Christmas countdown meltdown

I should know better than to try to run an errand after school. I took the kids to Broadway Gardens to get paperwhite bulbs at around 4:00, which involved
1. Eli almost peeing his pants
2. Henry disappearing while Eli was peeing in employee bathroom.
3. Finding Henry, and then losing Zuzu as she kept walking on the other side of the car from me (we were walking in the same circle…luckily some people saw the vaudeville routine I was inadvertently involved in and helped me out).

And then we drove home, saw lovely Christmas lights that I had just put up that morning, all lit up on our porch, and Henry whined, “You should have waited to put them up with ME,” and Eli whined, “Those aren’t NEARLY enough lights.” And then I hated them until Dave came home.

Christmas anticipation is so hard for kids. It’s really a lot of pressure. You’ll get a giant bounty of presents if you’ve been good, and also if you’re willing to put aside the notion that you’re kind of frightened by Santa. I get it, but boy it’s hard to deal with. This week Eli had a meltdown for at least 45 minutes, big fat tears and all, because I wouldn’t let him have ice cream at 8:30 in the morning. And then, when he finally calmed down and chose something wiser to eat, he picked kippered herring. Parenting makes no sense.

Comments (13)

  1. emily December 4, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    Oh, it’s funny, isn’t it, starting up a holiday in people? we are so spiritually ambiguous, I feel sort of odd implanting christmas in someone with no basis for it (though it never did me any harm getting christmas w/out christ. I don’t know). I went off to Target this week with the mandate to “get more xmas stuff”, more decorations, because we don’t “DO the holiday enough!” and i have them now, some wan little snowman-and-gingerbread-house salt-and-pepper shakers, some more garlands to put on the tree,that we’ll get in a week or so I guess, because he’s not really asking yet, it’s all us who are saying “maybe santa will bring you x and so…” I get it, really, that it ain’t the decorations, it’s the traditions, and those cool garlands or advent calenders taht have 24 things to do (day 2: paint everyone’s tonails xmas colors, day 5: bake cookies!) have a good idea. but I somehow am not quite doing them yet.

    He’re’s where wylie is with christmas: yesterday, reading his Ranch book, in which you see many aspects of a typical ranch, including the fauna and flora nearby, said, “I’m going to be a TARANTULA for Christmas!” He thinks it’s like halloween. ah well.

  2. emily December 4, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    kippered herring, though? wow, the palates on these kids! love it! I’ve been getting sardines down wylie, with a little mayo (tastes like tuna, right?) but, hmm..kippers? I don’t even think I’ve ever SEEN kippered herring! is it in a jar?

  3. emily December 4, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    oh, I wikipedia’d it. it’s smoked! yummmm! I love smoked fish in all its incarnations! but where do you get it? do you normally have it for breakfast, like english people? or do you spread it on crackers?

  4. Julie December 4, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    With Dave’s Catholic upbringing, we do have a lot of Christmas things, and the kids do know what Christmas means. Or Henry does, at least. Eli thinks it means presents. He ALSO thinks it means Halloween, since he told me he wants to be a policeman for Christmas.

    I get kippered herring in a can, like sardines. I actually buy them in bulk from, to make sure we don’t run out. Eli likes them for breakfast or lunch, usually on toast, sometimes with cream cheese, sometimes with just plain toast. Zuzu likes to just fork it straight into her mouth from the can.

  5. Clog December 5, 2009 at 10:03 am

    It would be nice to get the kids involved in the “giving” side of Christmas. At my church they put out tags “Boy 6, Size 8” type of thing and you can get them clothes or a toy. Often the post office has a box for toys for kids. Or make cookies and take to your neighbors, have them make the cards, etc.

  6. Kate December 7, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    I made the mistake of mentioning the naughty or nice thing the other day and it has come to haunt me whenever Hugh and Ian are together (oh, how I love school and its 3 P.M. dismissal time!). They go back and forth telling each other that they’re not getting any presents until the Ian’s waterworks start up. What kind of idiot am I, anyway??!?!?

    I like the idea of getting kids involved in the “giving” side of things. We’ve had some fun with the food drives our school does for Thanksgiving and I’d like to find something neat to do for Christmas this year.

  7. emily December 7, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    Help! scott’s father got all excited about, and sent along, an “elf on a shelf” one of his customers said he Must Get for his grandkids. terrifying little doll that comes with a book that is full of warnings about how you have to be good because this little narc reports back to santa each night! and it’s not really a thing we can say no to. so I read the damn book to him and we’ll do the little search for the guy “instatradition” but I’m grumpy about using it otherwise…blrg.

  8. Julie December 7, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    Oh, Kate, I don’t think that’s a mistake, necessarily, although at our boys’ ages they definitely do use it against each other. I remember a time when Henry was around 3 and just acting awful, and I called my mom and pretended to be calling Santa to say not to come because Henry was being too naughty (he didn’t seem to care) (Henry, I mean, not Santa).

    Em, I saw that Elf on a Shelf somewhere and thought it looked kind of intriguing, but in the end it did seem a little too Big Brother (and it was also clear from wherever I saw it that it was marketed toward grandparents as a thing to get for grandkids. I think you need to make the elf more jolly. Bring him down off the shelf and have him join in your reindeer games. Make him your co-conspirator.

  9. emily December 7, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    I love how you just blow apart all these little walls and rules that I think are totally substantial – you’ve done htis for me more than once, by the way. I’m like, “well, the book says kids can’t touch him or he loses his magic” so I’m prepared to enforce this craziness. and of course it would be more fun if we could cuddle him or make him talk or wahterver.

  10. Anne December 8, 2009 at 10:59 am

    That elf creeps me out.

  11. emily December 8, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    I hid him in the knives this morning. freudian I think. wylie didn’t look for him after noticing that he was no longer on the shelf, and saying “He FLEW AWAY!” was that relief that I detected or is he just 3 and distractable?

  12. sarah December 8, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    Is it wrong that my favorite part about this post is the hating?

    BTW, this year I got Santas email address. The threat of going to email Santa works wonders.
    Although, maybe a bit confusing, as Jaya asked me if I needed to email the Tooth Fairy so she’d show up.

  13. Julie December 12, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    Ha ha ha ha “hid him in the knives”!

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