Preschool, paper and other weird things I'm thankful for

I was experiencing a little “blogger’s block” today, as sometimes happens, so I asked my peeps over at the Baby Squared Facebook page to help me out with some ideas. They came up with great ones, many along the Thanksgiving theme. I’m going to run with the idea that the lovely Donna suggested: What are you grateful for?

But I’m not going to do the usual things — my family, my friends, my health, my prosperity relative to most of the world, the beauty of nature, and chocolate covered pretzels. Because you could have guessed all that. And anyway, this is a blog about (mostly) parenting.

So here is my list of specifically parenting-related things I’m thankful for, specifically with regard to this Thanksgiving.

1.  I am thankful that the girls have preschool on Wednesday morning, before we head down to their grandparents’ house. Because as anyone with small children knows, trying to pack up for a trip while your kiddos are afoot is absolute hell. Not only are you stressed and harried just with the task of packing up (at least, I am in these circumstances) but your children will pick this time to be suddenly more whiny, clingy and needy than they have been for weeks. Even the magical, hypnotic powers of the TV are strangely diminished when it is time to pack up and go. Your only hope is to tag-team pack with your spouse (easier said than done), hire a sitter, or banish your children from the house. Which is much easier when you have a place to banish them to, i.e. preschool.

2. I am thankful that, for some reason, despite all the songs about (alive) turkeys and pictures of (alive) turkeys and craft projects depicting (alive) turkeys that the girls have encountered at said preschool over the past few weeks, they still claim to be excited about eating turkey, indicating that they still don’t seem to make the connection between the colorful birds in the pilgrim hats and the thing they’re going to eat with cranberry sauce. Which means we don’t have to go through the whole yes-we-eat-animals discussion and risk their becoming vegetarians, which would be a real pain in the ass since Alastair and I aren’t. Or maybe they do make the connection, and they’re just heartless, bloodthirsty killers with a taste for animal flesh. (Like their parents.)

3. I am thankful for the girls’ current obsession with drawing, writing and making weird little things with paper. This means that instead of having to lug down toys to keep the girls happily occupied at their grandparents’ house, we can just bring a big stack of paper and some ball point pens, a few markers and a roll of tape, maybe a stapler, and voila! Hours of self-sufficient, educational entertainment — no batteries required and only a few trees killed in the process.

4. I am thankful for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. Because the girls will really dig watching it, I think. I always did when I was a kid. I still do, partly out of nostalgia and partly because every time I see it it blows my mind that there are these high schools somewhere, elsewhere in the country from where I grew up, with giant, amazing marching bands with baton twirlers and dancers and huge smiles and apparently no attitude at all. I mean, who are these kids?

5. I am thankful for the girls’ gregarious and joyful enthusiasm about just about everything these days. Because it makes holidays so much more fun. Yesterday, they were on the phone with my mom, gleefully telling her that they love pumpkin pie! They love cranberry sauce! They love thanksgiving! They love turkey! (Dead or alive, I’m not sure….)

OK, your turn: what are you thankful for with regard to your kids? (Thanksgiving-specific or otherwise)

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