Thursday, December 5, 2013

Christmas Fever

It never ceases to amaze me how 5-plus years into this whole parenting gig I still fall into the simplest of traps. 

At this point in my "momming" journey I really should understand this simple rule:

"You should not tell your children about exciting events before those events are actually going to happen."

It's Parenting 101, people, but I admit that blew it. Last month I began to wax rhapsodic about the holiday season to come. And then I mentioned Christmas.

Can anyone guess what happened next?

If you guessed:

a.  Life went on as normal would be incorrect.

If you guessed:

b. At the very mention of the word Christmas my two boys immediately went into a holiday-based frenzy from which there was no hope of recovery.

...yeah, you've nailed it.

The moment the words were out of my mouth my two boys began running about in circles, clapping in delight and shouting, 

"CHRISTMAS is coming! It's Christmas! It's CHRISTMAS!!!!"

It was, in fact, only November the 7th.


For almost a month now I have been living with my mistake.

Each morning my boys leap from their beds with excited squeals of, "Is it today? Is Santa coming today? Is it time to put out the cookies?????"

At which point I need to explain that, no, it is not Christmas. It is totally a normal Thursday and everyone needs to get dressed and go about our normal daily lives.

At which point --- there are tears. Bitter ones.

In an effort to give the kids some much needed timeline context I had answered the following question as we headed off to Chicago for Thanksgiving:

"Wait -- when are we putting up the tree?"

...with what I thought was a very reasonable response:

"When we get back to L.A. Right now let's concentrate on Thanksgiving. Who can name something we are thankful for?"

"Christmas!!! When do we get home?"

On Saturday we flew home from Chicago. The flight was our usual four-and-a-half hour adventure of trying unsuccessfully to get three kids under five to JUST...STOP...KICKING THE LADY IN FRONT OF YOU.

After nine hours of total travel time we limped in our front door desperate to get the kids into baths and bed before collapsing into a pool of our own melty fatigue.

Instead, the second we closed the door behind us the boys turned with determined looks on their small faces and announced in total delight:

"YAY!!! Time to put up the Christmas tree!"

Dear readers, the lesson is simple. If you do not wish to find yourself putting up up a Christmas tree at 9pm after a long day of travel I urge you to revisit those parenting basics. 

It's the most exciting time of the year -- so tread carefully.

I am the Christmas tree of doom
I was erected in the middle of the night by two exhausted travelers