I wrote last week about my trepidation about setting up a Christmas tree with Bisky and the boys. As you can see from the pictures, the tree was indeed erected, with surprising little fall out. I keep underestimating the twins’ ability to do stuff, and they actually both enjoyed hanging the ornaments on the tree.
And then taking them off.
And pulling them apart.
And throwing them back AT the tree.
So, pretty much as expected, hence the fence, which has done exactly diddly and squat to prevent further mayhem. As of today, there are about 3 ornaments (including the one Ben broke, which I’m keeping as a decoy to protect the others) on the first 2 1/2 feet of the tree, as we move all the special or breakable things further up and out of reach.
In the midst of the joy/terror/insanity of preparing for Christmas with the littles I have learned ten important things that are helping me cope. Here they are, in no order of importance:
- If you only have one kid size Santa suit and three kids, keep that thing out of sight you moron! Just trust me. You know what is better than one Santa suit? Three or Zero, that’s what!
- There is absolutely no redeeming value to candy canes. Besides tasting gross and sticking to EVERYTHING, using only spit they can be sculpted into a shiv, and used to threaten one’s siblings.
- Kids who don’t understand time will ask if it’s ‘Christmas yet’ the second the tree goes up multiple times a day. There is no way around this.They will treat you like a murderer when you tell them no and demand you shift space and time to make it Christmas immediately.
- Kids who are three can figure out that all the Amazon boxes might have something for them and will whine indefinitely. Hide the Amazon boxes upon receipt lest you find them stabbing away with their little candy cane swords to cut through the packing tape.
- If you say a bad word around your kid and then have the talk with them about how they should never say it, they won’t say it for months, until they are in church preschool and feel the need to tell you not to say “$*$*”. Nothing to do with Christmas, except that I learned it during the Christmas season and it seems useful information.
- The same is true of advent calendars as is true of Santa Suits. you need one per kid…but not only that, it is not as much fun to open one’s own advent calendar as ones’ siblings, so referee the crap out of this activity to prevent tears and possibly bloodshed (especially if candy canes are involved).
- There is no shame in having a plastic fence around your tree. Sure, it screams “I can’t control my children” but hey, who were you really fooling anyway?
- It is perfectly good to teach your kids that Christmas is Jesus’ birthday and the reason for the season, but expect them to get hilariously confused or inventive about what this means, especially if Santa is involved. Grace informed me that it was Santa’s birthday too so Jesus would share his birthday cake with Santa (after Grace gets the first piece).
- The most angelic wonderful kids can be absolute terrors for no reason, and the excitement of the holiday seems to exacerbate this so in order to retain peace of mind, set the bar of behavioral expectation LOW…Lower than a limbo’ing ant low.
- It’s helped me to try to be grateful every day. In the midst of the screaming and shouting when I just want a moment to myself, I remember when I had all too many of those and am so dang overflowing with gratitude for the people in my life I could explode. Even when they make me crazy.
So happy festivus!!! I’d love to hear other people’s survival tips…