What do you get when you combine a non-baby-proofed house, new couch, a hard-wood window sill (which has already sent one child to the ER), two dogs and three children, all under the age of 4? You're thinking chaos, right? That is how I spent my New Year's Eve.
My small family planned to head to Akron to spend the holiday with our newlywed friends and a couple of their friends and their two children. It is very rare that both Mark and I have New Year's Eve off or don't have to work early the next day. So we loaded up the truck and headed north.
When we go somewhere, even when it is just for the weekend, it looks like we are staying for the week. What can I say, little guys need things. My son is a very picky eater (a story for another time) so we had to have snacks that I knew he would eat. We had to have toys and movies for entertainment. Oh, and he gets car sick. So the trip started off with his head in the Mickey Mouse bucket we carry with us for that purpose.
Our friends have no children as of yet, so their house is far from baby-proof. Glass bowls and a wine rack (filled with wine) are where children can reach. Of course, Little Man heads straight for the wine bottles. Thankfully, I spotted the glass bowl before he did and moved it safely out of reach. Unfortunately, there was no moving the new couch or the window sill.
As I said, the window in their living room saw a horrific accident just weeks before when a 7-year-old was running and crashed head first into it. Needless to say, he required stitches, 10 in all. Because of that accident, my friend joked that she was going to require helmets for the three children in attendance that night.
Luckily, the evening went incident free. In fact, we were told a rather humorous story of our friend spilling garlic sauce all over the couch and the carpet. And she's old enough to know better. We joked about the window incident, although my friend still doesn't find it funny and cringed every time one of the kids went near the window.
So, we have three children, two boys and one girl, running around the living room playing with toys. I need to mention that every other time the boys got together, they had difficulty sharing. Surprisingly, they shared this time better than they had in the past. Add to that, the new couch that we have to be careful not to harm, the window sill we need to stay away from, two dogs running and jumping and barking at the children and '80s' night on the CD player as "The Polar Express" plays on the television and the adults try to play a quick game of "Would You Rather."
Got the picture?
But not really. It may seem that it was completely crazy, but it went rather smoothly. No one got hurt, not a dog or child.
The couch went unstained.
The window sill went untouched.
Nothing was broken or knocked over.
When the night ended, I think we all breathed a sigh of relief. I know I did. I think everyone had a good time. Worse thing that may have come from it: the children were birth control for the newlyweds.
(Letusick, a resident of Rayland, is a copy editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)