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‘Twas the night before Xmas

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‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse

Mum and Dad settled with their cups of tea

Prepared to “help Santa” put presents under the tree

But wait, what’s that sound? What’s that noise that I hear?

I sense that a child is creeping quite near

“Go to bed” Mummy said with a slight sense of fear

As Daddy, he dashed and he covered with care

All of the presents all over the floor

The paper and tape and the toys! “Close the door!”

He whispered with panic to Mummy, “They’ll see!”

“Back to BED!” Mummy said as she scooped up all three

Of the children and sent them all back to their beds

“Sleep well, see you Christmas” she kissed their sweet heads

“If you don’t go to sleep, well then Santa won’t come

And no Santa, no Christmas, no presents, no fun!”

She sighed as she crept back out of their door

Tripping silently over a toy on the floor

And once more the silence was all through the place

The cupboard of presents had run out of space

With a creek and a tremor Mummy opened the door

And the noisiest present, it fell to the floor!

“What’s that” Mummy heard and she froze on the spot

“Go to BED” she said, “Or Santa WON’T STOP”

Once again with the ritual, the kiss and the smile

Though through clenched teeth – this was taking a while!

Mum’s tea had gone cold, she was no longer happy

Dad’s patience was thin, he was no happy chappy

Midnight came and went, and the kids would not sleep

Every time “Santa” came, the kids, they would creep

Back out to the lounge, to see all the fuss

And then marched back to bed, “Oh for goodness sake JUST

GO TO SLEEP so Santa can COME” scowled Dad

“I’M TIRED AND GROUCHY AND GETTING QUITE MAD!

If you DON’T go to SLEEP, no Christmas will be

I’ll cancel it, stop it, it’s late, don’t you see!

Santa won’t come if you DON’T GO TO BED!”

It’s three in the morning, Mum rested her head

on the floor by the tree, where the presents should be.

At quarter past four, Dad stormed off to bed

With two kids in tow, who were just off their heads

with excitement and thrill, but no Christmas awaits

For naughty little children, who only frustrate

their Mummy and Daddy who just want to be

Santa and put presents under the tree!

Five thirty am and all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse

Three sleeping children and one sleeping man

All piled in the one bed, all legs, arms and hands

And then it is morning, and out the kids run

And squeal with delight and clapping and fun!

“Santa came!” they scream as they wake up their parents

“But how …?” queries Dad, “it doesn’t make sense?”

But when the kids slept with the Dad snuggled in

Mummy crept out and got working again

With the presents and stockings and flour on the floor

From Santa’s big feet as he walked through the door

Of the chimney, the carrots the reindeer left messy

Because the one hour sleep, the tears and the stressing

Feel worth it to know that, for at least one more year

The kids still believe in Santa and his reindeer.

And the relief that it’s over, and Mummy can nap

And have some of her special drink (which I wish was on tap)

And now we approach that same night again

I’ve made it quite clear that it WON’T be the same

That Santa will NOT come if kids do not sleep

All the presents will go onto the rubbish heap

So here is to Christmas and all that we do

As parents, as Santa, and his reindeer too

And here is to kids who sleep all through the night

I’m holding my breath but a Mum, she can dream, right?

 

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Dear Santa

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Ah, letters to Santa.

Dear Sata

I wood like

Sume Now tis

a hyena costoom

hyena faspat

sume Hebas

a LeopRd gerey

Sume Now sHoes

a kid Kare

Sume wahzes

Sume Fapat

Sume t-tesers

Sume toos

I’m so glad that Santa has the amazing ability to decipher the Santa letter of a 6 year old.

We’ve had to remind Princess that Santa doesn’t get children exactly what is on the list. Because, sometimes Santa knows that children want things, when they don’t even know they might want them! Like socks! Oh, Santa. He’s so clever.

Not to mention the fact that sometimes, no matter how hard Santa tries, he just can’t find a hyena costoom (costume). Santa is very proud of herself  himself that she he was able to locate a LeopRd gerey (leopard jersey), on sale no less. And, even better, some Now sHoes (new shoes) at the Salvation Army store for 50c.

Sadly for Princess, there is no way in hell that she would be getting a Kid Kare (kid car) anytime soon. But, Santa has fulfilled a significant part of the list, including the now tis (new tights), t-tesers (t-shirts) and even some toos (toys).

