Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It Will Be The Death of Me

"Winter break will be the death of me," Peyton muttered as he rolled over to go to sleep.  "Ridiculous siblings," he added.

Day one of 16 straight days together as a family done and according to my oldest son Peyton (who is 10), it isn't going so well. 

But let's back up and look at what the day was really like.  

You see I woke up with dread thinking the exact thing Peyton said "winter break will be the death of me." Just like summer break, I am full of dread and concern.  How will I keep the kids busy, entertained or at least not hurting each other?

The day before break I loaded up with supplies for arts and crafts fun and said a little prayer for patience.

It started with sleeping in,which is huge around here. It was 7 a.m.
Early morning Lego session. 
A leisurely breakfast, pants optional.
There were only 18 fights before breakfast.  It was 8 a.m.

Success?  I was remaining positive and claiming success.  

We got in the car to go to our gym so I could continue my love affair with the treadmill (I am not joking the treadmill saves me from daily mental meltdowns) and the kids could run around and get a break from each other in the playroom.  It was 10 a.m.

The treadmill didn't fail to disappoint.  I did my run while listening to my new favorite running song (Ni**gas in Paris by Jay Z and Kanye) over and over with a little Nikki Minaj thrown in and I felt great.

Notice in the Youtube clip it says "for those of you that are watching in front of your parents."  So funny.  I am so bad ass, but I have to listen to the clean versions.

There was nothing I couldn't handle (except some hardcore lyrics).  Four over-crazed, tired, holiday-hyped kids?  No problem.  It was 11 a.m.

Things began to unravel a bit when the older kids insisted on singing holiday songs with different words about killing Barney.  My parents used to get mad at me for singing about Batman and Robin wearing tights.  But that is nothing compared to killing Barney!  That is just down right disturbing.

I stopped off at the post office on the way home from the gym.  Maybe the treadmill made me a little too cocky.  Because as we all know the post office the week before Christmas is no place for me and my four kids.  It was a zoo.  The self-service machines were breaking down, the lines were crazy.  But I needed stamps damn it and after navigating the parking lot with the mini-bus (our giant van), I felt I couldn't turn back.  The kids were running around accidentally knocking packages out of people's arms and just getting in everyone's way.  Peyton kept singing those damn kill Barney Christmas songs and baby Wade was hot, miserable and crying.  Then low and behold, a nice older woman about five people ahead of me in the next line said "Hon, would you like to take the turn before me?"  Awwwwww.  I thanked her and wished her a merry Christmas.  And as I herded my children out the door and left I am sure everyone else in the hot, crowded room thanked here.  

I felt renewed with the generosity of spirit of others.  
It was 12 p.m.

Lunch and crazy play time.
My sweet little runny-nosed Buzz Lightyear.
Then, ahhh, quiet time.  After a lunch, I got Wade down for a nap and got the crafts going. It was 1:30 p.m.
The bead project was saved specifically for when Wade was taking a nap.
I love how they sat in the same chair.  So cute.
After projects galore, a candy break, a holiday show and 20 more fights, we woke the baby up to go shopping.  It was 4 p.m.

We were on our way to the Dollar Store.  We started the dollar store tradition a few years ago when my two oldest were little.  They get to shop for their dad and buy $5 worth of gifts for him. When they were little bitty it was such a trip to see what they would pick out.  Like the "I Love Sailing" keychain for Tim, who has never sailed in his life.  He had that keychain on until it finally broke last year.

Now that they are older, they are a little more thoughtful about the gifts.  Tim takes them shopping at the same store for me too. One year Peyton got me a pizza cutter because I had accidentally thrown ours away with a pizza box.  He remembered on his own and we still use the dollar store pizza cutter to this day.

My kids act like the Dollar Store is Disneyworld.  They get so excited about all of the merchandise.  I do love that about them.  They really do have fun anywhere we go, even the Dollar Store.
After the shopping was done, we went home so the older kids could wrap their treasures and I could make dinner. It was 6 p.m.

We ate dinner, finished crafts, watched part of a Christmas movie, broke up 25 fights and then got ready for bed.  It was 9 p.m.

As I was cleaning up the kitchen I reflected on the day.  This is what it's all about. This is their story.  They will remember days like today full of all things Christmas and family.  

I considered it a great success.
Until the very end....Lucy was crying because Peyton hurt her feelings, Wade didn't want to take his Buzz costume off to go to bed and Peyton was miserable because the little brothers had wrecked his Lego creation (hence the above "siblings are ridiculous" comment).

So, the day ended with me drinking lots of wine hoping the kids will retain some of the good parts of the day.  It was 11 p.m.

How the hell am I going to keep this pace up for the next 15 days?  

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