Christmas is over and now we just have to plod through that stretch of dead-air time where we are on "Winter Break" until school starts again. One week. I can live through a week right? I mean in my life I have lived through, like, a really *unspecified number* lot of weeks so surely I can do another one. Right?
Our Christmas went well! The girls opened the gifts from us on Thursday and Santa came on Friday, Christmas Eve. We are slightly unsure as to how he accomplished it but The Husband had taken the girls out to run some errands that afternoon and possibly that is when he came. Alternately while we were eating dinner I thought I heard something outside on the roof. So we don't exactly know. However Teena is sure of one thing and that is that it was all wrong. Genea is the type of child who knows what she knows, and so if she believes in Santa and Santa is magic, then the man can come whenever he wants. Teena is the type of child who wants to know how. She has done her research (watched all the claymation movies), consulted the experts (her kindergarten teacher) and developed her hypothesis. Santa does his thing on Christmas Day and when you wake up he has been there and gone. And, fyi, she better darn tootin' be the most right because she does not take well to being wrong. The Husband and I did our best to come up with answers on the fly to Teena's most logical questions but I am afraid that we pushed our luck a little too far having Santa come early. Regardless, the whole point of doing it that was to avoid the Christmas morning Puke- a- la- Palooza of the previous two years and so by that measure we were successful. No one enjoys a holiday when there is vomit on the gifts. Words to live by.
On the actual day of Christmas we packed up and went to my sisters house in The South of Wisconsin where she has a lovely, large home with long, roomy stretches of track that just beg to be run. Beg, I tell you, those hallways beg for children to run hysterically through. Laughing, shrieking and running like a herd of four happy buffalo.
I had a few irksome moments. Weigh in with opinions if you want. When The Time Came on the big day, to open gifts, we started telling the kids to pass them out. That's the tradition in my extended family. My sister and I were the only kids for like, 28 years straight, and had to pass out gifts that whole time so we have been waiting for someone to be old enough to read and take over the job. Finally, three kids started reading at the same time. So there are gifts to the ceiling in front of the tree and the kids start diving in. Only of the three who could read, they disregarded all names but their own. The fourth knew enough to find his own name and did the same.
Chaos hit the floor and flew through the air. The roar of paper ripping matched by screams and wordless excitement.
And I was irked off.
Before I had time to sit down, the whole thing was over. (I was wearing a new pair of "jeggings" and I have to say, I do not recommend it. Who thought it would be a good idea to make leggings out of super stretchy denim? They are rough and stiff and bunch up miserably in every body part that bends. Incidentally, the things also apparently shrink once they leave the store, making your legs resemble burst sausage casings). Anyway, as I tried to sit down without lacerating myself with my own pants, I also tried uselessly to redirect my children to open their gifts calmly, pass out gifts to other people and to take their time. No go. It was a free for all of manic tearing. My two girls whipped open boxes and shoved and jammed new toys in my face and up my nose all the while shrieking in the strident voice of little girls everywhere, "LOOK MAMA LOOK!", then throwing the thing aside to grab something new.
Now, I remember being a kid. Really! My parents let us blaze through wrapping paper only to glance at the concealed present and move onto the next. I have to admit it was fun. Then, once we saw everything we went back and examined things more closely. We were never a family growing up that opened one gift at a time. But this was nuts. I barely registered what was received let alone who it was from and you can be sure my kids did not notice who things were from! Then there are little pieces and instructions to stuff and it is all flying out of the packaging. A relative quickly scooted around picking up boxes and wrapping paper and miscellaneous trash, and I am serious, within minutes it was all over.
I want my children to be gracious and polite and to always use good manners. Now how the heck I am going to get that to happen in this situation? I want them to open something, look the giver in the eye, say something polite and after it is all done approach the person and say thank you. I guess I felt embarrassed, having to ask people, was this doll from you? Was this shirt from you? So, the discomfort and irksome feelings were definitely about me. No one else seemed to mind and no one else was worried about it. No one else seemed to think my children were rude. So, I leave it go and move on.
In other news, Teena is staying with my parents for a few days while Genea came home with us. I will write a different post about it, but I have to say, this has turned out far differently than I expected. One of my top 5 rules of parenting........ Never ever let yourself think that you know what you are doing.