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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Relaxation

So we completed the gingerbread houses.  With minimal bickering and whining.  The girls did great too.

They tasted delicious, too.  Or at least the scraps did.  Can you guess which on is which girl's?
I was pleasantly surprised at how well the girls got along while doing these.  They shared the icing bags with the frosting in them and were generally pleasant about the whole ordeal.  I kinda want to make one for myself to decorate next year.
After they were done, I set to cleaning the house. Scrubbing floors, the bathroom walls, the counters in the kitchen.  Putting away all of my baking stuff that had overrun my counters.  Dusting.  Because that is what one does on one's first day of vacation, right?

Apparently not, according to my middle child.  Alexis questioned me as to why I felt the need to clean everything.  Why it was important to scrub the toilets, the walls, to get down on my hands and knees and scrub the floors.  Why I  had to do this in between decorating the houses and coloring with the girls and watching a movie.

(OK, I didn't actually watch the whole movie.  That almost never happens.  But I did sit down for a bit.)

I explained to her how it is very distressing to me to have a messy house.  How I don't like it when we have clutter.  How I really wasn't doing all that much.  How it was a lazy day.  I stayed in bed until almost 10, after all.

Alexis then looked at me and said, "Mom.  You have cleaned the kitchen, bathroom, and living room.  You threw clothes in the washer and dryer.  You cleaned the bathroom walls.  You put away all of the cookie stuff.  And you also decorated gingerbread houses, colored pictures, cleaned out the van, and helped me and Charlie get dressed.  How is that a lazy day?"

She has a point.  When did I stop recognizing what I did during a day?  When did having my self-sufficient girls allow me to lay in bed for a bit make me all of a sudden have a "lazy day?"  When did the idea of having to stop and actually, RELAX, become such an anxiety provoking idea anyways?  What am I trying to run away from?  And who the hell is telling me that I am not good enough if I am not constantly producing?

Tomorrow....tomorrow I am going to just chill.  Charlie had a cousin sleepover tonight.  Tomorrow, I will make them some cinnamon roll waffles.  I will play Angry Birds in bed.  I will drink a lot of coffee (wait, that's every day...) and stay in jammies until we have to leave for my sister's for Christmas Eve.  Hell, since the weather is closer to the actual time of Jesus's birth than to winter, I might even take the kids outside and go to the park with the dogs.  Don't worry; if we do that I will put on actual clothes vs my jammies. 

I took this time off from both jobs for a reason.  I need to refresh.  I need to reconnect with my family.  I'd better damn well use it.

But not until the house is clean.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Choices

This year, for some reason not shared with me, the little girls wanted to make gingerbread houses.  Since I'm all about doing crazy crafty shit like that, I agreed.  Then I made a fatal parenting mistake.

I gave them a choice.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I am all about choices.  I'll totally give choices all fucking day long.  Do you want to stay up for five more minutes or three more minutes?  Would you like peas or carrots for vegetable tonight?  Do you want to take a bath or a shower?  Do you want me to go bat shit crazy if you keep tossing your clothes directly in front of the hamper instead of into the hamper, or just slightly psycho?

In all of those instances, I am perfectly OK with either choice.  That is what you are supposed to do.  You never give a goddamned choice if you aren't OK with one of them them.  They will sense your weakness and swoop down upon it like a vulture does to that little dead fox in the middle of the road.  And they won't let up on it just as those fucking scavengers won't let up on that carcass, even though there's a semi barreling towards them at 60 MPH.

The choice was, "Do you want to use graham crackers or do you want actual gingerbread?"

The minute those words were out of my mouth I wanted to reach into the cosmos and pull them back and then box my own ears with them.  The.Fuck.Was.I.Thinking.  I don't work 7 days a week or anything.  I don't already have to make a bunch of cookies for my family get together.  I don't have three baskets of laundry downstairs and am rapidly running out of undies.  Oh wait...

I held my breath, hoping that they did not hear me.  That for once, that selective hearing they are so good at wielding would pay off for my benefit.  That I was using up that bit of positive energy in the cosmos that was sure to be coming my way and they totally missed me asking.

Nope.  Their faces lit up like Cheech and Chong on a day ending in "Y".  They were going for the fucking actual gingerbread.  And sucker that I am for those children, I'm making it happen.

So now I have to find a recipe for gingerbread because I have never made it before.  It didn't occur to me to grab a mix from the store until I was on the second fucking batch. Because you know, I might have slipped and gave a choice that I did not want to, but I was not going to borrow trouble and make them decorate the same house.  There is only so much alcohol one can consume in an evening and I did not particularly want to be hung over the next day, after all...

Let's not forget too, the whole making the cookies for the family thing.  Now I actually enjoy baking, so this was not a big deal really.  However, I also got struck with a streak of nostalgia for past Christmases and decided that I was going to make Mexican Swizzle sticks again.  My mother used to have a Super Shooter, a fabulous cookie press thing from the 80's, that made those things nice and skinny bundles of chocolate and sprinkles.  They don't make those things anymore and hers has since died a slow, agonizing death, so our Swizzle sticks were made using a cookie press and came out more like Swizzle Churros.

I also only had green and yellow sprinkles, so we are representing the Fighting Irish, I suppose.  Or my nephew's high school.  Either/or.
Then I decided to also make these cute little Olaf pretzels I had found on Pinterest.  And ended up with Angry Olafs.
It's the eyebrows, I think.  Move over Elf on the Shelf.  Disney's got a new creepy character to stalk your children and frighten them into good behavior.
So we haven't decorated the houses yet, but based upon my roaring successes with the cookies this year, I imagine that they will be as awesome, if not more, than the hysterectomy cake.  I will be sure to keep you all posted in what is sure to be a fabulous combination of train wreck and memory making with the children.
If I haven't gone completely crazy by then, that is.  Which might make a good story in and of itself.  Either way there will be hilarity ensuing.