Remember Thanksgivings before you had kids? I remember my first “adult” Thanksgiving laughing with family and friends, while cooking and sipping wine. The mismatched plates, not enough wine glasses and good hearted jokes as we sat down to eat, later than expected, because my roommate Jenn cooked the turkey with the oven off for the first 2 hours, were priceless.

Mistakes were forgiven because we were new to this whole “hosting” thing and it never crossed my mind to buy extra toilet paper (sorry Dan). And of course it would make sense to have more wine than dinner rolls. Everyone pitched in afterwards to clean, with a feeling of contentedness. There may even have been a hook-up or two afterwards.

Fast forward to a more adult holiday, hosted with my new husband, matching plates, sparkling wine glasses (12 of them) and extra rolls of toilet paper in each bathroom. The house was clean, appetizers that I had worked painstakingly on were set out, along with cute, tiny forks. There were cloth napkins, a centerpiece and the food was perfect, because I spent the week before researching how to be Martha Stewart. Guests laughed and I eyed Jenn’s baby girl enviably, wishing it was my baby’s first Thanksgiving.

Then it happened – kids. That first Thanksgiving was everything I had dreamed. My beautiful bundle of boy-joy was 7 months old and while not ready to indulge in a full plate of turkey goodness, sat in his high-chair, making us all laugh and smile with sweet coos, fists full of mashed potatoes then falling asleep in the potatoes, snoring. Everything was perfect.

Then “perfect” morphed into a disgusting chaotic ball of sh*t.

Thanksgiving is a now a holiday where I pour wine (repeatedly – don’t judge me till you read more) and reminisce about days past, when things were…well, everything they’re NOT now. Here’s just a few reasons why Thanksgiving sucks with kids:

  1. I spend approximately 6 hours cooking a wonderful turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberries, etc., and the only thing my kids will eat are the store bought dinner rolls.
  1. My parents no longer want to join us because my kids think belching out why they’re thankful is hi-lar-ious. And last year my 11 year old took it up a notch, ending his speech with a fart and declaring, “Oh crap, I sharted (it’s a thing – look it up).” My parents were appalled.
  1. If I invite my friends who have kids, it’ll be the last time because they’re also appalled by my sons, who think it’s fun to soak Mommy’s tampons in water and use them as wet bombs in their Nerf guns. F*&king Nerf guns.
  1. If I invite my friends without kids, their poor heads will explode at how crazy and gross my house is. They don’t think the plastic spiders left over from Halloween, hidden in their cranberry sauce is funny. And Grandma didn’t enjoy finding the plastic spider down her shirt when she woke from her nap funny either. Go figure.
  1. Goodbye extra toilet paper, which somehow ended up wrapped around my 7 year old, when his brothers tried to make him into a Thanksgiving Mummy Turkey. Oh, and the dog too.
  1. Because my kids only eat dinner rolls, after all the cooking AND cleaning I hear, “I’m hungry. Hey, can we try some turkey and gravy now?”
  1. I can no longer take that after-dinner-turkey-coma nap because – kids. And I’m busy throwing out the gelatinous tampon-bombs that landed in every godforsaken corner of the house. Digging one of those out of the cranberry sauce bowl was fun.
  1. Once everyone is down, I pour myself one more glass of wine and prepare to feed my emotions with pie, only to find my kid has eaten it. But just the center, they kindly left the crust. F*ck you kid.

Now if you read this and are scratching your head thinking, “This stuff never happens to me,” or “I’m clueless as to what she is talking about,” then discount this as funny fiction and move on. But to those of you sighing and thinking, “YES, she GETS it!“ I say, let’s roll back the clock to the days of more wine than toilet paper. And next year, make an extra pie and hide it (along with your tampons), in the closet with extra wine, a glass and a single fork.

Because, this is YOUR time to be thankful, for dark closets and locks on doors.


About the author: Heather LeRoss is the mom to 2 boys and the step-mom to another, so her world is usually loud, gross and stinks. She remains sane with daily chocolate doses, wine and the unwavering support of her dog (and husband). You can find more of her life’s antics at or follow the craziness on twitter, @heatherleross. She’s been featured on Scary Mommy, Dr. Psych Mom, ParentMap and more and hopes to someday be known as “Heather” again and not “those boys’ mom”.


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