It is said that we celebrate Passover to commemorate the story of the Exodus from Egypt. During the Seder, there is a lot of praying, a lot of Manischewitz, and the occasional plague. This year’s Seder was unlike any other for two reasons: 1) We discovered that “teething” should be added to the list of deadly plagues. And, 2) I almost considered reenacting Plague #10 myself by killing our first born due to his uncharacteristically obnoxious behavior. What started as such a promising and exciting celebration ended in frustration, tears, and delicious left-overs.
We arrived at the home of MOGWE and FOGWE at the time they had requested. GWE and I unloaded the car and brought in bags of clothes for the kids, toys, playmates for the baby, food for the baby, etc. Anything and everything we could have needed, we brought – just in case. It looked like we were moving in. Justin was happy to see his Uncle Ethan and everyone proceeded to move into the den for appetizers and drinks.
FOGWE surprised Justin with a remote controlled car. I immediately told Justin that he could play with it, but to be careful and not drive it over his baby brother who was lying on the play mat in the middle of the room. Justin handed me the car and asked me to put batteries into it. I proceeded to quickly load the car with batteries, placed it on the ground, flicked on the remote….and then I drove it directly over Garrett!! (Yes – I am a wonderful role model.)
What you should know is that Garrett has been teething recently. There is saliva (“slime”) everywhere. It’s on his clothes, his chin, and his fingers. He swallows it so it’s in his belly and comes out with his poop, ie diarrhea. GWE and I decided to pick him up and place him on my lap so that he could see the Passover Appetizer action! He smiled, saw the chopped liver and gefilte fish, and then blasted 4 oz of a baby formula/saliva mix all over my pants and GWE’s pants. We were “slimed” for the evening. There is nothing like having hot-and-then-ice-cold puke on your clothes for the rest of the night!
Then, we passed him off to MOGWE, who gave him a few more ounces of formula. Garrett proceeded to thank her by spitting up a few more ounces all over her blouse, pants, and shoes. She passed him back to us and left to get changed again. In the meantime, we were struggling to soothe Garrett out of discomfort due to his teething.
We all then proceeded to the dinner table. GWE had Garrett to her right and I sat diagonally across from Justin. As FOGWE attempted to lead the table in ceremony and prayer, he simply could not be heard over the sounds of my five month old babbling out of pain and my five year old being silly at the table. Justin knows when he has a captive audience and that dinner table became his playground. He would not be quiet, he would not sit still, and he would not follow directions…..so, he was being a five year old.
After a VERY abbreviated ceremony, GWE decided to try and put Garrett to sleep in the crib. At this point, we were both starting to get worn down due to Garrett’s discomfort and Justin’s behavior. After a few minutes, we decided to check on him. He was as awake and as pissed as ever.
As the traditional Matzo Ball soup was being served, GWE and I made the executive decision to bring Garrett back to the table to give him his solids. I sat in GWE’s seat to feed Garrett, GWE took my seat, and then Garrett began to devour whatever I put into his mouth. It only took about 10 minutes for Garrett to finish his food and for our food to be served. However, this was 10 long minutes and Justin was nowhere to be found.
I decided to pass the baby back to GWE and I went searching for Justin. Unfortunately, I found him. As I opened the bathroom door, I discovered Justin with his hands in his hair and his hair soaking wet. There was water EVERYWHERE! He had wet down his head and used the liquid hand soap as shampoo. “JUSTIN!!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?!?!” I demanded to know. “I’m cleaning my hair, daddy,” he replied. I grabbed the towel behind him, tried to dry his soapy hair, gave up, and then marched him back to the table. He knew I was very upset, but I was exhausted and tired of him not listening. As we got closer and closer to the table, he begged to not be seen. My patience had ended and I tried to drag him to the table – kicking and screaming. MOGWE stepped in and decided to take Justin back to the bathroom to clean him up. I sat down and began to quietly eat my chicken.
Honestly, the rest of the evening was kind of a blur. I remember dessert and Justin finding the Afikoman. But, that’s about it.
As we drove home in silence, I thought about the evening and how it actually was reminiscent of a real Exodus. We had come to the grandparents’ house in hopes of good food and shelter, but my two little plagues practically destroy everything. And then, we were free to leave.