The ramblings of an overwhelmed mother of four very active kids..oh, and all of them are somewhere on the spectrum...
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Visions from egg nog dance through my head...
~"In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it 'Christmas' and went to church; the Jews called it 'Hanukka' and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say 'Merry Christmas!' or 'Happy Hanukka!' or (to the atheists) 'Look out for the wall!'~Dave Barry
Last Christmas, as lay sprawled among the wreckage of wrapping paper and boxes I thought to myself -"Next year will be so much easier"... All of the kids will be in school full time..I will be able to leisurely shop, wrap and bake while fully(and fashionably) dressed with combed hair in a sparkly clean house... I will send Christmas cards and packages- EARLY!..In the evenings, I will greet my husband at the door with a cocktail and a "Darling-how was your day?" and as I sashayed into the kitchen to check on the roast.. my angelic children (washed and in clean pajamas) would gleefully announce(for some reason in British accents) "Oh Mummy..Father's come home!" Later on, after the children were tucked into their beds...we would sit in front of the fire sipping eggnog...just enjoying each others company.
I have absolutely no idea where this fantasy came from. I blame the egg nog. I mean, I don't even have a fireplace! I certainly don't know how to sashay..and at the end of the day-I'm just happy that Omar is home and I have another adult to talk to. I have been alone-with children..for hours-..so if anyone is going to get a cocktail it will be me. Especially after getting the kids (well, really just the girls) to put on their pajamas-something which can take mediation skills and intense negotiation. (Although, it is very good training if I should ever find myself in a hostage crisis) So, when the kids finally do get to bed-we both kind of collapse on the couch together..
No, holidays at my house are chaotic events. ALWAYS. That is just the nature of things. Although, I did start the month off with a clean house. There is something to be said for that. I don't know "what" exactly ...but something. Unfortunately, by the third of the month, it was a mess...and has remained that way ever since. I have tried to keep up...you know-moving piles of things from one place to another...but the next day more stuff seems to magically appear to take its place..until I find myself cramming things in drawers and closets..that I swear I am going to clean out "once the holiday is over". But I never do. No-I just keep cramming more stuff in them. Some of my cabinets are packed so precariously (I wouldn't be surprised if there were a fifth child stuffed somewhere in there)-that I have developed actual techniques of how to open and get them to shut again-without (hardly) anything falling on my head. But I digress...
The month of December started with a clean house...but then Zoe got sick...and then Lily...and then Oscar..and Sam..and Oscar again.( Thankfully, they are all hale and hearty now-just in time for school break.) Having sick kids at home meant I could not Christmas shop very easily. Oh-I got it done..but it was very rushed. Thankfully, I had their Christmas lists to guide me. Lists that they start writing in June.(Only because there are times when I need a moment to think-and this can occupy them for a whole five minutes). The girls wanted every Littlest Pet Shop...Oscar-every Angry Bird..and Sam...well, his list was 32 very detailed items long...which, he informed me was only half of what he wanted. Don't get me wrong-my kids aren't demanding..nor are they spoiled. This is the one time of year that we go all out with gifts. They do appreciate it...although they think that Santa is their benefactor (except for Sam) . Which can make for some interesting conversations.."Mama, I'm asking for a new Nintendo 3D for Christmas." "Well..remember, you don't get everything on your list...and those are kind of expensive." "Well..I think I'm going to get one." "I wouldn't count on it..they are expensive." "So. It is from Santa..he just has to make one..it doesn't cost anything." *sigh* Kind of hard to argue a fantasy that you have thoroughly encouraged. "Well..we will just have to wait and see.."
Besides shopping, we have had many extracurricular activities. I have had meetings and appointments and my girls have had scouting. This year, both of them decided to join Girl Scouts. This month, besides their regular girl scout meetings...there was the Christmas party( and the singing to the seniors. Maybe it is just me...alright, I KNOW it is just me-but, when I think about being elderly..the last thing I would want is 20 or more young girls singing loudly at me. VERY loudly about red nosed reindeer..and Santa..or the weather. To me, it feels almost like..well, punishment. As if we are saying "we had no place else to sing and you can't run away- ha ha!" I must say, the people did seem to enjoy it...although, I suspect many of them took out their hearing aids beforehand.
We also did quite a lot of baking. I thought it would be a good way to teach measurements and how to follow a recipe. I wound up doing the majority of it as my kids ran screeching through the house pumped full of sugar.( Sometimes I think that they would make a wonderful alternative fuel source. Feed them lots of sugar and then put them on a treadmill-which would be connected to a generator. Voila! The worlds energy problems would be solved.) They did enjoy decorating the cookies-between bouts of sugar induced hysteria. I was left with all the broken ones. I think I did a nice job.
So here it is..Christmas Eve. The tree is up, the presents are wrapped..the house is a mess (I'll clean it after the holidays) and my children are insane excited. It certainly didn't happen the way I fantasized it last year. But that's o.k. because there is always next year-and besides, I have plenty of egg nog.
To everyone-no matter what you may celebrate-I wish you all happiness and peace. "May the road rise to meet you-and may the wind always be at your back." (from The Irish Prayer)