Tag Archives: holiday humor

How to get your kids to eat Thanksgiving dinner

I have mentioned many times in this particular column of mine that I love Thanksgiving. The holiday that asks nothing of you besides gluttony and drunkenness. I don’t even mind that I’m now the one in charge of the cooking, because in the end it all leads to the gluttony and drunkenness. Plus, I found a recipe for deep-fried stuffing balls that has completely changed the entire Thanksgiving game, if not my entire life.

What I don’t love, however, is being the parent of small children at Thanksgiving. Because after spending eight hours cooking, the last thing I want to do is spend another eight hours negotiating with tiny picky dictators about trying the food I just lovingly poured my heart and soul into. Not even eating the food, mind you. Just trying one microscopic bite. A bite so small that technically it shouldn’t exist according to current laws of physics.

But no matter how delicious everything is, no matter how much it has been bathed in practically pornographic amounts of butter and lard, no matter how kid-friendly I attempt to make everything, my children will take one look at their plate and immediately start howling about the disgusting mush of dog poop and gravel I apparently just set in front of them.

True story. This is the conversation I had with my not quite 3-year-old last year:

“I can’t eat this, Mommy. It’s gross.”

“Which part is gross, baby?”

“All of it.”

Ah, music to an exhausted and slightly drunk Thanksgiving cook’s ears.

He doesn’t even like mashed potatoes, which I didn’t even know was humanly possible.  

And this year, his younger sister just learned how to shriek “No!” so it should be a beautiful dinnertime duet of denial this time around.

But I decided that after last year, which ended with a tantrum (and my toddler was crying too) and an exclamation of “oh, just eat a stupid roll,” that I would do things differently this year. I would come prepared this year. I would WIN this year.

Which is why since March I have been brainstorming ideas on how I can get my kids to eat my Thanksgiving food without tears and fighting and threats (or at the very least, only minimal threats). And I am here to share my wisdom. Because, according to my research, it’s not impossible to get even the pickiest of kids to eat Thanksgiving dinner; it just takes a little ingenuity.

So, here are your Aunty Aprill’s tips for tricking getting your kids to eat Thanksgiving dinner:

Mold the mashed potatoes into an elaborate statue of a Mickey Mouse.

Tell them sweet potatoes are potatoes made with candy.

This one is rather labor intensive, but if you can, puree some turkey and stuffing and then, using a syringe, stuff some M&M’s with the puree.

Hire a playground bully to stand menacingly in the corner and glare at them until they take three BIG bites of the three bean salad.

Tell them Christmas won’t come unless they eat everything on their plate.

Instead of a turkey, mold some mac and cheese into the shape of a turkey (but the GOOD kind from a box, none of that fancy, homemade, gourmet cheese sauce crap).

Don’t feed them for three days beforehand. Who’s brussel sprouts sauteed with butter and bacon are icky now, starving peasant child?

A less severe version of the above tip: Only feed them peas and water three days beforehand.

Tell them that Elmo made the cranberry sauce.

Pour melted chocolate over their entire plate.

Use sibling rivalry to your advantage. Whoever eats the most turkey gets the most Christmas presents.

Only serve rolls with butter. Or, if they’re really picky, only serve butter.

And, if all else fails, just drink wine until you don’t care what anyone eats.

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Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

 

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Dear Virginia, where the hell is Santa Claus?

There’s a famous (at least for me) story from my childhood where I looked at my mom one day and just bluntly said “Santa Claus isn’t real, is he?”

“No, he’s not, sweetie,” my mom replied.

And that was that.

But the famous (infamous) part came next. Because I went to school the following day and felt it was my duty to kindly inform several of my fellow 2nd grade peers of this breaking news.

Surprisingly, this did not help my popularity.

And now all these years later, the joke is on me. Oh, karma, you wily minx. Little did I know that in my 30’s I’d still be dealing with the whole “does Santa exist?” question. Because I’m a mom now and I gotta tell you, I can’t find that bastard anywhere.

But let’s start at the beginning.

My son’s first Christmas, when he couldn’t have cared less (since his only interests back then were my boobs and old, gross, fast food receipts) we were lucky enough to randomly run into a Santa while out and about in early December. So we plopped our son down and took a million photos as you are legally required to do. Easy peasy. And they are photos we cherish to this day even despite the fact that both my baby and Santa look like they’re being held at gunpoint.

So, naturally, I just assumed that was how it worked. Last year, I figured we’d run into another one while out shopping or looking for a restaurant that sold spaghetti tacos (did I mention I was pregnant again?). We never did. Luckily, my son was still young enough that it didn’t really matter and I didn’t really care about anything except spaghetti tacos and not puking on random strangers whenever I left the house.

But this year, oh, this year, I came prepared. He’s almost three. And this is his sister’s first Christmas. Time to stop phoning it in as a parent. So, starting the day after Thanksgiving I started Googling where and when Santa would be. I was leaving nothing to chance.

Imagine my surprise then, when two Sundays ago, we went to meet Santa and he wasn’t there. Apparently “Santa will be taking photos until 5 p.m.” meant if you showed up at 4:30 p.m. he’d be gone on what I can only assume was a very important Santa emergency involving happy hour eggnog shots. Luckily, people working the event were super helpful and reassured us that they had “no idea where he was or if he’d be back.”

I was mad, sure. The Momma Bear in me wanted to start mauling people with my festive Santa hat. But I managed to keep my calm. We still had one more weekend before Christmas and my toddler got chocolate as a consolation prize, so crisis averted.

Still, again, I didn’t want to leave anything to chance. I checked, then double checked, then triple checked when and where Santa would be this past Saturday.

7 p.m.

No less than three local event calendars said 7 p.m.

Santa would be hanging out in this particular location until 7 p.m.

Looking back, I should have known better. It was the same location that Santa had abandoned to go on a bender the weekend before. But, silly me, I thought if we showed up three hours before closing time, he’d be there.

Ha!

He wasn’t.

Needless to say, I was frothing at the mouth at this point. And again, the helpful people working the event assured us that “um…I don’t know, man.”

So, again, my son got chocolate as a consolation prize. But I am running out of time and one more no-show by Santa is likely to give my toddler diabetes.

I need some chubby, red jerkface to sit on his ass and interact with my freaking children before I lose it. I need a photo of my baby girl screaming on his lap and one of my son doing that weird toddler smile where it looks like they forgot how to smile. It’s Christmas. Why the hell can’t I find a Santa? Why is this so hard? WHY AM I BEING PUNISHED FOR A MISTAKE I MADE WHEN I WAS SEVEN?!?

Sigh. This is a good lesson for you kids though. Apparently once you’re on the naughty list, you stay on that naughty list. Santa does not forgive nor forget.

Well played, fat man. Well played.

 

New Year’s Hangover–Parent Style

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How I feel when people start celebrating Christmas too early

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‘Twas the month before Christmas…

This one is dedicated to my husband, the brave hunter

‘Twas a month before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, except for my husband (who was hunting a mouse).
The traps were all placed in the kitchen with care
In the hopes that a dead rodent soon would be there.

I was nestled all snug and a ‘lil drunk in my bed
While visions of sexy fun times danced in my head
But Ryan in his PJ’s, armed with those silly traps
Refused to stop ’til he won against those rats

When suddenly, BOOM! There arose such a clatter
I fell (gracefully) out of bed to see what was the matter
Away to the kitchen I stumbled all lady-like
Cause sweatpants are always classy, am I right?

Through the haze of perhaps a bit too much wine
I looked around to find that husband of mine
When what to my wondering eyes should appear
But him laying on the floor, on his face a big sneer

“I found him, babe! I have him caught under here!”
He declared, so happy his victory was so near
But alas, the poor man was about to lose face
Because soon a half-dozen more took its place

Now, look here Mighty! And you too, Minnie and Mickey!
And don’t think I forgot you, the Brain and dumbass Pinkie!
You guys are all over, coming out of the walls
And I want to bash your stupid heads, bash away them all

Get the hell outta my house, you tiny assholes
You rejects of nature, you hamsters without souls
You’ve invaded our home for much, much too long
And the way you’ve invaded our life is just wrong

Because it’s the same thing every single night
The scurrying and pawing happening just out of sight
And us laying in bed, seething at the thought
Of the havoc and ickiness you have wrought

And trust me, no lie, I used to feel bad for you
Buying humane traps and making much ado
About how your stupid little lives mattered too
A decision I would quickly come to rue

Because your eyes! How evil and so beady!
Your tails, ugh, so gross! Your motives how seedy!
Your stupid little mouths and your need to pee
Not to mention poop on every surface I can see

Thanks to you jerks I now compulsively clean
A habit now I don’t think I’ll ever ween
Going to Lady MacBeth lengths, until I’ve bloody hands
While you laugh and mock and take over the land

But while you have won the battles thus far
We’ll win the war and rule like demonic czars
Turning our house into a mecca of death
Hunting you down like addicts looking for meth

Cause while you may have evaded all our tricks
Never taking the bait and getting your kicks
From outsmarting us and making us look daft
Live it up because, trust me, we’ll have the last laugh

So forget poison and those glue traps as well
Because our next idea is downright next to swell
And I don’t think I’m lying when I say you’ll be quite smitten
With the fact I’m going out and adopting a litter of kittens

On the fifth day of December, Christmas gave to me…

A glitter bomb in my living room.

Perhaps a little explanation is in order. I used to love Christmas. And hell, deep down, I’m sure I still do. It was always my favorite holiday. But the older I get, the more I notice Christmas gets significantly much less fun and much more…hmm…how to put this…much more “I’m gonna stab Santa when I finally get my hands on his jolly ass.”

But a more in-depth analysis of this change will have to wait for another post in the near future. For this post is reserved for kicking off my “25 Days of Christmas” countdown list. It’s just like the song “The 12 Days of Christmas,” only minus all the creepy birds and with a bunch of sarcasm and snark added in. Every day leading up to Christmas, I’ll be sharing just what this behemoth of a holiday gave me that day.

For instance, since it’s already December 5 and I’m a bit behind, let me just sum up the first four wonderful things Christmas gave me this year:

On the first day of December, Christmas gave to me a tearful nervous breakdown when I tried to figure out how the hell my husband and I were going to afford Christmas this year.

On the second day of December, Christmas gave to me the idea that I should quit smoking so that we actually can afford Christmas this year.

On the third day of December, Christmas gave to me a giant glass of wine and a cigarette because I’m pretty sure it was afraid I might start punching babies in the face if I didn’t get both inside me IMMEDIATELY.

On the fourth day of December, Christmas gave to me Coinstar, where I stood there for roughly 23 minutes as the machine (LOUDLY) counted out $193 in change, which is coincidentally now our Christmas budget.

And, as I said before, on the fifth day of December, Christmas gave to me a glitter bomb in my living room in the form of a half-priced, pre-lit, artificial white Christmas tree, which when finally unpacked from the all the bubble wrap and industrial-strength packing tape (Who the hell are they trying to keep out of these things? Godzilla?) left approximately 50 million individual glitter particles on me, the floor, the couch and my dog, who now looks like a canine stripper.

So, just what will tomorrow bring? Well, be sure to check back.*

*Fingers crossed it involves whiskey-loaded eggnog. Lots of it.