The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Dec 20 2008

I love Christmas time.

I don’t want to.  I want to be skeptical and cynical and hate the commercialism.  I’d like to whine and complain about Christmas decor that’s on the shelves before Halloween.  I want to rail against the materialism of a holiday that should be about a Savior and instead becomes all about me, me, me.

But I just can’t bring myself to do it.

I love Christmas.

I wish I could say that it’s all about the Reason for the Season and talk about putting the Christ back in Christmas.  But I have to admit, I’d like Christmas even without Jesus.  Xmas is the holiday for me.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  Jesus is important to me, and I care very much about his birth.  I’m happy to converse about who I think Jesus was and is and why I choose to associate myself with him.  But we can get into a long discourse about the pros and cons of Christ, the church, and spirituality another time.

Bring on the Nog!  It’s time to hunker down with family and friends, bite into that peppermint fudge and get wrapping-paper cuts.  ‘Tis the season to bundle the kids in ill-planned and less-than-water-proof snow gear and send them outside to catch colds.  This is my chance to get Super Mom cred for topping the hot cocoa with whipped cream and red sprinkles.  And it’s time to choose which child I like best this year.

Wait.  WHAT?

Mothers like all their kids the same.  Just like teachers.  Right?

Yeah, right!

I do love all my children the same.  I’d throw myself in front of a speeding train to save each and every one.  I was able to forgive my own mother any manner of perceived slights from my teenage years once I realized that there’s hardly anything you can’t forgive someone who would literally give her life for you.

But I just don’t like all of my children equally every single moment.

The good news is that when any one child is in my good graces for very long, he or she will generously move on to a less appealing phase and give the sibs a chance to worm their way back in.  It’s a constant state of flux, and I guarantee you that the child who’s pulling my heart strings this year will make me want to beat my head against a brick wall next year.

Here’s a chart to show what I mean.

chart

Assuming that 1 is the baseline of likeability, as in generally likeable (as you’ll notice each of my children were in the years we received them), you can see their rise and fall over time.  Given the fact that I do love them all, none fall into a dislike category, so to speak.  They simply move back to that baseline of general likeability.  How’s that for trying to cover my behind?

So back to choosing which child I like best this year.  This isn’t really an annual tradition.  It more develops over time.  For example, I’ll notice that one of my daughters is deciding to use her nice and helpful words more and is hugging people in wheelchairs at the grocery store.  (No joke; this really happened.)   On the other hand, my other daughter is a pre-teen with all of the accompanying histrionics.  I love them both.  Would throw myself in front of the proverbial train for either.  And am working diligently on reining in the urge to roll my eyes wheneveralways the latter must shed tears over Every. Single. Thing.

But at this most wonderful time of the year when my tree is decorated Martha Stewart style with hand-cut paper snowflakes, mangled aluminum foil ornaments and candy-cane shaped pipe cleaners, I look to the Christmas lists for clues about which child may be on an upswing and which, well, not so much.  Sadly, since Cai and Cael are only 2, they really don’t have a clue about Christmas lists, so I’m leaving them out of this part.  We’ll let the twos speak for themselves.

Here are the lists for the older 3 children…

Abby:

  1. Laptop
  2. Cell Phone
  3. iPod
  4. for everyone to have a good Christmas
  5. even the orphans

(I’m not making this up.)

Ian:

  1. Pokemon Wii Game

Aden:

  1. A Blanket
  2. A Bible

(Seriously, I’m not kidding.)

Abby starts out a little selfish and slow, but she finishes nice and strong with a solid swing toward the orphans.  Ian’s got a mediocre pitch on the Wii game; nothing really for or against in this move, he remains steady.  Aden’s got the winner, though.  All the poor kid wants is a freaking blanket and a story about God.  Sheesh!  How can you compete with that?

Sorry, kids.  I’m afraid it might be Aden’s year.

Wishing you a Christmas as full of beautiful chaos as mine will be,

B

My Kid Punched Another Kid in the Nuts

Dec 11 2008

I’m so proud.

Two days ago, we got a note from my son’s teacher that he was peeping under stalls in the bathroom.  Ew.

Then yesterday, the same kid punched another kid in the nuts at school.

This is one of my kids with expressive language disorder, so, although we chatted about it last night, I don’t have all the details yet.  One of the following two possible scenarios is likely:

  1. He teamed up with another second grader to fight off a fourth grade bully picking on one of their second grade friends, or
  2. He teamed up with the fourth grade bully against the helpless, defenseless second grader.

If 1 is the case, I’m going to credit him with time served (loss of all recesses for a day, a chat with the principal, and a letter of apology).  And I’ll give him a cookie in my head.  I can’t give him a real cookie because that would send the wrong message.  But I’d want to.

If 2 is the case, I’m going to pre-emptively call child protective services on myself so I don’t harm my own child while trying to teach him not to harm others.  (You know – like those parents who yell “we do not hit!” while spanking their children to teach them not to hit.  Super effective, that.)