April's Real Blog

Monday, December 24, 2007

Kiddie table

4 sum reason, my fam, the Sobinskis, and Anthony all agreed 2 have Xmas dinner yesterday an' pretend it was actually Xmas, as if sum 60-yo woman were telling the story abt our holiday meal and d-cided that the actual d8 was when she was dun talking abt or in the middle of when she was talking abt it, instead of the more logical when she starts talking abt it.

NEhoodles, as soon as I walked in I picked up Anthony's massive [fingerless] salad 2 put it on the dining-room table, and Dee, standing by the kiddie table in the kitchen, was all, "April, we have so many ppl here 2nite, I was hoping U wdn't mind sitting here @ the kitchen table w/the children." I was all, "Umm." Dee, taking the salad from me, sed, "I know U're not a kid! It's not a put-down. We just need a responsible person 2 supervise the little ones during dinner." I rolled my eyez while saying "Sigh." Not actually sighing, mind U, just saying "sigh." Over her shoulder, while carrying the salad away 2 the big-ppl's table, Dee was like, "U'll B away from the adults and adult conversation, I'm afraid. Do U mind?" I gave her a dead-eyed look an' sed, "I guess not." Then, after Dee had left the kitchen, sum1 in the next room was all, "YACK-YACK-YACK-GABBLE, YAP-YAK-GABBLE, YAP, YAK, YACK-YA, YAP, YACK, GAB," and insteada thinking "What the eff!" I thought, "Bonus!" While serving dinner 2 the littles, like I was their waitress.

Oh, and 4 sum reason, Robin @ age 3 yrs, almost two months, is so stunted he still needs a booster seat, which he was seated in @ the head of the table (being a male Patterson an' all), while Françoise, who is four months an' six days younger than Robin, is Merrie's size and was sitting next 2 Merrie. What the heck? And no, I M not accepting the theory that Francie's age is adjusted. She will be three on March 7, 2008.

She will be three on March 7, 2008.

She will be three on March 7, 2008.

She will be three on March 7, 2008.

She will be three on March 7, 2008.

She will be three on March 7, 2008.

She will be three on March 7, 2008.

Sorry 4 all the repetition, I want 2 try 2 get the message out there 2 NE crazy 60-yo storytelling women out there who mite B trying 2 control our story arcs.


P.S. And don't worry, I will B billing Dee 4 my babysitting. As a holiday gift, I will waive my "short notice/no notice" surcharge.

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  • At 12:23 PM, Anonymous michael patterson said…


    Formerly little sis. You seem to be quite confused about a number of things for our Christmas Dinner. I think my lovely Deanna stated it quite clearly when she said, “We just need a responsible person to supervise the little ones during dinner." Obviously that’s not going to be my wife, who can barely get my son to stay in his clothes these days. And naturally, it can’t be me; because I had important news to share with my in-laws about how far up the best-seller list my novel Stone Season is. Of course, it’s not going to be dad, who slathered just-cooked pie into his mouth before coming to the meal and burnt himself, so he can barely talk. Somehow he got the impression that ice cream instantly cooled things off. You do have to wait a few minutes.

    And mom has her responsibilities with Iris and Grandpa Jim. I believe there were a few good stories about Connie Poirier she hadn’t told them yet. That leaves Elizabeth, who can barely take care of a cat, much less anyone else. And Anthony Caine, who has far more important things on his mind (ring, ring, ring) than his half-Quebecoise daughter. That just leaves you as the only responsible person left. You should also remember that since this was family gathering, Deanna considers your payment to be a part of your family responsibilities. I am sure you don’t mind.

    I must admit your transcription of Mira Sobinski with her "YACK-YACK-YACK-GABBLE, YAP-YAK-GABBLE, YAP, YAK, YACK-YA, YAP, YACK, GAB,” was pretty close. I probably would have put in a few snorts and belches, but those would be minor improvements.

