so I promised to complete the holiday series and by GOD I am going to do it! For those of you that have long since put the torturous memory of Thanksgiving out of its misery, I am happy to reopen that wound for you as I am doing so to myself by authoring this very entry.
As is often the case, we opt to travel for Thanksgiving this year. Only this time we are not on a 3-hour tour, we jump in head first and sign up for the 6-hour variety of road trip. Granted, if I roofie the wife and NyQuil the rug rats , I can make that trip in 5 hours flat. This being said, I am fresh out of roofies and at last check we have two wide-awake ankle-biters in the back seat. Begrudgingly, we head off to the windy, treeless prairies of the Texas panhandle.
Based on previous road trips (see https://genericdad.com/2010/09/21/were-no-donner-party/) you all know my children do not do well in the car over long periods of time. Now, in the past we would typically drive thru a fast food joint and scarf down a high calorie, deep-fried mystery meal while I would attempt to distractedly eat and drive. This is coupled with the wife riding reverse cowboy (on her knees in the front seat facing the back seat trying to force the kids to eat food that they don’t want in the first place)…maybe “Reverse Cowboy” is not the term…In fact, I know it’s not…I have Cinemax ya know. Needless to say, this is not the safest way to transport our precious cargo, so in recent trips we have been stopping at an actual restaurant with actual waiters. This, at the very least, allows the wife and I to enjoy decent food while our kids run around howling like banshees in whatever Small Town, TX eatery we bless with our noisy presence.
The meal goes without incident. I tip the poor 78 year-old woman who had to endure the ear-piercing shrieks of my kids and we are back on the road just as an icy rain starts to fall. Because the kids are somewhat behaving and because they actually ate some lunch we are inclined to let them have some candy while they watch their annoying movies (thank GOD for headphones!). I don’t know if is something that he ate at lunch, car sickness, or something else entirely, but Lil B lets out a painful sounding belch that would put Booger Presley to shame. That air bubble must have been serving as some makeshift cork because as soon as the cork blew, so did Lil B. The kids had each just plowed through a tasty sack of M&Ms, so naturally, what was currently being projectile-vomited all over the back of my seat had the look of a lovely chocolate fountain one might see at a decent reception. The comparison to the reception stops there because this is about the time that the smell hits the front seat. Of course, we are in the middle of nowhere by this time and it’s pouring rain. Luckily we see a roadside stop that we can at least have some cover to get Lil B. out of his Baby Gap Chocolate Fondue gear. Clean as I might, I am not able to rid the vehicle of the scent of chocolate mixed with stomach bile, but some creative directing of the air vents at least keeps the smell in back with the livestock…err kids.
By comparison, the rest of our journey goes swimmingly and we soon find ourselves in the dusty plains of the panhandle on the outskirts of Amarillo. There is not much to do in Amarillo other than binge drink and get pregnant. Since we are already saddled with two fun babies, we opt for binge drinking. We relax and visit with family in the days leading up to the turkey day feast(s).
Our first feast requires a short jaunt to the metropolis of Dumas, a small agribusiness-centered community in which the wife’s family resides. Dumas is filled with good people and…hispanics, but mostly good people and I do not mind our brief visits. It is actually a nice departure from the busyness of Dallas. Things are quiet and simple and there is not much to do and I kind of like it…if only I could get 4G to connect so that I could Facebook and watch internet porn…maybe I don’t like being out in the boonies after all…at least there’s binge drinking…
After a delicious Thanksgiving meal with the wife’s family we are forced to exit rather quickly as we are already running late for our 2nd feast at my folk’s house back in Amarillo. We arrive at my parent’s place just as my family is sitting down to eat. So as not to disappoint, I heap the fixin’s onto my plate as though I had not seen food in days. You can’t show up to mom’s and not eat after she has spent an entire day preparing a meal…So, the wife and I take one for the team and eat our second complete Thanksgiving meal within a two-hour span. I am a fat ass and this is not much of a feat for me to accomplish, but I give the wife credit as she made a great showing at both feasts. I am not positive, but I could swear I hear the sounds of a desperate woman purging her system later that day…it reminds me of high school and for a short time I bask in the nostalgia of my hometown.
The voyage home is uneventful. There is no projectile vomiting, no crying, and no rain. As we listen to an audiobook my mind drifts in and out of the story. My liver and colon wreaking havoc on me for a week’s worth of overeating…and drinking, I am left with a warm sensation knowing that we are blessed with such a great family…nope, that’s not it…I think I just sharted…where the hell is that roadside stop!
Tonight the Wife and I were slapped square in the face with some harsh reality…from our four-year-old. While battling through yet another meal of brow beating M to eat something, she decides to pull a Maverick/Goose fly by of the tower.
For those of you that don’t know M that well, she is the most loving little girl I have ever known. I know this sounds like proud-parent-syndrome, but I am not exaggerating. If there’s a chance for her to hug or kiss on Mom, Dad, or Lil B she is going to take it and she will run it into the ground. In fact, tonight she licked me on the cheek as if she were a friggin’ dog, er…cute little puppy. However, the over-licking and kissing are for another day.
So M is sitting at the table when she decides that, rather than take a bite of dinner, she will deploy her patented delay tactics and tell Mommy that she wants to give her a hug (one of multiple hugs deployed during any given meal). M drops her ordinance of hugs and then, instead of her typical reroute back to base (her chair), she decides that this mission is going to require the use of nuclear force.
Upon completion of the hug mission, M steps back from Mommy and drops this 5 megaton whopper, ” Mommy, do you have a baby in your tummy?” After what seemed like an eternity of silence and several awkward wordless exchanges between Mommy and Me, I burst into a hearty belly laugh. Meanwhile, Mommy is sitting at the table with fail-smile trying to figure out how to tell M that there is no baby in her tummy without letting on that this comment cut Mommy to the bone.
So Mommy tells M that there is, in fact no baby in her tummy as she fights back a wave of tears. I am over across the kitchen belly laughing when M says to me, “Daddy, do YOU have a baby in your tummy?” The laughing abruptly ends and Mommy and I enter a few moments of quite self-reflection while M awaits a response. “No, neither Daddy or Mommy have a baby in our tummy.” One would think that this would end the line of questioning and everyone would proceed with dinner. Not M. She disputes what we have told her and goes further to insist that Mommy does have a baby in her tummy. This goes over like a lead balloon.
After adamant refusal from Mommy, M finally relents and goes back to pretending to eat. The rest of the meal is a blur of sorts because both Mommy and I are locked away in the depths of our own self consciousness trying to assess the damage from the massive bombs that had just been dropped by our sweet, innocent daughter. Not to be insensitive, but I felt how the survivors of Hiroshima must have felt as they crawled out from the rubble to see that their entire existence had been wiped out. Fine, I am a overexaggerator. Regardless, the seemingly innocent questions from our daughter had obtrusively opened our eyes. Yes, Mommy and Daddy are severely out of shape…
Our evening ends with gentle hugs and kisses as the kids are tucked away in their beds (while internally struggling with issuing M a severe beating…we’ll show her little ass who’s out of shape!). Mommy straps on her trainers and knocks the dust off the ole treadmill while I retired to the pool with my awesome sixpack…of non-light beer. I can only assume that the next line of pregnancy questioning will be directed only at me…Cheers