This is one of those experiences that will really only be funny about 10 years from now. I am still in recovery mode. I don’t write these stories to gain sympathy, but to laugh at myself and hope that someone will laugh with me. Because really, if I don’t laugh, I may need a padded room and a straight jacket.
I learned years ago that Christmas Eve for parents is all about waiting for your children to go to sleep. And the older the children are, the longer you have to wait. It doesn’t matter if they no longer believe in Santa, you can’t play Santa until all the children are sleeping.
So this year we had to wait until 11:45 when all the anxious children were finally sawing logs. We bought our younger children an indoor trampoline. (Best. Gift. Ever.) It required significant assembly. So while the hubs was slaving away, cursing, drawing blood and assembling the trampoline, I was dragging gifts from their hiding places, spreading them about and pretending to eat cookies and drink warm milk. (Otherwise known as pour milk down the drain and toss cookies aside except for a few crumbs, so it looks good.)
We finally hauled our tired selves up to bed around 1 a.m. And do you know what I heard? I heard a small child crying from his crib. I rushed in to quiet him so he wouldn’t wake the whole household and hauled him into our bed hoping he would fall back to sleep.
It was not to be. The night that will go down in history as the Worst Christmas Eve night EVER had only just begun.
Baby boy did not want to sleep. He wiggled. He squirmed. He poked faces and kicked backs. And after half an hour of this, I determined no one would sleep unless I put the little monster back in bed. It was a fatal mistake, my friends.
The little monster screamed bloody murder, waking his brother. This was my downfall. Big brother spent the next two hours in and out of my room bemoaning the fact that he couldn’t sleep. I rescued the monster from his crib and tried to settle everyone back to bed. Baby boy would begin to drift and big brother would wander in and cry at me because he spent five minutes attempting to sleep and “it’s not working.” So baby boy would be wide awake and want to play.
So I did what any insane mother would do. At 3 a.m. I put the boys in their bedroom and told them to play legos or something, but “just leave me alone!” Dammit.
It lasted for approximately 15 minutes before big brother was yelling at baby boy for knocking over his tower.
Can you say insane?
So then I stooped to a level I am not proud of. I Benadryl’d my boys. At 3:30 a.m. big brother came in to my bedroom again and his father called him over for a chat. His father began by telling him what to do when he couldn’t sleep. Unfortunately, the hubs fell asleep midsentence leaving my son slightly confused. Big brother went to his room after that and I heard him crying.
I tried to feel bad for him, but I had nothing left. And besides, he fell asleep after that. Ahhh, sleep.
Finally, by 3:45 a.m. both boys were sleeping and I drifted off a few minutes later.
Wanna know what time the kids got up to open presents? 6 a.m. They weren’t allowed to wake us until 7, but that didn’t seem to matter as I only dozed fitfully after I heard them up.
So we drug ourselves downstairs, mustered up some enthusiasm and opened presents after the LONGEST. NIGHT. EVER.
It was funny. Right? Maybe next year it will be funny when we look at each other and say, “Well, it can’t be worse than last year!”