    Also, even though Anthony’s little half-Quebecoise child will be three on March 7, 2008; you should remember that in terms of her physical and emotional growth and verbal dexterity, she is essentially the same as my daughter. I didn’t like the idea that a half-Quebecoise child would be so advanced, since it makes normal Milborough children like my own look bad. However, Anthony showed me the memo from the Johnston Institute and it looked valid. It cited the Laura/Liz clause in the Patterson/Richards accord of 1979.

    Michael Patterson

  • At 12:26 PM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    april, ok. i am confuzed. r we still gettin’ 2gethah on xmas eve or haz that day alreddy passed?

  • At 1:33 PM, Blogger DreadedCandiru2 said…

    Super nice of your aunt to leave you with the kids but, like Mike said, she has no idea what to do with'em now that she's got'em. Besides, do you want innocent children to bear witness to the proposal from Hotel-Echo-Lima-Lima?

  • At 2:09 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    "mind"? yeah, mike, i mind. memo 2 u and dee, if u plan 2 keep this no-payment payment idea 4 future fam get-2gethers, u can consider this the last such get-2gether i plan 2 particip8 in.

    jeremy, xmas eve will still b 2morrow, and we r still getting 2gether.


  • At 7:43 PM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    april, thass wut i wuz afraid of. ur fam haz completely warped ur sense of time. in my fam & in mosta the churches, they think xmas eve iz 2day & 2morrow iz xmas day. i guess thass y u looked so surprized wen we came by 2 pick u up 2 go 2 the church service w/us.

    u recovered rilly well tho & u didn’t evn roll ur eyes @ur mom wen she suggested u wear sum tights w/ur short skirt. i hadda agree w/ur mom on that 1. ur legs look a lot bettah w/tights on them. i mean not that ur legs look bad w/o tights on them. in the summertime, they look gr8. i wud look @them like all the tyme. no, not rilly. that wud b kinda creepy. not rilly all the tyme. mosta the tyme, mebbe. duz that sound rite? i mean the skool unis have u girls in skirts all the tyme, so it’s hard not 2 look at girls’ legs. not that i look @ne othah girls’ legz than urs. ur legs r the best. once i have seen ur legz there’s no reasn 2 evah look @ne othah girls’ legz, evn if they’re standin’ rite nexta u. i just mean in the winter, they r not quite az good-lookin’ w/the big goose-pimples on them frum the cold, than they r in the summer w/o big goose-pimples. ‘course if ne girl evah looked good w/big goose-pimples on their legs it wud b u. ur definitely hott, evn wen ur legz r cold.

    neway, due to the increased latino population in mboro, mom wunts 2 do the las posados service 2nite nsteada the traditional 1. i hope u don’t mind. we mite run n2 luis guzmán & wutevah girl he is w/these days.

  • At 7:46 PM, Anonymous michael patterson said…


    Formerly little sis. Such complaining. OK. You want to be paid. Next time, we’ll save you a little pie instead of eating it all before you get done taking of the kids.

    Michael Patterson

  • At 9:13 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    sorry, jeremy, i did mean 2day, and u r rite, pretending yesterday was xmas did put a zap on my brain. i had fun w/yr fam. the service was v. nice.

    mike, saving me pie is not the same as paying me.


  • At 2:42 AM, Anonymous michael patterson said…


    Formerly little sis. Merry Christmas from the adult table. Sometimes it is those last minute changes at Christmas, which make things exciting. For example, after having changed out the glass in the door at the end of our dining room and having changed the light fixture from when mom lived here, who would have ever suspected that Deanna would make me change them again at the last minute. Literally, we were playing with the napkins and setting the table for Christmas Dinner when Deanna said to me, “Michael. I want a whole new light fixture. I want the one with 5 different little lights, almost like a chandelier. And those glass doors, I want the glass to be plain like it was before, but the bottom part to be wooden, almost as if it was a china cabinet than glass doors.” Well, I made those changes; but just barely.

    But then, Deanna decided that all the women had to wear dresses and their shoes had to be from the same design, only with their shoes matching their dress colour and no lady could be wearing the same colour. I am sure you heard part of that argument. But Deanna won, and everyone’s shoes were colour-coordinated.

