It sounded great when it first started, we would all be home, off of work, school and daycare for 11 whole days! Some great family time where we could, laugh, bond together, make some memories, and just be relaxed at home. We would have fun every day and enjoy every minute together. Eleven whole days with my little angels, I had been waiting for this for the past 4 months. It was fantastic, at first.
Christmas was wonderful! The kids were showered with love from family and were thrilled to have new toys to play with. They were occupied and happy. It was my version of a Hallmark moment. But by day 5 my kids were starting to squabble over toys. Day 6 and 7 were spent taking down the holiday decorations (they’d already been up for over a month and I was tired of feeling cramped by the tree, train set and village).
Day 8 was the one day my husband had to go back to work for a day. Heaven help me. It started out great. My son woke up and wanted to watch a movie in bed with me. Great! Nice and relaxing! By the time my daughter was up for 30 minutes they were already playing tug-o-war with the covers and arguing over which side of the bed they each got. I checked the weather, it was -9 degrees outside, we weren’t going anywhere today (darn it). I thought about taking a shower then decided against it, bad timing. Who knows what would happen!
By 9:00am I actually had to go down to the basement to bring up old toys because they were already half-bored with their new toys. Ok, that is fine, I can deal with that. It resulted in about an hour of peace. The kids pleasantly sharing cars, taking turns nicely. Ah!! This is what vacation is all about!
At 10:00 we sat down to watch a short movie. The kids were loaded up with juice cups and a snack. This was wonderful, going into hour #2 of peace. I decided to make a dash for the shower. I broke a land speed record running up the steps. It didn’t matter of the water was hot or cold, I was getting clean! I took the time to dry my hair. I skipped makeup (-9 degrees out, no one is going to see me). Then I opened the door. This is what I heard:
“Don’t touch me” “Give me that!” “I had it first” “Nooo!” “Meanie” “I’m not mean!” “Butt Squatch” (I’m not really sure what the last one means, but a 6 year old’s creative name calling is interesting).
I run down the steps, yelling “What is going on in there!”. In the end I resorted to what I hate doing. I made the promise “If you are nice to each other for the rest of the day you can have a Happy Meal for dinner”. Darn it all, I gave in to the squabbling! (I hate McDonald’s but that is another post). The result has been peace! It worked. They have found a way to coexist after some activity guidance. Phew!
Holiday breaks with two small children is not for the weak of heart. You need to stay strong, not let them overrun you and find activities that make the days fun for all. It can be wonderful and exhausting. Only 3 days until work, school and daycare resume! Back to normal! Then I looked at the calendar-only two days of normalcy and then it’s the weekend. Darn it!