two for one holiday angst

Family and holidays: what could be better? And by better I mean worse. Ha! I kid. Or…do I?

Sunday kicked off a week in sunny Santa Cruz, which both Not So and I call our hometown. In the case of Not So, it’s actually the truth! I did go to high school here (well, not here, but nearby. Same county) so it sort of counts. My sister went to UCSC and instead of fleeing once she was done with college and ready to settle down, she and her husband bought a huge, lovely house and live a huge, lovely life amongst the huge, lovely redwoods. Are you noticing the adjectives? Because that’s the first thing that jumps out when one walks into Auntie Pep’s house: the hugeness of it, and the loveliness, second only to this place is a baby deathtrap OMG. Or maybe that’s just me.

We’ve managed to keep the small child from, in no particular order, electrocuting, drowning, immolating or concussing himself, and I am offering myself a pat on the back for that. Pat, pat. I can’t take all the credit; Not So’s been lovely and amazing, and the aunt and uncle-unit are nuts over the baby. It’s so funny to see my baby sister all gaga over an infant. She’s always been somewhat more career-oriented than maternal, but as far as she’s concerned, Ellison’s the best thing since sliced bread. Which is pretty reasonable, since sliced bread’s got nothing on my kid.

We survived a family dinner with at least 15 guests, if by survived you mean sat upstairs while the baby wailed and refused to take a nap and three generations of relatives clamoured for him to cheer up so they could play with him. Good times, good times. I’m not fond of crowds under the best of circumstances, but add together my mother, my grandmother, and a screaming baby? At least I’m so sleep-deprived that I can’t quite manage a full-fledged anxiety attack, that’s all I’m saying.

Aside from the exciting napping issues, Happy Fun Baby is having the time of his life, running through the hugeness that is the living room, toddling around the loveliness that is the newly-remodeled kitchen. I can only imagine that the return to our miniscule (but cute!) condo will be somewhat anticlimactic for him.

Plus, home will not involve Auntie Pep, who is Happy Fun Baby’s official Favorite Person Anywhere Ever. She fed him ham last night. You wouldn’t think ham would be the way to a baby’s heart, but you’ve obviously never met my baby. They chase each other around, playing hide-and-seek, singing little songs…it is a veritable cornucopia of cuteness.

Being childless (except for the new puppy, which is a lot having a child, assuming you’re the sort of person who’s comfortable leaving your child home all day while you go to work) my sister has time to do things like paint her toenails and shave her legs, which Happy Fun Baby finds fascinating. Each time he sees painted toenails he gets down on the ground to study them, fascinated, and then looks up at me like why can’t you be more like Auntie Pep? To which I respond by putting on a pair of sweats and sulking. Just like when we were kids!

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