The way nature intended it to be.
The hostess has a two year-old and is expecting her second child in January. We started exchanging stories of our pregnancies, smiling and laughing while crunching on carrot sticks. (Okay, fine, gluttonous cheese dip.) Every now and then we'd hear a shriek of laughter coming from outside, where the mass of children were doing their best to destroy a Little Tikes bouncy house. The husbands did their best not to join them.
The hostess commented on her cheese plate, which was quite tasty. I know this because I ate half of it.
Her: I'm finding that I'm so obsessed with cheese this time around.
Another guest: Is that what you're craving?
Her: I guess so. I think it's just because I found out you can have soft cheeses during pregnancy, as long as they're pasteurized.
Me: [Incoherent commentary muffled by a mouthful of potato chips]
Another guest: Ohhh, that's right. What else can't you eat? Lunch meat? And caffeine?
Me: [Finally choosing to talk instead of eat.] I remember going cold turkey on the caffeine thing with my first. But with T9, I didn't even give it up.
Her: Yeah, they say moderation is key. Plus, listeria comes from cantaloupes and everything else these days.
Me: Right? It's so funny how the second time around feels more relaxed or something...or maybe I was just more appropriately medicated.
Everyone roars with laughter at my wit and charm.
Her: Yeah, I think I've been the same way.
The rest of the women chime in with agreeing nods.
Me: Poor T9. But he still came out ok, right?!
More roaring laughter and appreciation for how I light up the room.
Her: [Glancing over my shoulder.] Um...I think I see a naked butt outside...
Another guest: Is that your T9...crashing the party again?
I darted through the living room and out the sliding glass door. Stepping over a pile of my son's clothing scattered on the patio, I eyeballed the husbands suspiciously. They stood there, clutching their beers with amused smirks, and pointed toward the side of the house.
It was there that I found my nude three year-old dancing around like a feral child at the sight of a plastic kiddie pool. An empty one, at that.
"Water! I go swimming, Momma!"
He put his naked little ass on the 12" slide and scooted his way down the dry plastic ramp with great delight, somehow finding a small puddle of rain water in which to land. I had to drag him away kicking and screaming. Apparently toddlers don't understand words like OCTOBER and FREEZING and OMFG WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?!
(I'm no scientist, but I'm starting to wonder if I made some poor decisions with my diet the second time around.)
PS: both Plus One and T9 made it through Halloween unscathed this year. Our pumpkins, however, did not.