It’s on. I flipped the switch at lunchtime on Friday. Time for some holiday parenting. A little less stern Dad and more friendly Uncle. A little more relaxed. A little less math review, a little less structure.
We won’t be abandoning all structure. Things tend to go smoother when Dad has at least a pencil sketch of a plan. So, they’ll still need to sleep occasionally and brush their teeth after their 37th cookie. There will be some organization and expectations. I won’t be throwing out the rules completely, but…it’s supposed to be happy holidays and I can’t drink wine and scotch from sunrise to sunset without at least a three hour nap in the middle of the day and that’s not really fair to Michelle.
Hopefully this will all lead to a little less stress and a little more happiness.
Worst case, it leads to Michelle and I eating more Christmas cookies with red wine at lunch.
We started the day on the couch with adult swim time. For some reason, Michelle and I were the first ones up. Never happens a weekend. This is Michelle being disappointed that the Hallmark channel isn’t on until at least 6 a.m.
It didn’t last too long. #1 was soon awake.
A strangely warm Saturday meant I was able to expose my arms and legs to the rigors of the December sunshine for the Saturday run. Luckily, it was early enough that most people in town were spared the sight.
Back at home, #2 was now awake and in her customary couch spot.
It was the annual Soles post-run holiday breakfast pot lock and true to our tag line (sweat, tears, bacon & beers), I made some bacon and egg breakfast hand pies.
While I was off eating and reveling in nerdy running stories, the girls were getting some holiday hair trims. Here they are practicing being teenagers while they wait.
We met up post-haircuts at the senior center for Cecilia’s holiday concert. No sequins, but she still rocked it. Very proud of how well she is doing with the trombone. She fit right in with the fifth graders.
This picture of Marilyn Monroe was prominently hung in the men’s bathroom. Didn’t expect that.
After the concert, we split up again. Michelle (against her better judgement really) and Cecilia went to Wegman’s to do the Christmas dinner shopping. And apparently purchase other once-a-year items. They made it home. Remember, relaxed parenting.
I took Ally back home where we wrapped some final gifts. Somehow Dash got the nicest wrapping paper.
And then took Dash for a walk. A few more years and I won’t have much left to do at the house.
Ally and I continued cookie week with another chocolate chip recipe. This time my all-time favorite based on Alton Brown’s chewy recipe. I really don’t think she needs to stand on the chair any more.
Next, we did some sugar cut out cookies.
Can’t even blame this on the six year old. I had a vision, but it turns out waiting until the week before Christmas to get cookie decorating supplies isn’t a good idea. Leftover gel icing is a poor substitute. I’ll spare you a photo of the demonic red eyed gingerbread men…
We finished cookie week on a better note with some zebra shortbreads.
Not a bad looking tin this year. Good variety.
When Michelle returned from shopping, she immediately opened a beer. A tallboy too. I didn’t ask for further details.
It wouldn’t be a Saturday if Ally didn’t spend some time at her craft desk.
Cecilia was quite happy to have an unexpected scooter day without needing a heavy coat or gloves. She loves being outside. It’s like I have one indoor cat and one outdoor cat.
We surprised Dash with his holiday bath. He didn’t enjoy it.
We finished the day with some sushi and homemade ramen. Ce has just about mastered the chopsticks. Still working on Ally.
Back to the couch for some cookies and a Christmas show before bed.
One thing that won’t go on the back burner this week is trying to lead by example for the kids. So, yes, I think I will have another cookie and I’ll like it. Merry Christmas!