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“Having a family is like having a bowling alley installed in your brain.” – Martin Mull

The above is a favorite quote of my dad’s, one I didn’t fully understand until I had kids myself. Now, whenever my almost-4-year-old yells at me from the backseat that I’m going the wrong way while trying to merge into rush hour traffic on Storrow Drive, I think of it. Whenever I say something perfectly reasonable to him and he responds with “What?” several times in a row like I’m the insane one, I think of it. When he is running around screaming and the baby is crying because who knows why, he’s a baby, and the rabbit is running around between my feet trying to trip me while I get her more hay, I think of it. When an entire day goes by in which I get no free brain time in my own brain, I think of it. Yup, it’s pretty damn accurate.

Traveling with the fam (minus the rabbit, of course, who stayed home and presumably enjoyed the peace and quiet) for Thanksgiving actually went surprisingly smoothly. And please note that I do, in fact, adore my children! However, I couldn’t help but be a little jealous of the family members with older kids who were able to do basically whatever they wanted the whole weekend. In order to feel a little better, I indulged in some yummy cocktails because my sister-in-law makes a mean white cranberry martini.

Even if there are no political fights at Thanksgiving dinner, it’s nice to have a stiff drink afterwards.

And then, I created the below to-do list so that I can remember what I want to do when I again have the time and brain power to do it because let’s face it, my memory is not likely to hold all of this, what with all of that bowling going on in my head.

  • Not get barfed on. I guess this is more of a what-not-to-do, but it is very high on my list. And if someone does barf on me, I want to be able to slap him and send a dry-cleaning bill instead of rubbing his upset tummy and cleaning it all up myself.
  • Reclaim my period of sloth by lounging around the house in a tank top and Chinese food-print boxers. L. will remember these because she once told me she saw a homeless man on the Common wearing the exact same pair. Yes, they were just that awesome.
  • Drink an entire cup of coffee in one sitting while it is still hot. And also, make it through an entire breakfast without a tiny hand stealing half the food off of my plate.
  • Also related to food, decide not to cook and then do nothing, not even nuke chicken nuggets. Eat ice cream or cereal or chips and beer for dinner instead without feeding anything to anyone else. What, you didn’t see this magnet on my fridge?
  • Sit and stare out the window in complete silence for an hour, or fifteen minutes, or however long I please, listening to the lovely sounds of nothing.
  • Do the laundry only once in the entire month. Buy myself more clothes and underwear if necessary to make this possible.
  • Curl up with a novel and read the whole thing in one sitting. Then immediately pick up a second one, and follow this pattern until every book I own but have not gotten a chance to read is read.
  • Display all of my favorite delicate and pointy objects on low shelves and tables.

Let me reiterate, I love my kids, and they can be extremely well behaved and even entertaining. But really I am looking forward to the people they will become once they’re a little more grown up and can tell their own stories and wipe their own butts on a regular basis; for me, the best part of being a parent is just beginning to happen.

So for the moment, in the immortal words of Walter Sobchak, “Fuck it, Dude, let’s go bowling.”