All in all, I have to give it to Princess this year, her list was pretty good. No specific toys mentioned that can only be purchased online for hundreds of dollars, like last year.

BoyChild’s list? A little shorter.

New trains

Coming from a kid who has over 30 trains.

And, BabyGirl?

ELSA! SOFIA! ELSA! I LIKE ANNA! ELSA! TRAINS!

“YOU can’t have trains! I’m having trains!”

TRAINS TRAINS TRAINS TRAINS

Gotcha.

Just for shits and giggles, what do I want for Xmas? Well, since you asked …

Dear Santa

This year, I would like the following, in no particular order:

  1. An hour with no one talking to me/touching me/looking at me
  2. New fancy shoes. Or, superglue to fix my current ones.
  3. A day when I don’t have to parent or adult or cook or clean/  or launder or wash or change a nappy.
  4. A massage.
  5. Something pretty. I mean, really pretty. Not a drawing.
  6. Happy kids, with no bickering or squealing.
  7. A hefty addition to my bank account balance.
  8. Cider. On tap, preferably.
  9. The Chelsea Winter cookbook. Any one of them, I’m not fussy.
  10. Some nice food. That I don’t have to prepare. Or share.
  11. A surprise. A genuine surprise. Any of the above will do.

 

Look, I love Christmas, and what I truly want is everyone to be safe, happy, content and doing what they want to be doing, with whom they want to be sharing the day.

Anything more is just gravy.

Oh! 13. Gravy.

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Please Don’t Judge Me

In today’s day and age, with social media so common, and a viral post just a click away, it is easy to be caught up in what a parent “should” be doing, how a parent “should” be behaving.

Of course, things happen that effect our behaviour. And, it’s hard to understand someone’s behaviour without first understanding the factors that might be contributing to this behaviour.

Especially so at this time of year – money is tight, Christmas is coming, school is finishing. There is a lot of stress about.

Before you judge that parent in the supermarket, or at the park, perhaps first consider what might be happening in their peripheral.

Please don’t judge that mother sitting at the park with her face glued to her cellphone. This is literally the only time her kids haven’t been touching and/or nagging her all day, and she desperately has emails to send for her part time job, and money to transfer for bills due that day. Or, perhaps by taking her kids to the playground, this allows her to finally lose herself in some “me time”, after having been up since 6am on two hours sleep.

Please don’t judge the mother grappling with a clearly overtired toddler in the supermarket. Yes, the child is tired. Yes, the mother might have found a better time to shop. But the reality is, this is the only chance she has to buy the essentials for dinner that day, and breakfast the following day, because she is a single mother and doesn’t have anyone to watch her kids at night so she can grocery shop. Nor does she want to, for that matter. Because she actually appreciates sitting down with a cup of tea when the kids are in bed.

Please don’t judge the parent who feeds her child sugar-laden treat snack in her lunchbox for school. This morning, this mother had five school lunches to make and it is a day shy of pay day. This mother rustled through her entire pantry trying to find enough food to bulk out five lunch boxes. She knows that the food she put in there falls short of being nutritious but reasoned that, in this rare circumstance, any food was better than no food.

Please don’t judge the mother in the cafe with her son, who is wearing his pyjamas despite it being 11am. She has been at the afterhours doctors with him since 7am and is only in that cafe because they xray clinic doesn’t open for another hour.

Please don’t judge the parent who is about to explode at her kids, who really are just being cute. Because, to her, they aren’t “being cute”, it’s been going on for hours and quite frankly, she has had enough. Even cute wears thin eventually.

The thing is, we don’t know that the woman in the dairy is on the brink of tears, because her husband of seven years has just told her he is leaving. We don’t know that the lady sitting alone in the park has just found out her father has passed away. We don’t know that the “helicopter” parent who won’t let her kids do school swimming, lost her younger brother in a drowning accident when they were kids.

We also don’t know that maybe, she’s just having a really bad day.

Women are notoriously good at hiding their feelings. Please don’t judge us for that.

Next time you feel that judgement coming on, consider the subject. Smile at her. Pat her reassuringly on the shoulder and tell her she’s doing ok. Ask her if she is doing ok.

You don’t know, but you probably will make her day.

