Dear autism,

I talk a lot about how difficult it is to take you places with the family.  This note is no different I’m afraid…

We were invited to a friend’s house for Thanksgiving since I decided to stay in TN this year instead of taking the usual pilgrimage to Chicago.  Based on this visit I’ve come up with The Top Five Things NOT to do before visiting someone on a major holiday.

5.  Do NOT wear cutesy clothes or dress your children in them.  It’s difficult to catch running kids in heels, and paying $5 to dry clean a dress you wore for an hour is not very frugal.  Unless of course you’re creating a documentary on how to get various food stains out of dry clean only clothes or doing a YouTube video on how to properly care for a sprained ankle.  In that case go right ahead.

4.  Do NOT spend the night before the big day cooking at your own house.  (No matter how delicious it turned out–thank you very much!)  You’ll be tired and cranky from lack of sleep and seriously, who cares if your kids eat pizza before and after Thanksgiving?  Ramen noodles sound like a delicious day after Thanksgiving meal.  If you’re still motivated to cook do it the day after.  Better yet, I hear Golden Corral makes a mean turkey…(and they pay people to clean up the mess!)

3.  Do NOT forget to prep your kindly hostess.   They really meant well by inviting you over, but do they really understand that you’re going to be busy following your kid around to make sure they don’t break anything expensive and wiping up the bread trail on the walls and floors of her home so you’ll be welcomed back?  (maybe)  Mention that it’s unlikely you’ll ever be on time for anything in your life and you may get kudos if you pull it off. (Then write a blog entry on how to do that so I can get some action steps)

2.  Do NOT forget to prep your kids.  Issue the routine threats and bribes about being on our best behavior and chewing with our mouths closed, etc.  You and I both know they probably won’t do it anyway, but you can describe yourself as the dutiful parent and if your threats are colorful they’ll make for good blog material one day.  My (insert close female relative here) once told me that if I didn’t behave when we went out, she’d tie canned goods to my earlobes and hang me upside down off the Brooklyn Bridge.   I don’t remember if it was effective on that particular day, but it did make this blog so there you go.

1.  Do NOT under any circumstances take your children anywhere that is more fun than your house or where they have cool pets.  My hostess brought out a guinea pig to entertain Savion who was totally unimpressed.  He much preferred to smear bread along the banister and jump off of the stairs repeatedly.  But that youngest girl of mine had a FIELD day screaming “The baby pig has a great big butt!” while running up and down the stairs for two hours.  Did I mention that my hostess had family in from out of town?! 

 What a sight we must have been…45 minutes late, 2 year old girl screaming about pig butts, 5 year old smearing bread around and exploring dog food (taste and touch), and me attempting to keep the peace, regulate non-food intake, and save plants and dishes…in heels.  All in a day’s work for SuperMoms….but then you knew that didn’t you?

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