We made it home. Lot of driving, lot of family drama, but we're all home and relatively intact. Jacob's been asleep for the past 4 hours and I really should wake him up and try to salvage some semblance of sleep routine, but I just don't have the energy right now. Gotta purge myself of some of the holiday ridiculousness and then I'll go back to being Mama.
Our first leg of the trip required driving from NH to NJ. We made it to the NJ state line in 3 1/2 hours... if you're familiar with this part of the country, specifically Connecticut, you will realize that this is nothing short of a miracle. We watched an 8-mile back-up form on the opposite side of the highway, and my guess is that some of those poor people are still sitting in their cars swearing at their family members. I really wish I had some sort of tin-can-telephone type device that would allow me to warn the unsuspecting fools flying down the road toward the mess to STOP AND PEE, NOW. (And that they could let me know, too, of course. This is not a purely altruistic bladder-saving measure.)
We arrived at the hotel and proceeded to play Musical Rooms until we could find one that was (1) non-smoking, (2) equipped with a operational bathroom plumbing, and (3) wired to a working telephone line. Then we had dinner at a too-fancy-for-kids (but we brought-our-kids-along because we don't-have-a-sitter-400-miles-from-home) restaurant, where my delightful father-in-law proceeded to have the same conversation with me four times. The gist of it:
HIM: So, do you believe that there are neurochemical differences that appear in the brain when people listen to upbeat music versus sad music?
ME: I don't know, I'm not a neuropsychologist.
HIM: But, no, I know that. I'm asking about the CHEMICALS in your BRAIN.
ME: Yes. Thank you. I'm not a neuropsychologist.
HIM: Okay. I understand. But the brain chemistry, what about that?
ME: No, no. See, it's like being a doctor. EXACTLY like being a doctor. Because I will be one in a year. Really. And doctors have specialties. You should know this, being a RADIOLOGIST. I won't ask you questions about my OB-GYN care. EVER. So please don't ask me to pretend to be an expert in a different field than I specialize in. Wanna talk about serial killers??
HIM: No. I don't know anything about serial killers. But, music, and brain chemistry, now...
ME: [HEAD THUMPS ON TABLE]
The Thanksgiving dinner itself went okay, except for the fact that my daughter spent the entire morning being ridiculously over-indulged by a group of older relatives. My husband is the only child-bearing member of his clan at the moment, and people like my son but none of them are willing to breastfeed him, so that leaves my daughter to soak up 100% of the attention right now. Which she loved until it was time to sit down for Thanksgiving dinner and suddenly people were, *gasp* paying attention to something other than her. (Even though they were willing to watch her chew, they still occasionally wanted to glance at their own plates.) So, MELTDOWN. MELTDOWN. She literally ended up missing the entire meal, which is sort of the point of the holiday. Ah well, her loss.
Jacob has hit a delightful point in his development, in which he looks at everything very intently and really processes it for a moment before deciding how he feels about it. Which means that when someone else is holding him, which happened a LOT this weekend, he would swivel his cute, round little head around, find me, and the look on his face was: "Is that a tree? Is it furniture? No, it's MAMA!" accompanied by a sweet grin and a full-body wiggle. It's nice to be appreciated.
There were a few other highlights, but this is long enough already and I need to start getting myself back in home/school/work mode. I hope everyone else's holiday was delightful, or at the very least not traumatic. I'm sure we'll be entering into Post-Grandma Syndrome here very soon.