Did you ever think that you were ready for Christmas only to find that you had forgotten something vital? Like thawing the turkey? Or a gift for a sibling?
I don't think that I am in that boat. I think that I am ready. Having said that, I have just jinxed myself and will have forgotten something major, although I, at this point, have no clue as to what that may be.
My sister is in town and she came and gathered all of my kids while I was braving the grocery store this afternoon. It meant that Bill and I had a chance to put groceries away unaided ( I shall be able to find everything this time!) and finish wrapping the last few presents and put the lot of them under the tree. We had discussed this event with the older children before hand. And by discuss, I mean threaten them with bodily harm, or worse, loss of any present that was "accidentally" picked at, bumped, poked, prodded, or unwrapped in any way. Looking is OK. Touching to rearrange, sort, pick at, count, move, or shake, is not. They willingly agreed. They were prepared. Nicole was not.
So, being four and having a tree full of presents suddenly appear should seem like a wonderful affair. Wonderful until you are told that you can't open any of them for another 36 hours! How many ways can you say meltdown? Howling banshees had nothing on that child! She ran to the bed, screaming, buried her head under a pillow, and fell asleep within about two minutes. Phew! That was easy.
Ha! I should have know that it was to good to last. About 20 minutes later, I figure that it is safe to go in and check on her. I rearrange the blankets and remove the pillow from her head. Gently and lovingly touch her quiet slumbering back and leave the room. Bad idea. Two minutes later I am happily knitting away on my almost finished mittens ( more about that later) and who should appear, but a very somber girl with the worst case of bed head that I have seen in a long time. She wants to play a game of cards. My mother taught her the game that we called "war". Basically we split the deck in two and lay down the top card from each pile and the highest card wins. We were playing along quite happily until about the third hand when suddenly, out of nowhere, the banshee made a reappearance. "My cards are all upside down!" She decides. I'm sure that most of you are quite familiar with playing cards and know that it doesn't matter which end is up, you can still read the numbers and symbols in the corner. Well, apparently we are all wrong.
After listening to the howls of indignation in the other room for about 5 minutes, I decided that she was not going to calm down and had to be put to bed. She was relatively cooperative about going to the bedroom. Only kicked me once. And equally cooperative about getting undressed. Not quiet. Just relatively cooperative. She became decidedly uncooperative over the issue of pyjamas. I pick my battles these days and decided that she could win a reprieve on this one for the time being. I, in my sneakiness, would slip some PJ's on her later. When she is really down for the night. As for brushing her teeth? I wouldn't have ventured there tonight for all the tea in China.
The howls and screams have continued through this whole procedure and continue while I crawl into bed to give her some cuddles. This usually works to calm her down. Not tonight. Being a resourceful woman, I have another trick up my sleeve that usually helps to quiet her down. As many mothers do, I will occasionally sing. When Nicole was a baby, my singing put her to sleep and did all of the thing that a mother's singing was suppose to do. When she became verbal she started asking my to stop singing. Hmmm.
So now I can sometimes get her to quiet down by singing. She yells at me to stop and I tell her "I will if you will". It usually works too. Not tonight. After being kicked repeatedly and having my eardrums permanently damaged, I decided to haul out the heavy artillery. I sent in Bill.
And now, my friends, all is silent in my house. And I am thankful for the powers of the papa.
And I was quite serious when I said "later" about the mittens.