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How to survive the holidays without killing your kids

Submitted by on Tuesday, 29 December 2009 3 Comments

Mommy, can I have water with ice?

Mommy, he won’t let me watch “Wubbzy.”

Mommy, he went “nah nah” at me and stuck out his tongue.

Mommy, can I have candy?

I hate the word “workflow,” largely because the first time I heard it, it came from a change-resistant control freak who was using the term to justify The Way Things Have Always Been. We can’t do what you ask because we don’t want to mess with someone’s workflow, the control freak intoned.

Having said that, guys, you are seriously messing with my workflow, and after 12 days of disruption I am ready to lock you or me in a room until the holidays are over.

It’s the downside to not having an office to escape to. It’s still preferable to the frantic search for child care on days when child care is closed and the bosses say both Dad and I have to work. After a few weeks it all tends to work itself out – it’s just that a 19-day winter vacation is barely long enough for the end of the shakedown cruise.

You can remind them that mornings are work time – you know, just like when you were off from school last summer – and they’ll nod brightly and agree in the dark of night.  Come sun up the next morning, though, amnesia has set in.

Mommy, I want bwekfas.

No, Mommy, I want Cheerios, not Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

Mommy, he’s playing with my toys.

Mommy, he won’t share.

Oh, for God’s sake, you two, just go watch TV.

Eeek. Did those words just fly out of my mouth? They did, and they’re a sign of true desperation.

If our house had a crawl space, I’d crawl in it. If there were room amid all the Kevlar, ruck sacks and sleeping bags that populate our walk-in closet, I’d hunker down in a corner. Come to think of it, I might find an olive drab sweat shirt and try that anyway. I’m a smallish person – the laptop and I won’t take up much room.

A week in, we hit the road and the situation gets worse.

Mommy, it’s boooooooring here.

Mommy, it’s no fair that I didn’t get to play with my Christmas toys.

Mommy, can we go to McDonald’s? There’s nothing I want to eat here.

Mommy, when do I get to use your computer to play games?

Knowing we’re a week and a half past the mantra that “Mommy’s computer is for work only,” I give in. Yes, I know that will only mean more clamoring tomorrow, but there’s no walk-in closet or crawl space where we’re staying either.

There’s no possible strategy left other than to try to get up earlier and stay up later. It ruins part of the fun of not having to wake up early when school is out, but at least I don’t have to worry about day care being closed for the holidays.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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  • Kathleen McDade said:

    OMG, this is EXACTLY my life right now. At least we’re not alone. :-)

  • Donna BT said:

    Hilarious!!! I’m dealing with this issue by sending my boys to daycare three days this week. I learned that lesson after keeping them home for the week of Thanksgiving. They were going crazy by day two. No way was I going to endure that again during a two week holiday break!

  • Debra said:

    Believe me, I would have done that if I could, Donna. Our day care closed Dec. 17 and doesn’t reopen until Jan. 5. To make it worse, Big Guy was home sick the last two days before school let out – the SAME thing happened right before spring break last year – so I’ve been able to enjoy the pleasure of their company even longer.