One of the major lessons of parenting that I’ve learned lo these past five years is that you gotta take the good with the bad. And this is never so true as it is at Christmastime.
I’ve been having an absolute blast with the girls this year getting ready for and celebrating the holidays. We’ve been making (and devouring) cookies, decking our halls, and listening to holiday music up the wazoo. We’ve been to a couple of parties.
And we’ve had home screenings of The Grinch (too scary), A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Night Before Christmas (you know, the one with the people family and the mouse family living parallel lives) and Polar Express. (How far computer animation has come in 7 years….those kids are downright creepy-looking.)
The girls are all revved up about Santa–they’ve got a million questions about exactly how this guy operates, how he knows what they want, can he really see them while they’re sleeping, how does he get in since we don’t have a fireplace, etc. (To which our default answer is: Who knows! He’s magic!)
BUT — and here is the but — I think all the revelry (not to mention all the sugar) is making them a wee bit crazy.
There has been some decidedly erratic toggling between naughty and nice in the Baby Squared household of late. One day, the girls are excessively fragile / whiny / hyper / greedy (I want the BIGGEST cookie!!) and generally, er, challenging — as I wrote about in my last post (and thank you, THANK YOU for all the kind comments and commiseration, by the way!)
The next day, you’d think they were sneaking off to finishing school behind our backs, they’re so thoughtful and polite.
Tuesday night — the first night of Hanukkah, which we celebrate, since half of Alastair’s family is Jewish — they were effusively grateful for the books we gave them. And they were surprisingly diplomatic about the latkes I made which — let’s get this straight — were awesome, especially in light of my shikse-ness. They’d been very excited about the fact that I was making them (we’ve been reading a lot of Hanukkah books) but were disappointed by the actual result, I think when they realized they were less like pancakes and more like, well, potatoes. But they said it so nicely. “I tried the latkes, Mommy, but I don’t care for them.” Such girls I have!
Maybe they figured if they were extra good for Hanukkah, Santa Claus would be extra good to them on Christmas. Ha! God bless America.
Then again, as much as I’m looking forward to the next couple of days, I’m also bracing myself for the inevitable over-stimulation due to presents and sweets and family and all the rest. And then, as if Christmas isn’t enough, they’ve got their birthday three days later. Oy! (I think the fact that I’ve made latkes qualifies me to say that, right?)
But would I trade it? Nah. Throughout my twenties and early thirties, the holidays were the time of year when I most keenly looked forward to / wished for kids to share it with. And I’m so grateful that that wish has come true. Even if sometimes it drives me bonkers.
Happiest of holidays to you and your family — hope you’re weathering the craziness and enjoying the good stuff.