I’ll admit it. I’ve been a tad bitchy lately.
Take all this effing festive fuss and mix it with raging hormones. Couple that wreckage with patchwork sleep (and more raging hormones), and what have you got?
A bitch, that’s what.
And I was happily bitching my way through the holiday season, until, I almost stole Christmas.
I’ve been a ‘last-minute-Larry’ my whole life when it comes to Christmas. But with all these babies around, I’ve had to attempt to be a bit more of a ‘shit-together’ type. So, with all the stupid presents bought, I tried to sneak a minute to wrap them when no one was looking.
Beast One is far too observant for that venture to go smoothly.
I barely had all the supplies out on the basement floor when I saw his little cherub face standing at the top of the stairs watching in awe.
With an exasperated sigh, I opened the baby gate and let my darling beast join me.
Moments later he was ripping paper, pulling ribbon and eating bows. In an effort to be inclusive, I snatched everything away from him and gave him his very own roll of scotch tape. Because I’m brilliant.
And by brilliant, I mean fucking stupid.
Before I could even fold a corner of the most annoying, inflexible wrapping paper EVER, he had the whole roll of tape pulled out. The stickiness was too much for him, and sent him into a toddler rage as it clung to his fleece jammies.
It took a great deal of personal self-soothing for me not to lose my shit as I unravelled him from his tangle of tape.
Finally The Beast was loose and I was calm enough to trouble shoot once more.
Name tags. He could be in charge of name tags.
His babysitter recently taught him how to work stickers, God bless her. So name tags would be a cinch. You peel them off the paper and stick them on the presents. What could go wrong with name tags, right?
I gave him a full page of name tags and got one of the stickers started for him. I went to finish wrapping while he went to work pulling the rest of the sticker off with surgeon-like concentration. He squealed with pride when he got it off the paper and held it a millimeter from my face to show me his workmanship.
In my best sugary sweet mom voice I said, “YEAH. GOOD JOB, BUDDY. Now stick it on the present!”
As he went to stick it on the present, his fine motor skills failed him and he ended up accidentally crumpling his name tag into a ball. Determined to complete his task, he mashed it onto the present ripping it in the process.
And I lost it.
In a huff, I ripped the name tag off the present and threw it in the garbage pile.
When I looked up…I saw his face.
I crushed him.
His eyes were huge and his mouth was turned into a perfect frown. His lip started to quiver as he backed away. He tucked his adorable little hands—the hands that worked so hard on his sticker, behind his back.
I panicked. I am SUCH a bitch, I thought. I dropped everything and ran over to my baby.
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry,” I said.
I rummaged through the little pile of garbage looking for the pieces of his sticker. I collected them, smoothed them out and stuck them back together with a rogue piece of tape I found on the back of his jammies.
Together, we put the name tag on the present as his sweet, impish smile crept back onto his face. I know Beast One forgives me, but I can’t stop kicking myself for being such a bitch to my baby.
So…you, dear reader, probably fall into one of two categories. You’re either sitting there judging me saying, “Oh my GOD. What a bitch.” OR you’re sitting there commiserating with me saying, “Oh my GOD. That is something I would do. I am such a bitch.”
If, like me, you are bordering on stealing Christmas with your bitchiness, relax. You still have time to save Christmas.
First, go get a big giant rum and egg nog and chug it.
Then make a conscious decision. Tell yourself, “I am not going to be the bitch who stole Christmas.” Repeat that phrase over and over until your bitch reflex relaxes. Or until the nog kicks in—whichever comes first.
And once you tell yourself you won’t be that bitch, you have to follow through.
So, let your kids decorate the tree. Even if it means all the ornaments end up on the same droopy branch. Let your daughter wear her velvet Christmas dress to school even if it’s a gym day. Turn the Chipmunk Christmas album on at 6 am and let them put on a concert until bedtime. All those shortbread cookies you made to impress your staff? Let your kids ice the cookies even if it looks like Duncan Hines threw up on them. And let them put the stickers on the presents. Even if it means they’re all crumply and ripped.
Because you know what WON’T steal Christmas? A branch overloaded with ornaments because it’s the only one your kids can reach. That won’t steal Christmas. If your daughter gets her velvet dress a tiny bit sweaty, that won’t steal Christmas either. Having a Chipmunk dance party from dawn till dusk, over-icing the scotch cookies, and letting your adorable toddler smush his crumpled name tags onto the Christmas gifts will most certainly not steal Christmas either.
All these tiny imperfections and plans that go awry—they will be the funny family anecdotes you recite and embellish year after year as your kids get older. When Beast One is 25, and brings his (first) girlfriend over for Christmas, we’ll all laugh as we reminisce about the time he mashed the name tags so badly we couldn’t read the names and everyone opened the wrong present. Ha, ha, ha, what a time!
No. These moments won’t steal Christmas. They’ll embroider it with beautiful memories.
But, you know what WILL steal Christmas?
Being a big fat bitch, that’s what.
And no matter how much you pride yourself on your Type A personality, no one wants to be remembered as The Bitch Who Stole Christmas.
So go pour yourself that rum and egg nog we talked about and chill the eff out.
(This post originally ran on Momologues.)
About the author: Lisa lives in PEI, Canada with her husband and two boys. Her stories have been featured on Mamalode, Mom Babble, What the Flicka?, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Scary Mommy and more. When she’s not writing, Lisa teaches music at a local public school. Find her on Facebook: Momologues, on Twitter: elsiekarmadi or check out her blog.