HOW NOT TO HAVE A NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS

The general word on the street is that this here Christmas is causing an elf* of a lot of stress (*no apology for rubbish pun). Well, fear not! Like nits, Christmas has already happened in our house this year and if you DON`T do anything I did, you will have the Christmas that Hallmark movies are made of.

¨Christmas Eve¨

  1. 4:07pm: Think ¨What Would Santa Do? ¨and get overly friendly with a passing bottle of Port.IMG_4368

2.    7:26pm: Try to convince Boy 1 that due to an unexplained illness, Father Christmas` dietary requirements have now changed and only Prosecco and a chocolate version of himself will do and that Reindeer do in fact eat left over Chow Mein and Prawn Crackers.

3.    9:27pm: Send an emergency message to your Mum, as apparently Reindeer do not and will not ever eat Prawn Crackers, only carrots will do. Not Wotsits.

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4.    9:46pm: Boy 1 is finally appeased and agrees to go to bed. With you. Holding him tight. All night long. Mild panic sets in as does the Port. Try really hard to keep eyes open, this does not please and causes wails of  “He can seeeeeeeeeee, he can seeeee” Spotting the confusion in my hazy face, he elaborates “Father Christmas can see that YOU are still awake and he won’t come! Sleep Mummy, Sleeeeeeeeep. Don’t break Christmas, pleaaseeeeeee”

This delightful exchange goes on for about 37 minutes and a half.

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5.     10:31 and a half pm: Twas`the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature is stirring not even Boy 1, so you unravel yourself and promptly fall down the stairs. Which saves a whole 2o seconds, so all good.

6.      10:32pm:  Grapple around in the dark to find a pen for FC to leave a note. Only thing you can find is a rainbow crayon.

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7.      10:46PM: (Never underestimate how hard it is to write with a rainbow crayon) You bust out your ninja skills and start stealthily leaving presents under the tree

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8.    10.46pm: (Yes, really) “Mummmmmmmyyyyyyyy! YOU ARE SOOOO NOISYYYYYYYY” in-between sobs of “I can’t remember how to go to sleep, but YOU ARE SOOO NOISY, HE WILL NEVER COME! Stop throwing paper snowballs!” Note to self , to get an actual life in 2017, one which at least means your child will think you are doing something a bit off the cuff, rather than having a pretend paper snowball fight with yourself.

9.      10:47pm: Skulk upstairs and try and become friends with the angriest six year old on planet Earth. Fingers are waggled and stern reminders that if there are no presents in the morning, all 20 child fingers will be pointed at you.

¨Christmas Day¨

10.     Some time after midnight: Boy 1 is snoring, murmuring “Her, it was her..”, You peg it downstairs, wolf down a choc Santa and some carrots with a gulp of Prosecco and slouch wearily back up to your bed, not forgetting to set off the really loud singing christmas dog on your way.

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11.     12:37am: Boy 2 wakes up screaming with a very high temperature and a lot of snot. Spend quite a few hours with a wet flannel and very hot boy on your chest.

12.    04:06am: Boy 2 is asleep. As you put him into bed, you remember the freaking stockings. More stealth like stumbling ensues and you go back to bed feeling like you are bossing it.  All stations go for the big day in um.. not very long at all. Even so, you give yourself a huge smug pat on the back.

13.    04:32am: YES. Half past blinking four. In comes Boy 1 and he is smiling and excited and positively high on chocolate coins. Try to negotiate a reasonable time to open stockings and presents. Manage to get into some awful just popped out of the womb cycle of him sleeping for 3 minutes then waking howling about the injustice that is waiting, then sleeps again.

14.    05:16am: Tensions are high. You compromise and pull open a cracker with Boy 1. He turns on all the lights and reads the ¨joke¨. Laughter ensues, followed by more laughter and uncontrollable giggles. ¨Oh, Mummy. That’s soooo funny. The funniest ever! Listen!”

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You listen 9 times and then fall asleep laughing at the sweet, bright lighted irony.

15. 9:30am:  There was sleep!!! Everybody wakes up. Boy 2 has no recollection of being ill and seems to have had Duracell bunny fairy dust sprinkled over him. Paper is strewn, there’s genuine excitement at plastic tat, everyone bounds downstairs, you grab a coffee (bypassing the water and milk) and watch as there is destruction, delight and sheer unadulterated joy.  Theirs at the prezzies and yours that it is over for another year and then some!

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MOVING ON TO 2016

If I were some sort of boffin and had to produce a diagram representing 2015, it would look a bit like this;

 

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It’s a pie chart, not a bejazzled acorn…

 

But as moving on seems to have been a bit of a theme this year, I am going to wave off 2015 and gallop (possibly stumble) into 2016 with gusto. I´m not making any resolutions as I will lose the piece of paper I wrote them on, or it will be used for snot or other child sized bodily fluids. However, I think if the boys had to make my resolutions for me, they would probably go a bit like this;

  1. Chill out about punctuality; It’s so last year. It’s really ok if we turn up late for school, there’s no rush as long as we show our faces before 3pm, it’s cool.
  1. Stop pretending you’re trying to find a screwdriver in the cupboard under the stairs, we know you’re downing tubes of Smarties and scoffing Pom Bear Crisps. Come out of the cupboard and share the love.
  1. Bedtime? Playing on the Wii time limits? Forget about them; there is no need. Your world (ours) will be a better place without them.
  1. Save money by ditching the green stuff on the weekly food shop. Replace it with Kinder Surprises. (Toy and food – nutrition and pleasure -bargain!) it’s much better for our souls than veg.
  1. Stop saying No. Replace with “Yes of course!“ at all times.
  1. Embrace the small triumphs. We see how hard you try to overcome hurdles like getting into your most definitely last year´s size Your routine needs a bit of tweaking, but even if you need a bit of a rest afterwards your perseverance is admirable.
  1. Don’t beat yourself up about the effect you and Daddy separating is having on us. We are excited about having two places to live and all the (guilt presents) stress-free fun times we’re going to have with two much happier parents.
  1. Enjoy 2016 and take (add to our collection of plastic crap) each day at a time.

