Surviving Thanksgiving with Kids

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching for us here and I must say that it completely snuck up on me! If your family is like mine, you’ve got two or more over active children and taking them to someone’s house for a nice meal doesn’t sound appealing at all! For us, Thanksgiving meal will be at my parent’s house so we’re safe there as grandma and grandpa are used to my unruly kids. If you aren’t as lucky, make sure you’re prepared for the holiday.

An unspoken ‘no duh!’ is to make sure you have your diaper bag stocked. I don’t normally carry a diaper bag, but for things like this I would make sure I had one with me! Pack extra diapers and knowing my children it, would come stocked with wipes. If you are formula feeding make sure you have enough bottles and if you’re concerned about water supply bring some bottles of water if you don’t want to use tap water. Unless you need an excuse to cut out before dessert, don’t forget your extra formula! Burp rags and change of clothes will come in handy too!

If you’re going to someone’s house who has kids, likely some sort of entertainment for your little ones will be provided, however, if you’re not, you’ll need to bring some of your own. Cars and baby dolls are often small and won’t have a lot of pieces floating around. Crayons & coloring books can be used at the table to help keep children quiet through the meal. If you’re a technology friendly family an Ipad with some great kid apps could also help make a gathering more enjoyable for all around! (quiet kids means happy guests!) I suggest bringing your most obnoxious toys.. er, least obnoxious toys so you don’t disrupt the peace.

Talk to the host prior to going, ask them what they plan to have on their menu. If you don’t think your little one will eat what is being served, bring them a few things of their own. I promise you people will be less offended if you bring your own food for your child over watching your child gag back up food they won’t eat in a stranger’s house. If you’re bringing a dish to pass make sure to bring something you know your children will eat so at least something will go into their bellies. Who said that chicken nuggets didn’t make a good appetizer? Serve them with Dijon mustard to make them extra fancy.

Depending on the timing of your gathering talk to the host again about possibly bring a port-a-crib for your little guy to have a rest if things fall during his scheduled times. I’m sure there will be a quiet area for your kids to rest if they need. If your children are like mine, they won’t sleep in a stranger’s house if I paid them, so I would simply let our host know that we are only able to stay from a certain time in order to ensure my children don’t ruin their entire gathering. Again, not sure of a host who would argue with that (especially one who doesn’t have kids of their own and understand!).

If your children are older perhaps practice how to sit nicely and eat during a fancy meal. Have fun with it and let them be extra fancy. Practice  using good manners and sitting quietly. Make it a contest and see who can sit the quietest during dinner and use the most manners during one meal! Candy is a great motivator. Ask the host if older kids can help prep and or serve the meal, it will help keep them busy and make them feel special and important.

Above all, happy thanksgiving..a few days early.