So here's a shoutout to the hostess, who opened her home to all of us with much grace, and wasn't phased when L marched up and opened her fridge and started poking around for a snack and asked for a chocolate pudding cup that the she found;
to the friend who greeted us at the door by whisking G out of my arms and bouncing him on her lap and handing him crackers and enduring his cracker-flecked drool until we were called to the dinner table;
the friend who passed everything I needed all evening, and her boyfriend who sat next to me, who, when G reached over toward him, gamely took G and held him through most of dinner, giving me much freedom to tend to the girls;
the friend and her husband who passed me everything from the other direction, who ducked as children were repeatedly swung over their heads to get to their spots in the table in the crowded room, and who entertained G with a complicated mash-up of paper-plate-fan and peekaboo;
the friend who chased the cat and held her still so that L could pet her when my one allergy in the world wouldn't let me introduce L to that soft, gray fur; and who mustered excitement and patience for L the rest of the night when L would then repeatedly interrupt conversation to get her attention and say, Hey! I saw the kitty cat again!;
the friend positioned on the outside of the table whom I dispatched for everything child- but not Thanksgiving-dinner-menu related, like sippy cups that had been stashed in the fridge;
and the friend and his boyfriend who cooed over my baby all night; and didn't smack my girls when they tackled him, stepped on him and pulled his hair in a tickle game gone awry.
A very special shoutout to my lovely husband, who finally met all of my coworkers tonight, and who had to handle the experience via tending herd to three under-nappeds who got all shy-manic in a loud room of grownups they've only occasionally met in tiny increments through work life/daycare life hallway collisions.
That fine line between "yeah, this childless crowd can totally handle our rambunctious brood and find them amusing" and "oh, crap, we're raising heathens who humiliate us" - if we had left ten minutes earlier we wouldn't have crossed it. But that's how it goes in the game of Stay Out Past Their Bedtime Roulette.
Luckily, my coworkers are truly wonderful, otherwise this dinner wouldn't have come together at all. And everyone had at least a little wine or beer in them, so with any luck their memories of tonight will be just soft enough around the edges to make them remember my crazy monkeys as
So...same time next year?
(Thank you, friends.)