after a few years, others stopped offering to host the parties. I'm not complaining; it's become part of our family's definition of home. I've come to love getting the house together the day before and being able to enjoy company without worrying about msk.
When msk was little, and we were still making the party circuit, it was incredibly hard to keep him out of areas he should stay out of. I'm not sure he was exploring as much as he was trying to get a little time on his own. I had all sorts of toys that I brought with us and didn't mind that it turned out that 75% of my time was spent focused on msk instead of socializing at the party. Even so, msk ended up being very grumpy and ready to go home much before the end of the event. Honestly, I was pretty grumpy by that point myself.
It's been a continuing evolution to come up with what is our formula for a successful and sociable party even though msk is anything but a party animal. Here's what we do:
- The second floor is always open to msk (and our family) alone and gives him a place to escape to
- Eating schedules are fluid with trays of snacks as well as meals with no rules about what to eat or when
- The sit-down meal (if we have one, since Christmas is always a continuous buffet) is focused on adults, and no one from the younger generation has to stay at the table or listen to the politics and endless yacking. Too many words can really rub msk the wrong way.
- We minimize mandatory social interactions - I ask msk to come down and say hi when people who really want to see him arrive, but after hello, how long he wants to chit-chat is up to him. Fielding two questions is about as much has he can handle.
- If it works out, b-d tries to either come to the party or take msk out for a couple of hours before or during the party
- Parties can go to the wee hours of the night, but msk's bedtime schedule remains about the same. This can mean that he's bright-eyed and bushy-tailed way before I'm up for much, but it makes him happy to know that he can count on at least that part of his routine
|now there's a Christmas sweater!|