Thanksgiving dinner for one

By Published On: December 9th, 2013

I should know better by now than to have expectations […]


The only photo I could get of a non-wailing Rowan on Thanksgiving!

I should know better by now than to have expectations for how things should go, especially with a newborn. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, so of course I had hopes for how Rowan’s first would go. Not only was it a major holiday, but it was also his two-month birthday. And to top it all off, it would be the first time his paternal great-grandparents met him. The stakes were high, and I had everything to lose.
The day started off well enough – Rowan was a calm, happy baby for the first half. He looked so dashing in the sweater and corduroy pants that took me more than a month to find; I was hoping to get our holiday picture taken that day, since we’d all be dressed up. When the guests started rolling in, he took it in stride and didn’t fuss as he met new people. But after tummy time, things took a turn for the worse.
I had fed him right before the other family members arrived at my parents’ house, which was about an hour before dinner was being served. That should’ve left me with at least an hour to enjoy my own Thanksgiving meal before giving Rowan his. My son didn’t quite see it that way and required his food 15 minutes before ours. That would’ve been fine by me; I could join the dinner party a little later. But this mealtime kick started an epic meltdown that would last until bedtime.
From 1:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Rowan cried uncontrollably unless he was eating. He refused to nap and just wanted to feed. Which meant I spent the majority of the holiday upstairs, sequestered from my family while I gave my son his Thanksgiving dinner again and again. Any time I tried to venture downstairs for more than five minutes, he erupted into a heartbreaking cry until I returned to the bedroom.
I barely had a reprieve to toss back a few bites of food and bid family members farewell before I was back upstairs soothing my crying cutie. Ironically, the person I was most grateful for this holiday was keeping me from enjoying it. An oft-heard phrase from my loved ones as Thanksgiving wound down was, “I didn’t really get to see you, Charli.”
Thankfully, our nightly routine went off without a hitch. After he was bundled in his pajamas, had (another) feed, and heard his bedtime story, he went to sleep for the night. I guess a long day of feeding, crying, and no naps had taken its toll. Go figure.
I never did get the picture I wanted (or much of a dinner), but I’m lucky enough to have a family I want to capture on film and a dinner that I could miss. In retrospect, it’s fitting that I spent the bulk of Thanksgiving comforting Rowan. I’m thankful I have a healthy baby who was delivered safely, and if he needed his mom to assist him with a growth spurt, I’m glad I could be there for him. Do I hope next year goes better? Absolutely. Do I know better than to get my hopes up for Christmas? Absolutely not!