Tuesday, November 26, 2013

This Ain't No Dinky Little Holiday

Christmas was different back when we were DINKs (Dual Income No Kids). During our DINKy holidays The Husband and I had plenty of time to prepare for the festivities, plenty of energy to execute the great plans we thought up, and plenty of money to fund them. Now we have kids. Therefore, we have essentially no time, energy, or money to spare. After we clean up, keep our offspring alive, and buy chicken nuggets there are very few resources left to expend on Christmas.

I used to have dreams about perfect Christmases. Now I just want my kids to have a good time. I think all parents feel that way. Unless they are jerks, of course.  I am not a jerk, so I am typing this in near darkness. Why? Because Red is delighted at how brightly the tree shines with all the other lights off. To be honest, I could use a task light, but I am risking a devastating coffee spill because seeing the smile on his little face means more than avoiding a ruined laptop.

Risking electronic malfunction and ruined eyesight are not the only inconveniences we endure for the sake of a happy holiday for our tiny humans. I have compiled a list of the top five biggest pains in the butt changes. Please peruse at your leisure.

1.       Decorating for Christmas The weekend after a DINK Thanksgiving saw the first time all year our usually simply decorated house became cluttered. Now clutter is the norm. As a matter of fact, the living room might actually have less stuff in it around the holidays because we remove some of the toys to make room for the tree.  Kid Christmas decorations are constantly evolving. Fill a bowl with cinnamon-scented pinecones and 15 minutes later that same bowl is empty (or filled with a couple Matchbox cars, if you are lucky) and the pinecones are tied to a Tonka truck with the ribbon that had been on the present for Grandma. Red now hangs his coat on a stocking holder he balanced on the chair rail by the backdoor.  The train that is supposed to be running around the tree is chugging through the kitchen.


2.       The Christmas Tree The Husband and I used to hike out into the woods of a tree farm in order to cut our own live tree. We don’t do that anymore. Because we do not want to sweep up dropped needles or check water levels every day. Also, we do not let Red near saws. When the kids are old enough to drive themselves to cut down a tree by themselves I may send them while I stay home and take a nap. Until then the Third Option tree will be manufactured in Taiwan. My DINK tree was decorated with fragile ornaments and glass globes. Now my tree has plastic ornaments and preschool craft projects. And they only go up half the tree. Because the kids can’t reach any higher. Nor will they let us put them higher. And the kids are in charge. Obviously.


3.        Stockings We had three stockings for our first Christmas; one for me, one for The Husband, and one for the Fuzzy Wonder. We bought stocking holders from Target that spelled JOY and the empty stockings decked the mantel from Thanksgiving through New Year. Adding a second dog presented a problem. Luckily (I am trying to put a positive spin on an unfortunate event), my parents were down a dog from the previous year, so we traded JOY for LOVE. Then Eldest came along and we invested in PEACE. Red got a special snowman stocking holder for his first Christmas. Since then we have decreased by one dog, added a different dog, and had Baby Girl and the stocking experience has gotten pretty lame. Filled stockings are too heavy for the holders and empty stockings are too tempting for little hands to yank off the mantel. While the stocking holders are not heavy enough to balance a loaded stocking, they still weigh enough to concuss your average toddler. Right now the stockings are not hung by the mantel with care. They are balled up somewhere in a Rubbermaid tote where they will stay until about 11:30pm on Christmas Eve when we remember them. And all of those stocking holders we have collected over the years? Red perched one of them on the chair rail by the back door and uses it to hang up his coat. He chose the letter O for no reason that is apparent to me.


4.       Accidents and Injuries Holidays are famous for accidents and injuries. Check out YouTube for hours of entertainment illustrating my point.  Before the wee tots our DINKy accidents around were spilled glasses of wine. Injuries occurred while hanging outdoor lights. This morning alone Red had more accidents and/or injuries than I had ever seen during all of the Christmas seasons of my adult life combined. Broken ornaments, ripped stockings, bells flattened by tiny feet…I could go on. I won’t. Kids are clumsy and impetuous and quick. Therefore, kids are bruised, bloodied, and surrounded by broken crap.


5.       Well, I can’t think of another example, but how could I present a list of four? That would be ludicrous (much like how I just spelled that word like the rappers name and my spellcheck capitalized it). To get around this I made a couple of words bold to look like the other headings. Clever, I know. Now I am going to type some more nonsense and then bring this blog post to a close once the number of sentences is pleasing to the eye. Do you think I have reached that point? What about now? Now? That looks pretty good.


From all of us in The Third Option household to everyone in yours: Happy Thanksgiving! May you eat yourself into a stupor and then eat some more.


jude said...

Thank you.... you are providing nice information for christmas decorations.

Teri Biebel said...

It sounds like chaos but it also sounds like a house full of love!! :) Happy Thanksgiving, girlfriend!