It’s a new year, another chance to learn from my mistakes and follow the travails of a parent, baker, husband, and home improvement buffoon. This holiday season was a study in sloth. I found new ways to eat horrifying amounts of sugar and carbs, eyed the clock to gauge when it was late enough in the day to have a glass of port (turns out that any time after noon can be called ‘afternoon’), made many fires (most of them in the fireplace), and delayed going running because it was raining. Raining! Here in San Diego! Actually the weather was pleasantly cold and dank, perfect for sitting in a warm living room beside a crackling fire and listening to the children yell while you decide how long you can go before vacuuming the rug because it’s just making your skin crawl how there are bits of food, dust bunnies, wood chips, torn bits of paper, and dirt clods all competing for space even though YOU JUST VACUUMED IT THIS MORNING.
So how did the children enjoy Christmas? Child Harbat demonstrated that the Id is released from the psyche on Christmas via an insatiable appetite for the Next Present Even Though One Has Just Been Unwrapped. Number Two accelerated his crawling speed to warp five, making mad dashes for open doors, unattended wine glasses, and precarious piles of books. He discovered that turning off the PS3 while a movie is playing causes the large humans in the room to make loud unpleasant noises. And he ate everything in sight—ham, bread, soup, salmon, tofu, greens, potatoes, fruit, shortbread, raisins—and still banged the table like an angry dwarf demanding MORE. Speaking of dwarves, I went to see the Hobbit. Let me give you a moment to absorb that. I went to a movie. By myself. During the week. Guilt-free. This is the joy of having the grandparents in town—they can watch the children while you lay down parallel tracks of burned rubber while screaming with glee as you drive away. But I did come back to do some Real Parenting. Example:
Who knew that boxes of unassembled doll furniture came with free Snak Paks to distract the kids while you try to decipher a Guangdong manufacturer’s version of step-by-step directions? After eating all these, the kids were nice and lethargic for the rest of Christmas. Kidding! They were actually more hyperactive.
I’ll leave you with a holiday version of Bedtime Stories My Daughter Hates:
And unto us was born a child. And his name was Bethlehem. He was born at the Star of David manger and lo were there many sheep and peasants and peacocks to celebrate the boy. And his parents, the three magi, were very wise and said, “Go unto the world and distribute pamphlets door to door,” and then there was much gnashing of teeth and rending of hair for thus was the Word of God made into an infomercial.
Now go to bed or Santa will bypass this household and leave only reindeer droppings!