10 Commandments of Thanksgiving Dinner With Kids

I love everything about Thanksgiving -- the smell, the taste, the house bursting at the seams. It's my favorite holiday, by far. So, of course, I had very high expectations for my first Thanksgiving as a mother. And of, course, it was a collosal failure. I undercooked and then burned the turkey, my daughter's nap was distrupted by the smoke alarm and we both ended up in tears at the dinner table. So much for perfect planning. To ensure that your holiday is a tad better than our first together, I present you with some tips. Cheers. 
1. Just because you love the food, don't expect them to eat anything. Turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes ... is your mouth watering? I'll bet you kid's mouth, however, is not. It's a hell of a lot easier just to let them eat a roll and pie rather than insist they try your Aunt's famous green bean casserole and have them promptly spit it out all over their plate.
2. Let them wear what they want. Nothing ruins a nice evening like a kid throwing a fit over the perfect fall outfit you've picked out. I don't know about you, but I'd much rather have a questionably dressed happy child than an impeccably dressed miserable one. 
3. Prepare for your long holiday driveby packing a cooler with a few types of food that you can easily toss into the back like scraps to pigs. Also be sure to teach your child the art of peeing on the side of the road. Got a kid under 3 10? Stick a diaper on them and hit the cruise control, baby.
4. The only thing worse than long holiday drives are long holiday flights, or rather, short holiday flights with endless airport waits. Allow your kid to take his or her favorite hand held electronic on the flight. If he doesn't have one? Have Christmas in November. Hey, the Jews are doing it this year!
5. Don't force them to sit on your weird Uncle Ervin's lap. Because that's just wrong. 
6. Don't expect to capture a picture with everyone looking at the camera and smiling. It's never gonna happen.
7. Don't get into a discussion over what, exactly, turkey is around the dinner table. Your drool worthy plate will look a hell of a lot less appetizing once a picture of a hideous live turkey is being passed around. 
8. Start drinking early. Family is always easier to take with a little buzz on! 
9. Get them outside. There's a reason people toss around a football or take a long walk after consuming all that food - it feels good to burn some of those calories off. Besides, there's bound to be some relative you bribe into playing catch with the kids ... so you can nap.

10. Be thankful. Because as annoying and infuriating and uncooperative as your children may be, they're yours. And you love them more than anything else in the world.

Image via mroach/Flickr

Read More >