Guys. Thanksgiving. I am cooking it myself for the first time ever. We are having two main dishes, seven side dishes plus rolls, and two desserts. I think I can handle it, but I’ve got to pick it all up at two different locations tomorrow so I’ve aimed really, really high. Oh, shit. THREE LOCATIONS if I want chocolate cake. I do want chocolate cake. I always want chocolate cake. I always want chocolate cake pretty bad. But do I ever want chocolate cake Costco the Wednesday before Thanksgiving bad? I may have aimed too high. First Thanksgiving on my own, flew my cake too close to the sun.
I didn’t mean “oh, shit.” I meant, “oh, shoot.” I’m really trying to cut back on my use of inappropriate language. I have an intention to cut back, anyway. It’s in there, even if it doesn’t rise to the surface some days. Most days. I’m trying. It’s lead to a lot of stuff like, “No chance in snow pants!” and “What the heeeyyy… eehhhh… kkkkuuuh… uh?” and “Damnit – darn it – DAMNIT! – DARN IT!” and “I can’t get this fu– fruit snack! To do its f– it WON’T GO WHY WON’T IT GO JUST MAKE IT GO GO GO GO GO GO GO ARRGRGGHHHGGGHGGHHH” and “I didn’t mean ‘oh, shit,’ I meant, ‘oh, shoot.’”
I’m not particularly offended by foul language, though I do find it to be obnoxious when used excessively, because what is even the point? If you’re not using it for effect of some sort, comedic or emphasis or toe-stubbery, then I assume you’re using it for shock value, which has its place in the halls of middle schools and seems really very, very strange outside of them. But adults do use those words and they’re just words and not, in themselves, harmful or especially powerful in any way and they just don’t bother me. At the same time, though, I play video games and they’re frustrating and my kid listens to everything I say, and I don’t think it’s cute or charming to hear those words come out of her mouth. And when I do hear them, and I hear how not cute and not charming it is, I know, too, that it’s not especially cute or charming to hear them from me, either.
Still, they’re not words I’m likely to ever eliminate completely, because they do have their place and I don’t know how else to say “what the shit?” without saying that exact phrase, and I’ve thought this over a lot – that’s one I just can’t let go. I really think I could seriously make a strong attempt at truly giving up every last one of the rest of them – I can get really creative when I need to – but only on the condition that I could keep that phrase. I wouldn’t even use the offending word on its own or in another phrase again. Just that one. I don’t think I can find a suitable workaround, for me, personally, that would suit. I need that one.
I can do without the rest, though I’m keeping most of them (one or two I’ve already lifted out completely, for reasons, and while I do have to catch myself from time to time, I’ve been successful). It’s not that they need to go, it’s just that they need to be less. Less frequent, and maybe limited to certain hours. Like between 7pm and 5am. Or maybe limited to a certain frequency per hour to lessen the likelihood that they’d be overheard by small ears. Or, okay, any ears. It’s not like it’s necessary that anyone at all hear me. I spend most of my time talking to myself, anyway.
I think this will probably be fine, eventually, because I bit my nails forever and I didn’t even notice that I had stopped. I certainly haven’t used foul language for my whole life. I also quit smoking. I smoked for far less time than I bit my nails – about ten years – but it is still a faaaiiirrly tough habit to break. Besides that, I’ve got plenty of habits I’d like to start that I’ve failed miserably at establishing, so it’s got to be easier than that, seeing as how I’ve already quit two extremely hard to quit habits. I don’t know if you’ve followed my logic there, but I think I’ve figured out that I’m either going to quit cursing as much, or START exercising and curse the whole time.
I’m normally very anti-Christmas-before-Thanksgiving, but only about Christmas music and movies. I don’t want to listen or watch before Black Friday. Aside from that, I don’t care about Christmas creep in the stores or people talking about Christmas or anything like that, because it just doesn’t affect me in any way, but NOW I HAVE A BABY AND SHE IS TODDLER AND SHE KNOWS WHAT’S GOING ON THIS YEAR AND I AM SO — oh, I’ve changed the subject by the way — EXCITED THAT I CAN’T STAND IT AND I JUST WANT TO TALK ABOUT CHRISTMAS. But I still don’t want to hear any Christmas music. I’ll let you know when.
So I’m not going to be done shopping before the end of November, whatever. Just a couple of things to order for family members, then we’re done. I’m over it and already moving on to thinking about the activities I want to do with Penny now that she gets that CHRISTMAS is HAPPENING.
One of the things we’re going to do when the day gets closer because Penelope cannot keep a secret to save her life (“MAMA! DADDY GOT POST. IT’S A PRESENT FOR YOU. WOOK AT IT! IT’S A NECKWACE!”) is instead of just writing her name on the “from” tag of a random gift, we’re each going to take her out shopping to choose a gift to give the other parent. I think I have it worked out reasonably well for both of us so that she gets the idea of giving presents as well as getting them. I know she won’t really grasp it this year, but it’s something to try since she’s getting a little only child-y around the edges.
For Phil, I’m going to take her to TJ Maxx, because they always have a selection of tea (Phil, uh, likes tea, you should know that) and let her choose whatever looks interesting to her. Then, I’m going to let her kind of loose in the store to choose whatever she’d like to give him around the $10 price point. He’ll do the same with her at TJ Maxx or Target or whatever, but have her choose something like socks, or a hair accessory or cheap trendy necklace or drugstore makeup, and then something else completely of her choosing. That way, she really gets to pick something (we’ll try to guide her in thinking about what she thinks Mama or Daddy might really want), but we will also get something that she can see us actually use and appreciate. Just in case on her own, she picks out an ironing board cover or something. Like I iron.
The second thing we have planned was conveniently planned by someone else. Our church is doing something called Family to Family involving the school districts in the areas immediately around the church. For the two weeks of Christmas break, the children who receive two meals a day at school won’t be getting that food. The church worked with the district to create a list of 23 items that will feed a family for that two week break so that the families targeted by the program don’t have to choose between bills, food, and Christmas. We collected our boxes at church this weekend and will be taking Penelope to the store to collect the items in the first week of December. Hopefully, we’ll be able to budget for a second round of boxes, as well. Right now, I’m mulling over simple language to explain – lightly – to Penelope that we have lots of food in our cabinets so she can eat whenever she asks, but some people don’t, so we’re going to take what’s ours to share with others. Obviously, I can’t explain food insecurity to a two year old. Regardless, I’m going to try to get a least a kernel of the idea into her head, and we’re going to involve her in a dedicated shopping trip to collect the items.
Also, decorating her own tiny tree, making cookies, visiting Santa, driving around to see Christmas lights, and… other… stuff.
OH. ALSO ALSO? That Elf on a Shelf thing? Just the elf and book? That’s $30? Ugh. What the heeeyyy… eehhhh… kkkkuuuh… uh?
(Totally getting a neckwace for Christmas!)