What a terrible time to get sick.
There was so much I wanted to do with the boys today. It’s Christmas eve, and I’m a huge Christmas fanatic. It’s not just my belief in God, either. I like the colors, I like the twinkly lights, I like the way Christmas trees smell, I like the comfort food, I like the happiness, I like the cold weather….
I just plain like Christmas.
At first I thought I was just feeling lazy, so I tried to perk myself up by getting dressed up and putting on a full face of makeup…. but by mid afternoon I had to be honest with myself. My throat hurt. My bones hurt. I felt like I was swimming through a fog, a haze of weak malaise.
The Bean was my hero all day long – it was his first day of vacation, and instead of relaxing he took point with the boys all day.
And oh, oh what boys they were. It’s as if they could scent weakness on me, and little predators they decided to go on the attack using their favorite weapon: spastic hyperactivity.
They ran. They wrestled. They squealed. They screamed. They laughed. They fought. They laughed again. They vaulted off of furniture, the walls, each other, the dog, our sanity……
The Bean was my hero today – not only did he encourage me to sprawl on the couch and ignore the kids, he scrubbed the entire kitchen, did about five loads of laundry, and vacuumed.
Sometimes, I swear, that man is the sexiest man on earth.
Initially we were planning on spending the morning with Caspian, the afternoon with friends, the evening at a candlelit service, then coming home and baking cookies for Santa.
Instead we did none of the above. We did let the dogs run up at the school, so there was that.
By 7 tonight both Bean and I were reaching the end of our rope with our boys. They’d sucked every ounce of Christmas spirit out of us, along with every ounce of patience. They’d skipped naps, been running for hours straight, and in our attempt to physically exhaust them we had only exhausted ourselves.
I tried talking them into letting us put cheese puffs in a bowl for Santa instead of cookies, but they weren’t buying it. We finally compromised with a piece of cake my unbelievably talented neighbor baked for us. I don’t remember what kind if it is called – it’s gluten free vanilla coconut cheese cake something-or-other and it tastes like sunshine and angels singing
Whatever it is, “Santa” can’t wait to eat it, even though she… err, he would have been happy with a bowl of cheese puffs, too.
Earlier in the day the DragonMonkey had been very concerned about leaving the milk out for Santa.
“Does Santa like rotten milk?”
“What? No. Nobody likes rotten milk.”
“But are we going to give him milk and cookies?”
“If you want to put out milk and cookies tonight, we can. We can make the cookies together and decorate them this afternoon.” (This was back when I just thought I was having a lazy morning.)
“But if we put out the milk too soon it will not be fresh, and it will taste rotten. And if Santa tastes the rotten milk, he will vomit, and he will not leave any presents.”
Welcome to the House of Bean, where Santa enjoys cheese puffs, eats gluten-free cake, and then vomits all over the living room.
Huh. Now that I think about it, that whole scenario sounds depressingly normal. That version of Santa would fit right in around here.
Anyways, we finally compromised and left Santa a note that the milk was in the fridge. Considering the day both boys had, I decided to offer them one last chance to plead their remorse in the note. The spoke and I wrote, transcribing their words exactly, word-for-word. I had to ask them to pause from time to time, but I really did write it down exactly as it came out of their mouth.
Here was what DragonMonkey had to say:
Milk is in the fridge. I hope, if you let me, I could probably find you another day. If you have a remote control race car, please give it to me – if you have it in your bag. There’s a slice of cake for you on the counter, and there’s some cookies right by our coffee maker, if you want some.”
Before I could protest about DragonMonkey trying to give away MY cookies to Santa without even asking, the Bean walked into the kitchen with Coyote (aka Little Kitty) in his arms and made a joke about Santa leaving something for the kitty under the tree. DragonMonkey overheard him, and the note took on a much darker note.
“If you have mice in your sled, please bring in the mice catcher and then leave it out for Little Kitty and rub it up (he meant wrap) with tape and a rubber band….if you have it in your sled.
Love,DragonMonkey (and I’m six years old!)
Next it was the Squid’s turn. After three years of being mellow and sweet and wonderful, he is approaching four with all the finesse of a bus slamming into a brick wall at top speeds. To be honest, if I felt even marginally healthier and if I knew of a store that was still open, I would go get some charcoal briquettes at the store and give him “coal” for Christmas. He more than deserves it.
“Squid, it’s your turn to leave a note for Santa. You’ve been very naughty all day – do you have anything you want to tell Santa?”
Here is what he had to say to plead his case:
I want a remote control train, and a remote control dump truck….”
At this point I cut in. “Squid, you’re not supposed to be asking for stuff! This is the last thing Santa will read before he leaves gifts here – IF he leaves gifts here. Is there anything you want to say, considering how horrible you behaved all day wrong? That’s what this note is about.”
Dutifully reminded, he continued on:
“A remote control… two tractors! Only one…. actually.. three! Or four! 1, 2, 3, or four, or five! or six! And Sketcher shoes that run real fast, just like this!”
And then he took off, clomping and skittering around the house at full speed, showing just how fast a Squid with brand-new Sketcher shoes would run.
“Squid! Get back here! You need to finish your note!”
And so he did:
“Love, DragonMonkey. Cuz I’m DragonMonkey. Yes I am!”
Sigh. I tell him to plead his case and he asks for more presents and ends it with a lie.
Coal. I’m telling you, that kid deserves coal!
On the other hand – I’d like to point out how eloquent DragonMonkey has become. For all you moms out there worrying about delayed speech and all that – keep in mind that the Dragonmonkey didn’t speak intelligibly until he was almost four, and now he’s able to use nearly-perfect grammar when instructing Santa how to rubber band wrapping paper over live mice so our cat has something to torture on Christmas morning. Isn’t that sweet of him?
As for us….
The boys are finally asleep in their beds, we have Country Christmas music playing on iHeart radio, the Bean is nearly finished wrapping gifts, and I think I’m gonna turn off the computer and just enjoy the warmth of my Oregon home. Maybe I’ll talk the Bean into putting down the scissors and sitting out on the porch while we listen to the rain fall on the porch roof.
Merry Christmas, everyone!