Christina M. Currie: The biggest turkey |

Christina M. Currie: The biggest turkey

Christina M. Currie

— Twas the night before the last day of school before Thanksgiving break and all was quiet in the house.

Creatures were stirring, till the lights it was time to douse.

Then all hell broke loose.

Yeah, children’s stories aren’t my forte.

But stories about children are.

All sorts of emergencies break out at bedtime. The minute you yell “brush your teeth,” your children, who till then had nothing to share about their day, suddenly erupt in a flood of oh-so-important tales.

Six-year-old Nikki made a new friend.

Seven-year-old Katie lost her necklace.

They both realize they’re suddenly hungry, conveniently forgetting the battle you just had over whether they could be done after four more bites or five.

Then they’ll try to convince you that they’ll shrivel up and die without one more drink of water.

They remember homework they didn’t have when you asked earlier, projects that have to be done immediately or notes from school that were due to be signed and returned three days ago.

That’s a typical night.

On the night before the last day of school before Thanksgiving break, Katie’s goodnight words to me were “I have to dress as a pilgrim for school tomorrow, mom.”

I don’t recall seeing that, but communication from school to home often doesn’t make it into my hands in a timely manner.

How in the world do I make a pilgrim in 20 minutes?

We headed to my closet.

You know that saying, “My eyes are bigger than my stomach?” Well in this case, my stomach was certainly bigger than my eyes. Even with a handful of safety pins, nothing that I had in a black, floor-length skirt (mom! Pilgrims can’t show their legs!) came close to working.

I should’ve known better. Katie, convinced that she could pull it off, argued vehemently in favor of wearing it. Frankly, my black cocktail dress, though it did cover her legs, wasn’t quite right for the puritan image.

I told her it was her gingham dress or nothing. It was more Little House on the Prairie than pilgrim, but at least it had a lace collar.

And a five-inch rip down the side.

That I could fix. Not well, but I did have a needle and some thread and could at least close the gap.

It was when she told me that she needed a coif that I was really pressed to be creative.

Katie has short hair, how in the world was I supposed to make a neat little bun?

Then she showed me a picture. Evidently a coif was a hat.


Learning that didn’t make the job any easier.

I found an old white linen napkin and sent the girls to bed while I tried to figure out what to do with it.

My final solution was to cut strips off, fold it in half and sew the strips on to the side. Hey, I already had the needle out.

From a distance, it didn’t look too bad. From a distance, you couldn’t see the stains on the napkin or the stitches that a drunken seamstress wouldn’t have claimed.

On the upside, Katie was thrilled.

It shouldn’t have surprised me that I didn’t see any other little pilgrims at school the next day and no sign of a single coif.

I’m betting that Katie’s napkin hat didn’t make it all the way to the classroom and I haven’t seen it since.

But, being what it was, and despite the frustration that it caused, it, for awhile, made my daughter smile.

For that, I am thankful.

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