Today I’m surrounded by grumpy Aspies. The Husband is a grumpster, working away on a re-write here in his home office … GOD FORBID I interrupt him to ask him if he wants some damn coffee. The Boy I had to roust from a (rare) nap & he is all pissy, so I made some coffee and put a dash of Bailey’s in there – heehee.
Naps are few and far between these days … And I have a love hate relationship with them. I had planned on having The Boy nap well until he left for college. When he naps, I get some much needed “me time” to do things like, blog or bake or read or take a shower. When he naps, The Boy is much nicer in the evenings, but bed time is a little later & wake-up time is a lot earlier. I never can tell when he will actually nap. My crystal ball is broken.
Every day after lunch we read a book & get him nestled down for some quiet time. If by 1:30 he is not asleep, I let him get up and we continue our day. Some days, we have plans in the afternoon or we’re out and about, on those days, obviously we skip the nap.
Today he had a busy morning at preschool & I had gone to a pilates class, so I was hoping for him to nap in order to take a shower. Low and behold, the stars aligned & he quieted down right around the time I was going to give up and open his door. I generally do not let him nap past 3 or 3:30, otherwise, he’ll be up all night! Talk about trying to poke a bear. I just got a glimpse into the teenage years:
Incoherent, sleepy grumbling. Then, “nooooo, mama, no!!! I’m sleeeeeeeepinnnng!!!” He whined, pulled the covers over his head, and when I tip-toed away, he abruptly got out of bed, shut off the light & slammed his door, followed by more incoherent whining.
So here I am, considering whether or not to embark upon one of my Bake-It List goodies or start prepping dinner early. Hmm. Decisions.
I have always loved Christmas. When I was a little girl, it was my most favorite holiday. Rudolph was my favorite Christmas character because he was Santa’s loyal companion & Santa could not have delivered all those presents without Rudolph leading the charge. I loved him so much, that when I was four years old, I insisted that everyone call me “Rudolph,” and wouldn’t acknowledge anyone unless they did so.
I was the child whose eyes lit up at the sound of jingle bells, who never questioned why there was a “Santa” at every mall or parade, the little girl who never thought twice about why Santa’s handwriting looked identical to my mother’s. I wanted to believe in everything & I did. And my parents made Christmas, (and every holiday,) fun and festive. We cut down our own Christmas tree in the mountains of Northern California, my mother and I baked cookies and candies for friends, we left a plate of cookies & some milk for Santa, and a carrot for Rudolph. It was magical.
Around the age of 9 or so, kids started spreading horrible rumors about Santa & how he wasn’t “real.” I got into several verbal altercations with bully-boys about the subject of Santa. Finally, when I was 11, my mother sat me down & told me that the rumors were true, Santa wasn’t real, but the magic of Christmas was real … I cried and cried. I didn’t want to stop believing in Santa. I didn’t want to grow up & become that jaded adult who couldn’t see the magic & beauty in our world. I promised myself that even though Santa may not be ONE man who delivers presents via a reindeer-driven sleigh, Santa was alive in my heart & in the hearts of many, and that I would never stop believing.
When I met my husband, he and I enjoyed celebrating the holidays, (even though he is Jewish, but not religious.) Every year, we’d get a fresh tree, exchanged gifts, (some from us, some from Santa,) and we always got the kitties gifts from Santa, too. We put little treats in each others’ stockings & made a special Christmas Eve meal … the magic of Christmas was still alive.
But the fun really started when we had The Boy. Of course the first year, The Boy was oblivious to the goings on, and the second year pretty much the same, although he knew something was up … then the third year, which was last year, he was a little more than 2 years old & started to really get it. Now, at age 3, he reminds me of myself when I was his age – his bright hazel eyes sparkle with wonderment, just in awe of every little bit of magic that surrounds him. He sings Christmas carols, counts down the days until Santa arrives, bakes cookies with me, and loves all of the classic Christmas programs: “Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Frosty The Snowman,” “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”
Last year we got the Elf On The Shelf. We had fun with it, The Boy named him “Kermin” (probably because he was very much into Kermit the Frog around the same time the Elf arrived!) While he enjoyed Kermin’s visit with us last year, this year it has been even more fun! Every morning, The Boy wakes up and asks where Kermin is, and then runs around the house to find him.
I am a creative mom, (I learned from the best,) but I’m not one of those, over-achieving, elf-obsessed mothers who has the elf bake cookies in the middle of the night, only to leave a big mess for me the next morning. (Considering that The Husband is the one who gets up with The Boy every morning and makes breakfast, I’m pretty certain he wouldn’t appreciate a huge mess like that.) And it’s supposed to be fun, not a chore. I read a list of elf ideas, and one of them was: “Elf makes a Rudolph nose — Use red lipstick or a red sharpie to color on the kids’ noses & leave a note near their bed that reads: go look in the mirror.” First of all, The Boy would most likely wake up if I were to try and rub his nose with lipstick or marker. Second of all, the lipstick would leave an awful mess on the sheets & if you used a sharpie, hell, you’d never get that off! Has anyone really ever done that?!?
Most of the time, we just move him from place to place … occasionally, he will be involved in some silly elf hijinks like a snowball fight with other stuffed animals or figurines, or writing messages on the bathroom mirror. The Boy particularly enjoyed when Kermin forgot to flush the toilet & he discovered that elves pee green! (*I know in the picture above it looks blue, but it was actually green!)
The magic of Christmas is alive and well in this house & it is absolutely the most wonderful time of the year! Merry Christmas!!
This blog has been birthed out of my need to connect with other moms to let them know that no one is perfect & that’s ok. Your child doesn’t need you to be perfect, they just need you to be there. God knows, I’m not perfect, but I try my best. And when I come up short, that mommy guilt creeps up and makes me feel lousy. Some days are great days, when I’m thinking “man, I really hope that someone’s getting this amazing mothering stuff I’m doing down on video.” And there are other days when I am thinking “man, I hope no one can hear me or see me right now as I’m totally losing it.” Being a mom is easy. Being a good mom is not easy. Let’s face it, anyone can get pregnant & pop out a kid, but raising a child takes a lot of work, and no one really has the secret formula for doing it right all the time.
I’m lucky that I get to stay at home with my 3 year old son. It was down to the wire, and literally 2 days before I gave birth, my husband got a great job that allowed me to not have to return to mine after my maternity leave was done. Being a stay-at-home-mom is tough work, but it’s a personal decision. I don’t begrudge any of my mommy friends who made the decision to work. Hell, I was raised by a single working mom. I know for a lot of women, like my mother, it isn’t a choice, but a necessity. At the end of the day, we’re all mothers & we should all be able to lean on one another for understanding and support.
So here I am. And I love it. Every moment … from the out-of-nowhere “i love you mama,” moments, to the isolating moments where I’m excited just to talk to another adult, like the UPS guy or the check-out lady … I even love the pooping in big-boy undies moments, (ok, no, I’m lying, I don’t really love those poopy undies moments.) But here I am, and I hope that by sharing some of my little tidbits with you, you can relate a little. And maybe, just maybe, I can help you on your journey to being a fairly good mother, too.