Friday, December 9, 2011

Silver and Gold Decorations

I love the holidays. 
Actually, let me clarify that.  I love the IDEA of the holidays.  I always picture a roaring fireplace making the house all cozy, my husband and I sipping eggnog while trimming the tree and the kids watching a classic Christmas movie in the background.
In reality we don’t even have a fireplace so I’m not sure how this blissful scene came to be stuck in my head.  Ok, well, take out the fireplace and it can still happen right?  Let me try…
We got our tree right after Thanksgiving and I was so excited to get it home and decorate it.  This is when the season truly starts, the beginning of all of our 2011 Christmas memory making! Mike set up the stand and I sat the kids down to watch a movie. 
“Do you want to watch Rudolph?  Or the Grinch? Or Frosty?”
“We want to watch Mickey.”
Oh, alright!  I have Mickey’s Christmas Carol!  Oh.  No?  You want the one where he goes fishing?  But that’s not a holiday classic. How ‘bout the Christmas one? 
At this point I have two kids throwing themselves on the ground, screaming and crying about that stupid mouse going fishing.  Well, this evening is not starting off very merry at all.  I should do something to appease the children so they can be happy during this process…so, I put in Mickey’s Christmas Carol.
Mike then started setting up the tree.  It didn’t fit in the base so he had to take it outside and trim down the stump…three times.  His feelings about that were “R” rated so I’m not going to share them. 
Crying children, swearing husband.  Excellent.  Well, let’s start the trimming and go from there. 
“That garland is uneven…you have to move the bottom strand up one.”
“It’s fine. You wanna do it yourself then?”
“No.  And it’s not fine.  Just friggin move it!”
“F you!”
“F you!”
This is a holly jolly experience for one and all!  At least I can still have that eggnog…with a little more rum that I had originally planned.
Cut to the next morning because we were all too tired and cranky to finish the decorating that night. 
It’s time to put on the ornaments.  This is my favorite part because you can relive all of your memories together as a family.  I just knew we were going to really enjoy this moment!  Off we went…
We had Carter, who put fifteen ornaments on one branch.  And then Grant, who just chucked his ornaments at the tree and then was pissed when they didn’t stay there.  And of course my darling husband, who purposely dug out and hung up all the ornaments he knows I don’t like. 
I eventually kicked everyone out and sat there drinking my coffee and decorating alone.  At least it was peaceful and I could throw in a Christmas movie to watch while I worked.  I put on Rudolph.
“NO!  We want Thomas!”
The house can decorate itself this, where did I put that bottle of rum...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

He Sees You When You're Sleeping...

Christmas time.  A time for love, laugher, family & friends.  A time to appreciate what you have.  But above all…a time when you can threaten the hell out of your children and get away with it.
Parents wait all year for the opportunity to tell their kids that Santa is watching.  Before I had children I thought this was an absurd idea.  Why can’t they just listen and do what they're told.  MY kids were NOT going to need to be threatened in order to behave.
I’ve since come to the realization that children, especially toddlers, are unwilling to cut the shit on their own and must be scared into submission on a regular basis. 
So I introduced the idea of Santa. Carter didn’t really buy it at first. 
We were standing in the kitchen at the time.  I told him to knock off whatever he was doing because Santa could see him.  He looked at me skeptically, walked into the living room and screamed: “CAN HE SEE ME NOW?”
No, hun, it’s just in the kitchen.  Do whatever you like in the rest of the house but watch your ass in the kitchen…cause he’ll getcha! Clearly I had some work to do on the Santa front.
I needed to call in reinforcements so we procured the newest weapon in the parent Christmas arsenal… “The Elf on the Shelf”. 
Basically you name the thing, you tell your kids he’s a spy for Santa and then you move him around your house every night so your kids think he comes to life when they’re not looking. 
Is this Christmas or Halloween?  Cause the idea of a doll that comes to life at night and rats you out while you sleep must be absolutely terrifying to children.  And…well…that’s why it works.
Here’s my problem:  What are all of us parents supposed to do on December 26th? 
Ok, kids, glad you’ve been decent for the past month and you got everything you wanted for Christmas.  But now I guess you guys can continue your reign of terror cause no one’s watching but us moms and dads.  And we all know how effective we are at getting you to act appropriately.  I just can’t wait until next December when you have another month of moderately acceptable behavior! Hooray!
Fellow parents, I say we don‘t just take it laying down this year.  This year we fight back!  Who says an elf is the only doll that can come to life and mess with our kids heads…
After Christmas I’m going to introduce my kids to the “New Year’s Nymph”.  Yeah, if you’re not good…he…um…he visits you on New Year’s Day and gives you THE WORST hangover you’ve ever had!  You want that?  Huh? Do you? Didn’t think so.  Now eat your God damn vegetables.
Next comes the “Leprechaun on the Landing”.  Now, there is one bad dude!  If you throw too many temper tantrums then you don’t get ANY beer on St. Patrick’s Day!  (Actually, I may use that one on my husband instead…)
This is going to take a lot of thought and creativity.  But I’m willing to put in the work.  Because, I’m gonna be honest, I don’t know how to parent without scare tactics. 
Watch your back, kids.  Mommy’s gunnin' for ya.