"Mommy, I color my face!"
Sidenote: Why is it NEVER the yellow marker? Also, it takes a lot of baby wipes to get washable marker off flesh.
Like last year, the party was held at a fancy country club. This required that I wear something other than yoga pants for the first time in two months. Let's just say it was painful. I almost forgot how to get dressed. There is nothing like wearing business clothes to tell you the honest truth about your post-pregnancy body. My yoga pants are so very kind to me and tell me that I'm already at my pre-pregnancy shape. My pencil skirts and blouses tell a completely DIFFERENT story (damn them all! So all this time, I really shouldn't have been indulging in my post-dinner bags of kettle popcorn. I liked it better when I didn't know this fact).
UNLIKE last year, my husband's work set up a disco ball and a karaoke machine in the corner of the large dining room. Disco ball + karaoke machine + Christmas cookies + a half dozen children. I think you guys already know where this post is going. Am I right? I'm pretty sure that my husband's work imagined that the karaoke machine would cater to the adults in the room who suddenly found themselves overcome with Christmas cheer (and several glasses of wine). I'm pretty sure they DIDN'T imagine that my two oldest children would use it to make unpleasant noises during a catered meal eaten on CLOTH TABLECLOTHS. Cloth tablecloths always set off a loud warning signal in my brain. My family shouldn't be allowed anywhere with cloth tablecloths. I generally draw the line at newspaper (preferably the comics) or plastic.
So as the CEO of my husband's work steps up to a podium (places with podiums are also generally off limits) to give a lengthy pre-dinner speech about the successes of the year, my two year old and six year old stretch out on the floor next to the disco ball like a bunch of high-as-a-kite hippies staring up at the pretty lights that are changing colors and twirling around the walls. We thought the kids were being pretty harmless but were eventually forced to intervene when Ryan got up off the floor and started running circles around the disco ball while Jacob stood over it to cast a shadow of his butt on the ceiling.
Sharing our table with my husband's direct supervisor, we all enjoyed a lovely dinner of chicken parmesan, risotto, and broccolettes (which look exactly like the love child of an asparagus and a broccoli). As we were digging in, I heard a clanging sound and looked over at Ryan who had submerged a purple toothbrush into his fancy glass of ice water. Where did the toothbrush come from? Funny you should ask. Ryan's pockets are mini worm holes with the power to teleport his hands into the farthest reaches of any junk drawer in the continental United States. Ryan pulled his toothbrush out of the water glass, smiled maliciously, and then began vigorously scrubbing his teeth. I looked at my husband and we gave each other the universal parental look of "is there any way we can pretend he's not ours?" We shrugged it off and intended to go back to our dinners when Ryan began repeatedly dipping his toothbrush into the water glass, pulling it out, and loudly slurping all the water off the bristles. The sound made me cringe and took my back to the time I caught my grandma in the middle of the night slurping on chunks of leftover turkey through her denture-less gums. Ryan's toothbrush was taken hostage for the rest of the night.
After dinner, the floor was opened for karaoke and the microphone was turned on. And, just as you would imagine in a room full of sober coworkers, everyone steered clear. That is, until a toddler wandered over and began smacking the microphone against the floor. I chuckled softly as some other mom ran toward the stage. Then the "thwacking" sound morphed into high-pitched "heeee heee heee" sounds. I chuckled again at the thought of another sorry mom running for her kid. That's when my husband elbowed me and whispered, "um, I think that's Ryan." I looked over at Ryan's seat and, alas, saw that it was empty. My husband disappeared for a moment and brought back one kicking and screaming two year old.
But it's ok. This story has a happy ending. I gave Jacob permission to go up and sing a karaoke song. After cautiously circling the mic, he finally took it, ducked behind the speaker and belted out "Colin Kaepernick got run over by a Seahawk!" to the tune of Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer. Hopefully no one in the room was a 49'ers fan. I gave him the glare of death and then he started to sing the entire first verse and chorus of Jingle Bells. He ended to a loud round of applause from the room (he was the first person to actually use the mic to sing anything). I was so proud! He clearly did not get his gregariousness from me, nor his singing voice.
My pride lasted a full .25 seconds. His courage having been propelled by the loud applause from his new adoring fans, Jacob prepared for a majestic encore. And suddenly the room was filled with a symphony of horrendous fart noises. Yep. Now THAT he may have gotten from me.