I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Our trip to CT went remarkably well. I felt like I was wrestling an alligator trying to deal with Caroline on the plane, but she didn't cry, so I'll take the less-than-relaxing flight experience with a squirmy toddler. I was a little bit stressed out on one flight because Elizabeth kept kicking the back of the seat of a distinguished looking man in his 70s who was reading cases about summary judgment standards in employment discrimination cases. I figured he was not the passenger most likely to have a sense of humor about getting his back kicked for two hours. [Incidentally, if you are ever getting your seat kicked by child, please note that they might not actually be trying to torment you (although they might be, it's hard to tell). They have no choice but to sit with their legs out straight (with their feet ending up right on the back of the seat), because their knees don't come to the edge of the plane seat, and therefore they can't bend their knees and allow their feet to dangle freely. But that's neither here nor there -- it is mega-annoying to get kicked on a plane ride, so we try our best to stop it, by doing things such as encouraging Elizabeth to sit criss cross apple sauce (that used to be "Indian style," for you children of the 70s and 80s out there), and shamelessly bribing with candy.] But as it turned out, when we landed and were getting ready to get off the plane, the man checked us out with a surprised looked on his face, and said "are these all yours? They were so well behaved. I didn't even know there were children sitting behind me." I am going to get those words engraved on a plaque. I almost hugged the poor man. He has no idea that there is no higher praise you could give the parents of a traveling family than to tell us that you did not know we were there. It is nice to get occasional validation that our system of bribes and threats works.
I took time to reflect on all my abundant blessings -- my wonderful family and friends, our health, the roof over our heads, the fact that we got to share a fabulous meal on Thanksgiving (thanks Diane and Sal!) with people that we love. Elizabeth reflected on her blessings too, and her great teachers turned it into a placemat:
And before we even had a chance to catch our breath, here we are turning our attention to getting ready for Christmas! Jacob and Elizabeth have both been pestering us to start decorating. When David told him that we don't start decorating for Christmas until December 1, Jacob scowled and said indignantly "we are a WEIRD FAMILY!!" Indeed. Then Elizabeth (who doesn't yet have a concept of time -- she'll say that things that happened yesterday happened "last week;" if I tell her we'll do something this afternoon, she'll protest that she wants to do it "today!" Etc.) had a little come apart this morning when I told her that we would not put up our tree until this coming weekend. The poor thing started crying and said "YOU SAID THAT WE COULD DO IT THE YEAR BEFORE LAST YEAR!!!!" Well, whether it happens on Saturday or the year before last year, the tree is definitely on deck. Heck, we've already visited Santa Claus -- Christmas is clearly coming whether we are ready or not. Sorry about the dark picture, but it's bright enough for you to get the general idea about what Caroline thought about the big man: