Saturday, November 24, 2007

To Plan or not To Plan...

No question about it. I am a planner. I like to know what's on the calendar, what time we're supposed to be at the party, and when we have a play date. I am married to a planner, as well. If you're guessing we're not very spontaneous, you're right.

But Thanksgiving weekend brings hubby's side of the family into town, which now involves many aunts, uncles, and cousins, as well as the crowd of second cousins, numbering 11 all under the age of 7. Yes, our Thanksgiving dinner was loud and messy.

Notice I said Thanksgiving weekend. That means it's not just Thursday. There are events planned all weekend, including a Friday dinner out, and now various trips to the Aquarium or Science Center or Children's Museums. And trying to coordinate everyone's schedules and naptimes and preferences is interesting, to put it lightly. There are various levels of planners and non-planners in the group, which often leads to interesting discussions and stress levels.

Tonight we extended an open invitation to the family to come watch the Apple Cup football game at our house, for anyone who didn't have tickets. (It's the annual University of Washington vs. Washington State University game, in Seattle this year) There is normally a big Saturday evening gathering at my in-laws, but because of the football game, the gathering was canceled. I was determined to be non-planned about it, leaving things open and figuring we'd get pizza and not worry about who was coming or not.

And by this afternoon, after a barrage of phone calls about tomorrow's plans for the Aquarium, I was still in my laid-back, non-planner (and very non-me) mode. The kink in these plans is The Boy, my first born who doesn't like surprises and who was counting the minutes until his guests arrived. He was really patient all afternoon, SO EXCITED, and very helpful. When he found out his cousins weren't coming after all, and then had to wait an hour for the friends who were late, he was naturally disappointed. He handled it well, thanks to a movie, and then had fun playing with his friend. Slight wobbles of control, but we made it to the end of the game safely. They were both a little wild, thanks to late bedtimes and family gatherings, but they were great considering all that.

So the non-planning started out thinking it might be 10 adults and 9 kids here today, and it ended up being 6 adults and 4 kids, 2 of them mine. So of course we had too much food, but I was very proud of myself for not being stressed about it. Fewer people was actually easier. But both hubby and I agreed that if you PLAN things and have a TIME set for dinner, that maybe people would actually let you know if they were coming AHEAD of time and SHOW UP on time.
But hey, we're laid-back, spontaneous party planners today. And amazingly enough, it turned out fine. Except that our team lost and my sister, the stinkin' Cougar, had to call me to rub our noses in it.

And at least now our house is clean. Maybe we should have people over every 2 weeks--that way we're forced to dust and vacuum and clean the bathrooms!

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