Remember how going off of the pill made me more pleasant? During that high (my realization that the pill has probably made me a crazy you-know-what for 21 years), I went to Michael’s and Hob.by Lob.by. It was full-on Christmas preparation there and they were stocked full of the things that would be hard to find a month later (been there, done that). I started buying things, craft things, creative things, things for me, things for the kids, you name it. As I was perusing the aisles, looking for clear glass ornaments to fill with paint and glitter and shit, I decided…
Our advent calendar will be one of daily craft projects this year, not chocolate!
Oh yes. Oh YES – this would be fun! Every day, starting on December 1st, we would come home from lunch and make a Christmas ornament, or a decoration, that would then be put on the tree or strategically placed wherever the boys chose for said project.
I loaded up my cart – at both stores.
When I came home, so proud of my idea, I just had to tell Hottie about it and his response was luke-warm, at best. “Every day? You’re going to make them make an ornament every day? I’m not sure that’s such a good idea. You’ll just end up yelling at them and doing the projects yourself – like when you did those Pint.erest cupcakes.” What? Of course it’s a good idea! We’d buy a tree for each of their rooms and they would slowly decorate their tree up until Christmas. What wasn’t he getting? This was a freaking OUTSTANDING idea! This was a Mother-of-the-Year (or at least, a Mother-of-the-Holiday-Season) idea.
This was going to be FUN!
My idea started going downhill when I left my two HUGE bags of projects out while I ran on the treadmill one morning. Bryson came in, carrying a strip of foam stickers, and I thought, “hmmm.. I wonder where he got those.” It didn’t take long to figure that one out. He’d of course ripped open the box of foam bits and pieces to build a pretty cool foam sticker train (tacky, but age-appropriate) because you know, it was full of stickers. I smiled, unfazed, and stuffed everything back in the box. I was sure there were missing pieces, but who really cared. This was going to be FUN!
I became a little concerned when I tested out the glass-ornament-filled-with-paint project. I have a shit-ton of these glass ornaments in the shapes of balls, boxes, and tear-drops. I have two big containers of acrylic clear ornaments especially for the kids. The project is a no-brainer, but I will likely end up doing 95% of them, leaving the kids the job of picking the colors for each one. Not a ton of fun for them, but their attention spans aren’t great, so it will be fine. This was going to be FUN!
I started to worry quite a bit when Bryson proved that he is not ready for his own tree this year. Matthew has a very small tree in his room and Bryson likes to take the ornaments off of it and play with them, leaving a trail of hooks behind him. He does the same thing with the big tree in the living room, and has destroyed quite a few ornaments shaped like cars and toys because, you know, they look like cars and toys to play with. Again, I’ve kept my cool because they’re just ornaments and who really cares? Even if he can’t put them on his own tree, he can put his daily creations on the big family tree. This was going to be FUN!
So today, on November 30th, a day ahead of schedule, I pulled out project #1 (no, they’re not all planned out). I picked an easy one, one involving felt sticker bits to make a Christmas banner, complete with a snowman and Santa. I figured this would get them in the spirit – it had all the things they love (Santa, a snowman, sticker pieces, ribbon) – and this would get them excited about doing a similar project each day. They were into it for about 90 seconds before Bryson started putting the discard pieces in his mouth and Matthew started sticking random pieces all over the place. I kept my composure and just kept working through it, asking for pieces here and there and letting Matthew peel off the sticker backings (Bryson was still eating discard pieces and having a great time doing so). We got it done – without any yelling (take that, Hottie!), without any tears! And they loved it!
I decided to take a picture of them with their “very neat” banner and asked them to sit next to it (“but don’t touch it, that glue is drying. I mean it, don’t touch it. Please stop touching it.”)… and that is when it happened. That is when the inevitable, the unavoidable, happened.
“Please look at the camera. Please look at the phone. Please stay there a second. Please look at Mommy. Please, both of you, smile and sit still. Please just look at me. LOOK AT THE PHONE!”
I raised my voice…
But only once!