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.
One book that has unexpectedly stuck with me this year is Shonda Rhimes’ memoir Year of Yes. I’m fairly certain I’m not the target audience. I’m not a woman. I’m not black. I’m not a mother. I’ve never even seen a minute of her shows. But I am a bit introverted and increasingly my default position for a great night is reading a book on the couch. Maybe I’d let the dog in the room with me. And a bottle of wine.
So when Michelle suggested, not just adding a side trip to DC, but also to NYC during our drive to see family over Thanksgiving, my knee jerk reaction was a hardy hell no. Nothing could be further from my comfy couch than Midtown Manhattan during Thanksgiving week. It all sounded like a recipe for a stress and anxiety milkshake.
Deep breath. Say yes. Let’s do this….
If you ask Ally, her Dad doesn’t like Christmas. For the record, I do like Christmas. I am not particularly fond of Christmas music and I’m really not fond of Christmas music in early November. I’ve had a ‘No Christmas Music Until after Thanksgiving’ rule in our house dating back to ’02. I like to enjoy one holiday at a time. The girls and their enabler of a mother like to try to find opportunities to sneak carols in, but I hold the line. The turkey has to be cool and the mashed potatoes covered in foil before I let those holiday playlists ring.
Of course, we have now crossed the Rubicon and the girls are delighting in assaulting my ears at every opportunity. I can only grin and bear and occasionally threaten to write Santa about their deviant behavior.