If it was physically possible to drop kick a Pontiac Trans Am....I would have done it by now.
A rookie mistake when parenting is being overly ambitious. And being foolish enough to start special traditions with your kids, because when there's one of them it's easy and seems fun. Then you wake up one morning, and it's 15 degrees outside, five kids and a whole bunch of empty shoes to fill.
I like the St. Nicholas tradition. When I had two kids, I used it as a time to give them new shoes for Christmas. And that was very exciting for them. When that got to be a bit challenging, timewise, sizewise, moneywise, I downsized to Christmas socks or slipper socks or something festive. Accompanying all gifts was some chocolate and treats.
Suddenly it was December 5th and Baba oh so helpfully reminded everyone else that they needed to leave their shoes out. And of course they all left a pair out not the one as dictated by tradition. Baba even made sure that Cinco had her shoes out.
And so I came to one of the hardest decisions for me to date. Do I write a letter purportedly from St. Nicholas chastising the absurdly over the top shenanigans of my children, or do I allow the good saint to stay in favor with my children and I do my dirty work myself. I have to say, that's a very unpleasant thought.
It's not that I have bad children. It's just that in my family we celebrate Festivus every single day. There are feats of strength that inevitably result in the airing of grievances, loudly and angrily. And then engage in more feats of strength to express how truly grieved they are by....whatever.
It's gotten so bad that Baby was shrieking in the middle of the kitchen "MOOOOOM! Baba isn't cleaning the kitchen! " (It's a joint chore) Of course Baba was taking the recycling out as part of cleaning the kitchen and Baby pounced on the opportunity to be grieved. At this point Baby is in gold medal contention.
I made Mac brush his teeth and change his underwear. While not as grievous as the washing of X-Man's face I engaged in, Mac was broken up over the need to remove his Batman underwear....BATMAN Mom!!!!
The girls have to share a bedroom. Yet both seem to be insulted by the possibility of eye contact. Although they present a united front if the boys try to enter their room. Unless.....there is possibility of a large uproar if Baba gives Mac permission to come in while Baby rages.
Back and forth. Louder and more obnoxious. The bickering escalates until I loudly decree that if they have oxygen with which to fight, it means they aren't working hard enough around the house. While this doesn't end the squabbling, it does reduce it to mere hissing.
Then, as I'm cleaning up the office, I stumble upon a pile of Christmas cards that Baby's made for everyone in the family. They were next to the book Baba's writing for Mac. So, the tirade from St. Nick was shelved for another year.