Bet you can’t guess what I love MOST about Christmas. Presents perhaps? Not quite. Ungodly amounts of mashed potatoes and gravy? Good guess. How about the uncles shouting about which basketball star is better looking and has more money? Nope, not even close. The one thing I look forward to the MOST on Christmas is the quintessential mother of all mother toddler melt-downs that happens every Christmas just as the entire family, including extended family who are already convinced your children are the devil’s spawn, gathers for the gift exchange. Yup, that’s my favorite Christmas bit.
The makings of the highly anticipated toddler conniption began on Christmas Eve in between the peanut butter fudge sampling and the sugar cookie decorating. It materialized it’s fugly freckled face at about 8:00 pm when any responsible parent would recognize the impending doom and put down their just poured tall glass of heavenly red wine and leave the holiday party immediately. Well because I’m not that kind of responsible parent, I just poured myself another and convinced my husband The Destroyer would be just fine playing video games with his cousins only further wiring the 4-year old’s little brain and giving him time to eat 1, 2 or 3 dozen mini candy canes from Uncle’s stash under the bed.
If it wasn’t the fudge, cookies or candy canes then surely the lack of sleep was the nail in the coffin. It’s a well known fact that no kid under the age of 22 can sleep the night before Christmas nor is it humanly possible for them to stay in bed past 6:15 am. With an entire 6 hours of sleep under his little Power Ranger tool belt, The Destroyer was well on his way to complete hysteria before breakfast which, might I add, included cinnamon rolls and every piece of Christmas candy he could sneak from his stocking into his little mouth when nobody was looking.
It wasn’t until lunch time that I began to fully understand the enormous toddler tsunami that was about to be unleashed upon us. Again, any responsible parent would have stopped dead in their tracks, put down their freshly baked cinnamon roll with cream cheese frosting and hot cup of Kahlua infused coffee and sing their cranky little person a lullaby and rub their backs until they fell fast asleep. However…we know responsibility isn’t my strong suit and neither is singing lullabies so I elected to get the kids dressed and head to Gramma’s for more candy digesting present opening euphoria. I completely chose to ignore the sound of the tick tock time bomb in slow motion happening in my ear… TICK…TOCK…t-minus 45 minutes before monster temper tantrum ensues…TICK…TOCK.
It happened just after unwrapping Transformers, Nerf guns and more stimulation overloaded action figures. Just as EVERYONE, including grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and more cousins than anyone could properly look after, began to gather for our white elephant gift exchange, The Destroyer let loose with impressive force. Without warning, it began with alligator tears that lead to sobs turning into high pitched screams puncturing every human’s ear drum within a 20 mile radius. No amount of consoling or reprimanding was making the slightest difference as my overactive sweat glands began to work double time in my new Christmas cable-knit sweater. I rushed The Destroyer to the bathroom only to discover the further from civility I took him, the louder the screams became reminding everyone why Misty is not fit to raise small children. If I hadn’t been so busy sweating bullets and wishing death to rescue me, I would have peed my pants laughing at the tragic situation everyone else was witnessing.
After what seemed like hours of delirious crying, stomping and kicking, the women in the family began to make their way to the back of the house where The Destroyer and I were hiding. Great… advise for how to control an uncontrollable, inconsolable overtired toddler was just what I needed. What I needed was a f&*^@! wet wipe and a commercial hi-speed fan! I was so busy planning my escape route that I barely saw my husband gallantly swoop in, offering to take The Destroyer home to sleep it off. Guess we all know who the responsible parent is now.
Now several days after Christmas, both The Destroyer and my overactive arm pits have recovered quite nicely. The toys have all been put away, the candy and cookies are safely stashed (in my closet, dresser, bathroom, car glove box) and the normal nap time schedule has been re-established. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the holidays and all that comes with it. But, as much as I adore Christmas, I’ve never been more glad it’s over!