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Adult Colouring. It’s not for me.

A few weeks ago I went away for a weekend by myself, to catch up with friends and go to an engagement party. Yup – two whole nights away. Without kids. By myself.

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Literally the first time away from all three kids. Which, of course, meant the first time Mr T was home alone with all three kids. Naturally, they were excited. “We gonna have a partyyyyyy” exclaimed BoyChild with glee as they took me to the airport. Glad to know I’ll be missed.

After they dropped me at the door, I went in, checked in and discovered that my flight was delayed by an hour. That was fine by me – time to sit and have no one talk to me. Until you have kids you have no idea how valuable and exciting that is.

After a good solid minute of sitting by myself, I got antsy and decided to have a look around the shops. A brief visit into the lolly shop and seven free fudge samples later (I thought I better leave before they make me buy something – in my defense, the sign says “free fudge samples” with no limit imposed, so ….) I went into the bookstore. As I was perusing the magazine racks and deciding what tacky, cheap magazine I should buy for the flight, I saw the giant stand of Adult Colouring books.

And I had a great idea.

Instead of reading trashy magazines, what if I coloured on my flight? With titles like “Daydream Colouring” and “Calm colouring for dreams”, how could I not feel relaxed and calm at the end? It’s colouring, but for grown ups. Wow. Neat. Practically meditation. Yoga for my fingers.

I bought a little, purse sized book and a pack of coloured pencils, and proudly put them into my bag. They were my prized possessions, neatly tucked away in my handbag until I was on the flight. I was excited, I won’t lie.

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As we were finally boarding the flight, the boarding staff mentioned that there was “extreme” weather at our destination, so to expect some bumps.

That’s ok. I’ve flown in turbulence before. How bad can it be?

Bad.

Within a few minutes of the flight I was clutching my seat (and, at one point, the knee of the kind elderly gentleman beside me) and imagining what Mr T and the kids would be like without me as I plummet to my untimely demise on this here flight. And then smiling ironically, imagining them describing me in the media as a calm person, obvious by the colouring book and pencils neatly stowed in my handbag.

After a decent half hour of what I swear was the plane dropping from the sky at a million knots, I decided it was time to start colouring. Because, it would make me calm. I needed calm.

Now, I ask of you – have you tried to colour in small, intricate details while flying in a small aircraft falling from the sky at a great speed? No? Well, I have. And it is not easy. In fact, it sucks. I kept going over the lines, and dropping my pencils. My peacock was looking ridiculous. In fact, during one moment of particular concentration, the plane dipped and I might or might not have said, out loud, “oh come ON!”. Again, apologies to the man beside me.

After a while (truth – it was probably only ten minutes) I decided to put the book and pencils away. Call it a day, so to speak.

The next day, I proudly showed anyone and everyone my colouring book. I mean, to be honest, I had to take the pencils and book out of my handbag any time I wanted to use my wallet, but as I placed it on every table and counter top, I felt as though I was just oozing calm and day dream-ness. “She’s so calm” people were thinking. I know they were.

I didn’t take it to the engagement party, however. Time and place, Mrs T. Time and place.

The next morning, I was ready to head home. Ready? Well, I was heading home. As I boarded my flight (onto a much bigger plane, on a considerably calmer day), I was brimming with excitement about spending the next hour deep in the calm and deeply immersed in my colouring book.

After a smooth take off, I brought out my book and pencils and started on another picture. I was doing great and … dammit Pilot! I swear, he was watching me and bumping the plane as soon as my pencil was precariously perched above the paper. Deliberately. Wait, this colouring book is meant to calm me, not delve me into paranoia!

I gave it a good go, I did. I tried.

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And I learned a valuable lesson.

I am not a colouring book, calm, daydreaming kind of person. I should have known. I’m not a yoga person, or a tai chi person.

I’m a crazy, chaotic person. I love my crazy kids, and my crazy chaotic life. I think I’ll stick to my usual calming down routine – trash telly and the internet. That’s how we roll in 2015.

And, to win extra points with the kids – I had an extra special, super great present especially for Princess when I got home.

A really neat, awesomely cool colouring book and some pencils. AND I even started a couple of the pictures just for her.

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Because I’m “the best mummy EVER!”.

I’ll take that.