The Holiday Cliche & Parenting

Written on 11/30/13:
The kitchen smells like pumpkin pie (Marie Callendar’s on sale after Thanksgiving, bitches!), holiday classics are streaming through the speakers, and there are boxes of Christmas decorations in our living room just waiting to be busted into. Oh man, and Nat King Cole’s Christmas Song has just started to play; that’s my jam. I’m in full holiday mode. There isn’t a flake of snow on the ground, but Connor and I have already watched Frosty the Snowman and The Little Drummer Boy today. Love for this time of the year is in his DNA. I have some pointless regrets about Little Pea’s birthday coming at such a packed time of year, but he will be born when people are full of holiday warmth, hot cider, and festive cookies. Doesn’t seem like such a bad time of year to be born after all.

Z and I have debated the commercialization of the holiday, but no matter where you stand on the subject I believe that if you hold onto any shred of the meaning of the season you can enjoy giving even if you’re standing at a long checkout line or waiting to click the “Submit” button on your online order or as you pull your umpteenth batch of cookies from the oven way too late at night. Hopefully, though, the real joy comes from reconnecting with yourself and others, because taking time to appreciate yourself is just as important – if not more so – as giving someone else a hug, kiss, or pat on the back. I hope I say “I love you” and “Thank you” as much all year as I do in November and December. It doesn’t matter, though. Saying it at all and meaning it at any time is makes living worthwhile.

Written on 12/4/13:
It’s hard to make many plans for Christmas and New Year’s because we don’t know when Little Pea will make his arrival. I’ve heard people say that if you carry your baby a certain way it’s likely to be a boy or a girl. Even though we know Little Pea is a boy, I think I’m carrying him in my booty. Whenever I get up from a reclining position my butt cheeks ache when the most strenuous thing I’ve done all day was try to put my socks on, which can be hella difficult with basically a watermelon under your shirt. Heck, getting up from a reclining position is a workout in and of itself at this point.

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I’m comforted by the thought of Little Pea’s infancy; what I will be concerned with after he’s born is purely his survival. It’s so primitively simple – he needs to eat, sleep, and be cleaned. Done. On the other end of the spectrum is ‘Rado. Eating, sleeping, and staying acceptably clean are givens – what concerns me now is his social development and how to deal with his toddler ‘tude and anger. When my nephew was younger he would “hulk out,” meaning he would clench his fists and jaw and just shake for a few seconds. Connor does that. He will also clench his teeth and say, “You listen to me, mom/dad,” he will throw things on the floor to observe our reactions, and he will say “No!” with the voice of a possessed elf. Standard toddler fare, right? I just don’t know how to handle it or if it’s even worth handling right now. Can I use the “I’m pregnant” excuse for everything I want to run away from?

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Then again, it’s ridiculous to think that we won’t make mistakes as parents. If to err is human, what is to be expected when an older, tainted, uncertain human is completely in charge of an innocent, utterly trusting, new one? It’s great, the variety in the world because of crazy, good, honest, loving, parenting parents.

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Ah, Holidays

I’m ready to jump into full holiday mode; snow has started falling, Thanksgiving is just down the block, and we started in on our holiday movie viewing a little early.  Thanks to Aunt Mo, ‘Rado has been introduced to the wonderful world of old school Christmas classics.  His favorite so far is this:

Do you remember this movie?  Of the hit list of Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and Santa Claus is Coming to Town, The Little Drummer Boy is my least favorite.  But when Connor asked to watch it tonight, when I saw him completely enthralled by and engaged in it, it became almost as magical to me as I imagine it to be for him, but for a completely different reason.  His innocence and seeing it engage with the world around him is so goddamn beautiful that it pains me to not be able to lock it up – I could cry knowing that he’ll one day lose it and that, in turn, the world my lose some of its luster for him.  That’s why I find it hard to say “No” sometimes; it’s not about hurting his feelings, it’s about showing him what real life is like, little by little.  Then again, knowledge of reality doesn’t negate innocence.  Everyone perceives reality differently so whose to say that we can’t create our own world to allow innocence to thrive alongside reality?  Isn’t that what most parents hope to do, consciously or not?  I deal with that one myself each day.  I’m not an innocent, but I work hard to make my world one that I can happily live in without feeling downtrodden, dirty, and lifeless. The Little Drummer Boy doesn’t quite do it for me, but these do (yes, I bring these up every year.  Get used to it):

    

I f-ing love the holidays!  What I don’t love is the continued retail-ization of it.  Please, please, please don’t go shopping on Thanksgiving, and if you feel the need to cash in on Black Friday deals wait until a godly hour to do so.  Even better, don’t go and just sit at home in all your pajama-bottom clad, pot-bellied, post-Thanksgiving glory and wallow in the fact that you don’t have to go back to work for two more glorious days.  If you’re not sure how to do any of that give me a call.  I’ll be giving lessons at the end of the week.