 

 

 

*A huge hearty thanks to everybody who contributed to the green sparkliness..

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THE VIRGIN NATIVITY

Photo on 11-12-15 at 00.31 #3

“Twas` a few weeks before Christmas and all over the country,
Parents were elbowing their way into the na-tiv-it-yyyyyyyyy”

“Fear not….” said I… Um, I shall stop there with my shoddy parodic ( is that a word? ) attempts. This week I went to my first school nativity as a parent and it’s the most fun I’ve had in a long time, (possibly too much of an insight into my  non-existent  social life).

The highlights for me were;

1. Mary getting in a strop with Joseph and avoiding all eye contact whilst maintaining a distance of 65 cm from him, throughout the whole play.

2. The Narrator yawning her way through her script.

3. All the children standing up to sing; only the wrong CD is in the sound system and nobody noticing until the chorus.

4. The camel coming on with the shepherds and the donkey with the Angel Gabriel.

5. The innkeeper (aka Boy 1) forgetting he is on stage and having a cheeky pick of his nose and a nibbled of his fingernails and doesn’t realise all the other innkeepers have gone back to their seats.

6. The waving. The waving was the BEST bit! I LOVE how the most important thing for all the performers  is waving and stopping mid performance to greet their family and ask why they didn’t bring the hamster.

7. How everybody was having the best time ever. It’s like looking in on a fancy dress party, where the guests get drunker and drunker , sing with gusto, getting more and more out of tune and flapping their towels and bashing each others with their wings, before tripping up over their costumes and ending up in a huge love fueled hug, costumes in tatters but comradery lighting up the room like a slightly flickering guiding star….

Please accept my apologies and offerings of Gold, Frankenstein (another Nativity classic) and Myrrh for turning into an official Nativity bore   addict. My name’s Beth, I’m 36 and I’m not sure I´m going to last 364 days, 16 hours and 26 minutes until the next one. Anybody got a ticket going spare for theirs?

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And the walls came tumbling down

The other day a friend gave us a gingerbread house kit. Flattered that she obviously thought I was some kind of domestic Blue Peter presenter type goddess, we ripped open the box with gusto and washed our hands with wetwipes, ready for our first foray into self builds.

On discovering that all there was in the box was the biscuit and a diagram of a duchess potato bag, I phoned my cake making friend just to confirm that we stuck it together with mashed potato? No, apparently icing sugar, which we didn’t have. But we did have melted chocolate, which doesn’t do the same thing. Neighbour to the rescue and a ton of icing sugar is thrown(literally) into the mix, so it now resembles  “pooey toothpaste”

One helper down (“This is taking 100 years”), our journey to our very own  Hansel and Gretel paradise went like this….

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After an infinity of snapped doors ( “so Father Christmas doesn’t get stuck in the chimney”) We got the roof on ! Get us! Grand Designs, here we come!

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Then the roof caves in and all hopes of meeting Kevin himself are dashed. Until, we have a brainwave and we build a  guest wing complete with heating and lights.  Smug.

Unfortunately, our pride is somewhat quashed by screams of ” You didn´t listen to Fireman Sam, did you? ” followed by pointy fingers ” No fire in small houses! ”  he bellows, frantically blowing out the candles and tucking into the guest wing.

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THE LOVELIEST LIE THAT EVER WAS TOLD?

I can’t remember if I read or heard (or completely made it up for the sake of this blog) somebody saying that the most barbaric lie you can tell your or anybody’s offspring is the Father Christmas one. I beg to differ and if I could keep living the lie until the boys are at least 46, that would be amazing.

A quick Google search shows that nobody has suffered long term effects from finding out the truth, (whispers, you know that he doesn’t really travel by sleigh) except maybe me. One lie leads to another? I disagree, everybody knows that the aeroplane that just went over our house contains Secret Service elves, checking how many times you have walloped your brother and making sure you declare that Kinder Egg you ate in the supermarket at the check – out . Oh yes and the same goes for the huge Big Brother style screens at FC’s headquarters. He’s on the ball. It’s also a brilliant source of bribery negotiating that comes into play at 12:01am on December 26th.

As I write this, THEY (whoever THEY are) are tutting loudly, yes yes yes of course lying is not on ever. Unless of course you are being interrogated by two grumpy boys demanding to know what`s happened to their chocolate button supply. “Daddy ate it” you say sadly, hugging them as you wipe your chocolate face in their hair. But I try to imagine Christmas in our house without the magic giddiness of Father Christmas’ imminent crash down the chimney (O has asked if we can have a chimney for Christmas) and I shudder to think.

For a year after I was told the “truth”, I remember pretending I didn’t recognise my Mum’s wavy Sherry induced handwriting and I think in my coming to terms with it, I kindly passed the information on to my sister, who was 4 years younger. BAH HUMBUG to me.

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In fact, just this morning O remembered that he had seen Father Christmas twice. Then there was a moment’s silence as some thoughts travelled across his Christmas list filled mind before he announced “ Once he had glasses and a ginormous belly and the other time he was really short and not very fat , remember Mummy?” I try and hide in my coffee cup, but am saved by random four year old reasoning “ Oh , it’s ok!” he says relieved, “ I just remembered it must have been his brother….”

 

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