Fatdog: fat-dog. Verb. 1.) To laze about in a soporific slumber, especially after consuming a large meal. 2.) To resemble the composure of a fat dog on holiday.

This is the new catchphrase I learned over the Thanksgiving break. You see, after consuming enough starch to stiffen every dress shirt on Wall Street, and enough turkey to question what sort of levels of tryptophan are considered “safe” for human consumption, the family’s eyes began to glaze over and our chairs threatened to tip.

“Let’s all fatdog for a while,” a brother-in-law suggested. I’m sorry, fatdog? Did he just use that term as a verb? It was at that moment we all looked over and saw his dog asleep in the sun, lying on his back, eyes closed, tongue lolling out to the side. Ahhh, fatdog. Comprehension having hit, we happily chimed in, “Perfect” and each collapsed onto the nearest sunny patch of floor and stayed there for quite some time.

I don’t like to fatdog often. Just the name itself connotes something rather undesirable. Who wants to be associated with fat dogs? Not me. I like to feel productive. Proactive. Filled with purpose. But there are times a little fatdogging goes a long way. Like after Thanksgiving dinner, for example.

I fatdog when the last guest leaves my child’s birthday party. I fatdog when both the dishwasher and the washing machine are in motion and the baby is finally asleep. I like to fatdog the last five minutes before school lets out and the whirlwind begins. In fact, I think you could fairly use the term fatdog to describe the better part of each of my pregnancies.

With all our delicious fatdogging this long weekend (between the feast, pie night, and leftovers, it was more than usual,) I was surprised by my children’s sudden burst of energy.

Set up the tree! Get out the ornaments! Where are all the lights? Where do you keep the nativity sets? Let’s get this Christmas party started!

While I was still in a fatdog comatose state on the couch last night (those darn leftovers are endless!), my little ones committed feats of herculean strength hauling out the Christmas boxes unbeknownst to me. (Eyes closed, tongue lolling, remember?) One after the other they heaved the treasure troves out of storage and into the light of day.

Before I could yawn and stretch and think about whether I should whip up another batch of cranberry sauce to accommodate all that leftover turkey, Christmas music was playing and our ancient, 50 pound fake tree was up. “Let’s put on the ornaments together!” they cried.

Whew! Wake up! Time to whip this fat-dog into shape! I almost missed trimming the tree! Christmas is coming and I’ve a million things to do! (Hopping on the treadmill being first and foremost.) If it weren’t for my kid’s refreshing energy, I might’ve fatdogged all the way until New Years! Thanks for the wake-up call!

Let’s see, the cards, the cookie exchange, the office party, the classroom parties, the homemade gifts this year, the Messiah Sing-in…Boy, just thinking about my long holiday to-do list is making me tired. Maybe if “fatdog” were the name of a yoga position it could become part of my daily exercise routine, guilt-free.

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