A good bottle of wine

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Commentary by Heather Kestian

It is about to get crazy in my house. The holiday gauntlet is on the verge of being thrown. I know I should enjoy this time of year, but it is high stress. With all the planning, traveling and year-end activities to balance, I usually go a little crazy. However, this year I resolve to be better prepared and less stressed, so I have started the planning process before Halloween.

I admit, in years past I have wanted everything to be perfect. I order the organic turkey, buy the necessary supplies weeks before only to forget a key ingredient (the cooking bag, for example), and shampoo the carpets. One year, I even re-caulked the sink. I was obsessed with presentation.

Then life happened and we had a second child. That is when the bananas happened.

Having a second (or any subsequent number) child will rock your world. Gone are the days of perfection and shampooed carpets. Within minutes of last year’s shampoo, we had a blow out diaper and breast milk vomit on the freshly dried carpet. I sat and wondered, why on earth did I just shampoo the carpets? Should I re-shampoo? Then that little voice in my head said, “Your kid has something viral, spot treat and move on. This is going to repeat itself. Do not be an idiot. And if your guests do not understand, kick them out. It is your house, remember?”

I invite my fellow moms, dads, grandparents and fellow child caretakers to stop and enjoy the holidays. Ditch the perfection quest. Someone will do something absurd, say something ridiculous and something will be forgotten. It is OK. It took me years of trying so hard and burning the midnight oil to finally say, “Let it go.” If no one dies or goes to the hospital, we are successful.

My mantra for the Holiday Gauntlet of 2013: poop happens, usually on the carpet and completely unplanned, so move on. Do not forget a good bottle of wine.


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