Monday, January 02, 2006

New Years Fest

Back from the family New Years Fest. It was lovely -- the new babies are adorable (see Slipperytiger for updates) and the fondue-dinner for 22 people went off without a hitch. Not that we had to do the planning, mind you. We were drafted for the execution of the plan while Mormor (grandma) held the babies and soothed them with the patented Grandparent Touch, so it was a breeze for us at least. Laura and John look like they are getting at least some sleep, so they are ready to head back home to tackle this alone for awhile. Much crying and fussing, as is usual with babies, but also much cuteness -- even to me, a curmudgeonly old childless person. The Adorable Husband is a favorite baby-parking choice. He's warm, rumbles when he talks, and has a loud heartbeat that seems to lull them into unconsciousness.

I was (gently) chided for never having actually attending the Fest before (this is a gathering that has a 35+ year history). Dinner was lovely, the company was fun. Very nice. As I mentioned before, I tend to avoid my family holidays like the plague and only go back once every few years or so, if that. This was pretty painless. I tend to forget that the Husband's family is very nice and actually likes to get together for holidays -- unlike mine, which can become psycho family smackdown with little or no warning.

Had lunch with my clan, though, which was fun. I realized as we were sitting there that Wow, is my family LOUD. We talk loudly, laugh even louder, and we must be downright intimidating to any outsiders. Everyone was on best behavior and we had a nice time. Young Mr. P (my sister's 5 year old son) was in high dudgeon after being told he could not play pool in the "smoking room" of the restaurant and spent most of the meal laying under the table, draped over a chair. Nin ignored him, but my mother (in fine grandmotherly fashion) launched into the 'appease the child' program. Nin is trying to make some changes and set limits at home, and I know that she's going to have a bigger problem changing my middle sister's and my mother's behavior than she is changing her son's behavior. She's in for a few difficult weeks, I fear.

Nin stopped by my in-law's to meet the babies (and was overtaken with Baby Lust and wanted to sniff and snuggle the wee ones for an hour. Is this normal? Do all parents completely melt when faced with a new, cute baby? Weird.) Anyway, Mr. P was on his best behavior, but kept leaning in close to mom to tell her to 'put the baby DOWN!' When they got home, he asked her plaintively, "Mama, I'm the only kid you want, right?" He definitely doesn't want any brothers and sisters. Nin looks fabulous, as usual. She's the only one of the family who has any sense of style whatsoever, even if she lets Mr. P dress up like a bad 80's hair band once in a while. Layered pink polo shirts? I mean, really.

Minnesota was positively lovely! It was snowing heavily when we landed, and stayed still and cool so the snow still decorated all the trees like a Currier and Ives painting.

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