    But then, Deanna decided that all the men needed to sit in chairs with raised bottoms, of the chairs and not the men, even though the net effect was the same. Deanna said it would symbolize the fact that men’s feet didn’t touch the ground even though women’s did, and this would be a good symbol for Christmas. Well, I spent the better part of the day, padding chairs, but it did work. My feet, and every other man’s feet did not touch the ground when we were sitting down for the Christmas Dinner. The exception of course, was Grandpa Jim, who took Iris’ chair. So Iris’ feet dangled, and Grandpa Jim’s didn’t. By the way, I was very surprised when he came and made it to the dining room table just using a cane. It’s hard to believe that just 2 months ago, he could barely stay conscious. I must say, the curative properties of my book Stone Season cannot be underestimated.

    But then, Deanna decided that she wanted an Advent candle display on the table, with the candles lit. This was actually fairly pretty, and would have worked out if Anthony hadn’t leaned into them and singed off part of his eyebrow. I am not sure why Anthony sat right in front of those candles.

    But then Deanna and mom got into it about mom’s decision to wear a sweater over her shoulders and keep her hair in a bun. Apparently, when Deanna was sending out the notification about the women’s dress code, our mom ignored it and wore her hair in a bun and she wore the sweater too. Mom’s argument was that if Mira Sobinski was going to wear a low-cut dress showing off her cleavage like a pole dancer, then she was going to wear the garments of a proper lady.

    But then Deanna and her mom got into an argument about whether or not it was judicious to include the dogs in on the family meal, if you and the children were left out. Finally it was decided it was more important to try to teach the dogs good manners by putting them in the presence of adults, than to include the kids in the meal. It didn’t really matter. Grandpa Jim ‘s old dog passed out from all the Havarti, he slipped him on the side.

    After all these last minute changes were made, we finally got to the dinner. We were sitting down with the food in front of us, all ready to wolf it down in seconds, when you would not believe what Mira Sobinski had the nerve to do. She said, “Now…Shall I say grace?” At first I thought she was going to just say the word, “Grace” and then we could and would start eating. But she actually started talking and she was saying things like, “Thank you for families who can get together over Christmas. Thank you for this meal my daughter and all the many hands who have laboured over it.” Simply ridiculous stuff. Now, if you can remember back to 2002, when I did the grace, that was a great prayer. People were practically begging for me to say grace at every meal. That’s how it should be done. Short, sweet, and so impersonal it could have been said about any family on any occasion.

    Well, Mira’s prayer went on and on and on. In fact, there came a point where I opened my eyes and took a look at the thought balloons beside me. Deanna was thinking, “Mom, please hurry. Everything’s getting cold.” This was kind of a funny one when you think about how Deanna’s mom’s food was brought all the way over from Burlington, and it had to be reheated when they got here. Dad was thinking, “She always goes on and on and on!” Right dad! Kind of like watching a train go around a track. Dad is always thinking in train metaphors. Then mom was thinking, “Snore”. I found out later, she had eaten so much dessert before she came to the dinner, that it had caused her to fall asleep. I was thinking, “Come on, Mira! Enough already!” That’s because I wanted her to stop. Iris was thinking, “Smells good anyway.” I suppose that’s her old lady confirmation that her nose still works. Elizabeth was sitting beside me and not beside Anthony because (and this is so typical of her), Anthony and she are “just friends.” So, to prove this she sat by me. Liz was thinking, “Hungry!!” What can I say about that? That’s Liz. Grandpa Jim was thinking, “Sometimes, I think we have no idea just how fortunate we really are!” Yes, April, Grandpa Jim wanted to do the prayer, and since Mira took it over from him, he just decided to think the prayer he planned to do. Thanks goodness he can’t talk.

    I would tell you what Wilf Sobinski was thinking, but really, who cares? Anthony Caine was thinking, “I think I smell something burning” and he was right. Who would have known his eyebrows would be so flammable.

    So, you see, April, you really didn’t miss much at Christmas Dinner.

    Michael Patterson


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