What did those kids do to that nice lady?

Thursday, December 13, 2012


I had a dream last night that I woke up on Christmas morning and realized that I hadn’t wrapped any presents.  That I didn’t even remember where I hid them.  That we were having company over for breakfast and I didn’t make any food.  (It should be noted, however, that I did think to my dream self...at least we have champagne!)  And then in my panic to keep my kids in their room while I ran around in my pajamas trying to find all the presents and wrap them I remembered that we were going out of town and I hadn’t even packed.

Then I woke up.  Thank God.  I feel inadequate enough while the sun is out, I don’t need to be reminded of this while the moon shines.  Nights should be filled with visions of Ben Affleck, not anxiety ridden dreams that remind me of All That Crap I Still Haven’t Done.

Here I thought, with both Offspring going to school every morning, that I would have so much...time.  Before the school year started, I couldn’t even IMAGINE what I would do with all that TIME!  4 hours a day?! I was going to write a novel!  Become a successful actress!  Bake crap in the shape of a pumpkin or a Christmas tree!  Really get down to business and make homemade meals every night!  Lose 5 pounds! I was, obviously, going to BE AWESOME.  Because who couldn’t be awesome with THAT MUCH TIME FREE OF CHILDREN?  

Turns out...me. I am not, apparently, awesome.  Because I always feel that I am failing at all of those things.  Turns out...damn, there is a lot to do.  Every day.  All day.  I don’t want to sound all whiney because I realize there are many people in this world who have Actual Problems and me not remembering where I hid the bey blades, or the fact that I really don’t even understand what that toy is, is not one of them.  Nor is an Actual Problem the fact that when I hinted, suggested, toyed with the idea of Daughter maaaaybe getting a Unicorn Dream Light verses a Butterfly Dream Light, because what if Santa ran out or really thought Daughter would love a Unicorn one and was immediately shot down with a very passionate I HATE UNICORNS!!  NO UNICORNS!!...but trust me, if we don’t find that Butterfly Dream Light by Christmas morning, Daughter will make it an Actual Problem like no Actual Problem you’ve ever seen before.  She will take your Actual Problem and raise you 27 Actual Problems.  And then flip you off.

But I digress.

I wonder, will I always feel like this?  Like I’m always missing something?  That there’s never enough time?  Will that nagging question of What am I forgetting? ever leave my head?  Will the day come when I go to the store and DON’T come home and immediately start making my list of things I forgot?  Will my house ever be clean again for longer than 15 minutes?  Will anybody else ever clean the bathrooms besides me?  Can I go to bed one night without a mental list of the ways I failed that day?  Why wasn’t I more patient while helping with homework?  Was it really a big deal to read ONE more book?  Why didn’t I just wake up early and get my run in?  Can you really be a Good Mom, a Good Wife, AND feel like your purpose in life is greater than cleaning toilets and packing lunches?

Let me repeat...I realize that none of these things are Actual Problems.  And I know that I will wrap the presents, make a coffee cake and pack everybody for a fun-filled week with the Grandparents.  My kids will wake up to a wonderful Christmas and even though they are too young to really realize how very lucky the are, they will feel happy and loved and maybe a bit spoiled.  Every child should feel all of those things.  Especially on Christmas.  Things will get done.  Maybe not perfectly.  Maybe not on time.  You might get a Happy New Year card instead of a Merry Christmas card...but you’ll get a damn card, okay?  But, I’m going to try to give myself a break.  I’m not Susie Homemaker.  I’m not Career Connie.  I’m just Me.  I think most of us are sitting right there in the middle, trying to figure out where we should land.  I haven’t quite figured it out.  But...I’m working on it.

And hey...when all else fails...at least I have champagne.  

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


One of the very best things about being a parent is experiencing life through your young one’s eyes and reliving all the best moments of being a child. For me, there are no greater examples of this joy than at Christmas time.  Yeah yeah yeah...I know...Christmas is stressful.  It’s expensive.  I never know exactly who I’m supposed to tip and how much I’m supposed to give and, come to think of it, am I supposed to tip my mail carrier because I don’t think I ever have and that lady Does.Not.Like.Me.  But...besides Christmas bringing out even more reasons for me to feel inadequate (I mean...have you ever been to a Michaels?  People, apparently, like make their own wreaths.  And ornaments.  And bake things in the shape of a tree or a Santa or a sled), I do love the holiday season.  I like the red Starbucks cup.  I like the music.  I like the libations.  But what I like the most is believing in Santa again.

Because, in the Gelato House, we BELIEVE in Santa.  With a five and three year old in residence, we are in the throes of the Santa years.  There is no question.  There is no doubt.  There is a man who really likes the color red who lives at the top of the world and makes toys and flies on a magic sled led by reindeer and delivers presents to all the GOOD boys and girls in one single night.  Whatever explanation I care to give as to why Santa can still enter our home even though we do not have a chimney is blindly believed.  Hello...Santa is magic.  (‘Magic’ pretty much covers everything, by the way.)  

But the best part about Santa?  He is Always.Watching.  It’s not me who is the judge of your behavior for the next 6 weeks...it’s The Big Guy and he does not mess around.  You want to ninja kick your sister in the head?  Hmmm...what would Santa think about that?  Oh, we’re going to roll around on the floor and protest the very idea of a bath?  Well, guess what?  Santa likes clean children.  And while Santa loves a good cookie, he would never complain about eating his peas.  He might even say thank you.  Just a thought.  

I realize that one day I will no longer have the option of using Santa as a way to control my children and will instead have to like, parent them, but...I think I have a few good years left and I intend to use them to my advantage.  After all, I waited almost 20 years for the chance to believe in Santa again and you know what?  He’s still worth the wait.