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New Year’s Eve with Nine (Kids)

Beware the four-way clink. It will get you.

As we began to serve our special New Year’s Eve dinner last night, one of the kids proposed a “four-way clink.” This is fancy talk for “Let the four of us seated raise our vintage soda bottles, join them in the middle of the table, and toast the coming new year!”

Teddy couldn’t handle his bottle. He’s no Jay Gatsby. When he clinked, he spilled half a Bubble Up all over Joel’s plate of fish fingers and custard. The Doctor Who-inspired dinner looked especially festive when covered in effervescent liquid. It was completely inedible, so I fixed plate #2 for Joel and we went on our merry way. When everyone was served, we sat down together. I planned to ask everyone their resolution. I barely remember if we had a cogent conversation because it was so, so loud. So loud.

I managed to get everyone settled for long enough to survey how they wanted to spend the hours stair-stepping up to midnight. Games and movies were tops, along with living room camping. Nobody proposed warm baths and sensible bedtimes.

We cleaned the kitchen. Kids scattered to gather their cozy blankets. A few of us played Dixit. I was winning until the very last turn when Beatrix’s little wooden bunny pulled ahead. I didn’t mind. Any game a 7-year-old can play and legitimately beat two adults, a teenager, and a 12-year-old is a good game.

After the Dixit bunnies were back in the box, we watched the very funny Despicable Me 2. Ollie and Beatrix were asleep for the night when the movie ended around 11:45pm, MST. Good timing. We flipped on the TV to watch tape-delayed celebrations, hoping to see the ball drop. Unfortunately, these shows are hosted by total idiots, including a woman who was dressed like a giant tampon.

(Missing you, Dick Clark.)

We wasted time by bouncing around, trying to avoid C-list celebrities talking about twerking. At about 11:57pm, Teddy, who was still wide-awake, decided he had enough. He was nestled in his Cars sleeping bag, ready to sleep. “Turn off the TV!” he barked. We explained it would go off in about three minutes, when the new year arrived. We could count down together! He was totally against this and began to wail. “Noooo TV! Turn it off now! I’m tired!”

2014 began with a 3-year-old’s tirade against TV. He had a point. The moment the crowd cheered, the screen went blank, Teddy halted his protest, and we went to bed.

We forgot to get out the Fancy Fringed blowers I bought. We forgot to prepare the breakfast casserole for the next morning. We did not forget to make coffee and set the timer. This means we didn’t honk in the new year while gouging out eyeballs and we didn’t have a fancy New Year’s Day breakfast.

But we had hot coffee to pour into cups. When the sun rose, we were there to watch the first sun of 2014 huff and puff up and over the hazy grey horizon.


I have a new post up at A Deeper Story. Go say hello and perhaps share your theory on resolutions. Do they work? Are they foolish? Is January 1st a powerful motivator?

2 comments to New Year’s Eve with Nine (Kids)

  • amy

    Sounds fun! No more fondue? I always imagine you with a skewer in your hand.

    • Gretchen

      We gave up fondue for a few years when it became more about managing small children and open flames than enjoying the experience. We talked about it this year, but decided to revisit next year. Maybe. I miss it. Maybe we’ll do it some night after the little guys are asleep.

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