Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all! How are those resolutions going? Did you cave after 7pm and break half of them already? Me too! Now that the silly season is officially over, I can finally find a small bit of time to mull over the things that I have learned in the last week. Christmas this year has probably been the best and maybe the worst so far. Having a three year old can bring the magic of Christmas back into your life, whilst at the same time cursing that you even need to get out of bed in the morning, let alone at 5:30am. To begin with, I suppose I should count myself lucky that even though Stormaggedon knew what Christmas was this year, he still didn’t have the presence of mind to attempt to stay awake until all hours due to over excitement. And even though he still woke us up at 6:00am Christmas morning, that isn’t really different to any other day. I have to say it was kind of adorable that we had to remind him what day it was. “Today? Why today is Christmas day sir!” Exit stage left to the Christmas tree to excitedly dance up and down shouting “Look at all the presents!” Santa did not disappoint this year. And yes, we still believe in Santa in this house, no matter what Neil deGrasse Tyson says.
Preparing for Christmas this year wasn’t so hard as last year. I knew what he liked and what he had become obsessed with. Somehow he found out about the latest craze: Hatchimals Colleggtibles. What are Hatchimals Colleggtibles I hear you ask? What, you don’t know?! Clearly you don’t have a small child in the house. Or at least count your blessings that your small person hasn’t heard of them. Yet. Oh how he spoke of Hatchimals, every single day for weeks on end. Though I must admit it was pretty damn adorable to watch him open his present from my mother, the Hatchimal Hatchery Nursery garden tree playset (I know, “?” Am I right), to cries of “It’s just what I always wanted!” It sure was little buddy, if you can call the last three months “always”. All I know is now my house is filled with small plastic creatures. Everywhere.
Will I ever watch TV normally and in peace again? No. The answer is no.
Christmas Day was pretty much normal for any other Christmas with a young child: Wake up early, presents, try to get them to eat breakfast, fail, struggle to get them out the door to go visit family, be unable to curb their disruptive behaviour in front of the relatives, drink, start crying whilst dissolving into a pathetic mess, declare mournfully through tears that you’re a terrible mother, eat, open more presents. You know, the usual thing.
For those of you nodding your head vigorously along in agreement, here’s a bit of advice that I’ve received from every other mother I’ve spoken to so far: He’s three. He’s supposed to act like a selfish, self-absorbed, narcissistic, no mannered, impatient brat because it’s CHRISTMAS. Kids at this age have no filter. It is not possible for them to consider others, they will only think of themselves. And that is completely and utterly NORMAL. Yeah, maybe some of them do think of others first. If you’re the parent of such a child, congratulations, you lucked out. Though you’ll more than likely say “Yeah, well he’s well behaved at Christmas, but screams like a banshee at bed time and sleeps less than 2 hours a night”. In other words, no kid is perfect, and it’s impossible for them to be perfect 24/7, let alone at Christmas time.
So if you’re feeling stressed about their behaviour remember a couple of things:
1. You will need to gently remind them to say please and thank you. They will forget. They are over excited. This is normal. They probably have a hard-enough time as it is remembering their manners at the best of times, let along at this time of the year. Be persistent, keep reminding them. One day (hopefully), it’ll sink in and they will miraculously do it on their own….Why are the parents of teenagers laughing at me? Stop it!
2. Remember that it’s ok to still tell them no, or wait your turn, or to be patient. But if they can’t do any of these tasks, then seriously, it’s Christmas. Let it slide. You’ve got a whole 12 more months to continue to teach them these types of lessons.
3. Take a deep breath and remember that this is the silly season. They’re going to act very silly. It really doesn’t matter if they don’t eat at the table, or don’t want to wear the perfect outfit you spent hours deciding that they would wear today, or refuse to pose for family photos, or refuse to do that special Christmas carol in front of family that you’ve been practising for the last fortnight. Sit back and watch them play with their toys. You can work on their manners tomorrow.
4. Every single other parent is going through the exact same thing you are currently going through right now. And anyone who tells you otherwise is lying.
If I could have Christmas day 2017 over again, I’d definitely listen to the above advice. So I guess I’ve got another 357 to prepare for the next one.
On a side note it’s so far been a week since Christmas and at least he’s still interested in playing with the toys that he received this year, rather than paying attention to them for two seconds and going back to the TV for his entertainment. I’d call that a win.
Edit: OMG, I just found out that there are VELVET covered Hatchimals! I used to be obsessed with those types of figurines when I was a kid! Where do I find them? I must collect them all!…for my son…