Last night our neighborhood sponsored an activity for children that featured cookie decorating, ornament making, and a tree lighting. As a
tired/haggard/frustrated mother, I appreciate their effort and I loved the fact
that the boys were tired when we got home, which meant a quick bath and
straight to bed. (No, not straight to sleep; straight to bed. There's a difference. Straight to bed means I watch tv and ignore them while they stand at the top of the stairs asking for water and/or hugs and announce their need to pee.) However, it was
obvious to me that the event planners are not parents themselves.
The “festivities” began at 5:00 pm. We were the 2nd family to arrive and the boys made a bee-line for the ornament-decorating table. It was a simple craft, but it involved glitter glue. Who in their right mind sets out glitter glue for a room full of children, the oldest of whom is 8 years old? Obviously someone inexperienced in the playdoh/moonsand/fingerpaint genre of childsplay.
Next they moved on to cookie decorating. Along the same lines, this activity involved colored icing and sprinkles. We’ve added sugar to the mix, and it’s only 5:15. The lighting of the tree didn’t happen until 6:00, so I spent 45 minutes chasing my toddler around the room, pulling him out of the men’s room, and holding him by one arm while he did the limp body dangle. He looked like a very cute, highly-sugared and perpetually snotty bobble-head marionette because apparently sugar makes him lose control of his neck muscles. The older two were wrestling with the neighbor kids, touching each of the Christmas tree ornaments, and bouncing on the sofa as if they were at home.
You gave my kids glitter and sprinkles?
I'm plotting your death . . .
There were several of us mommies who had toddlers at this function. We all looked alike: wine glass in one hand, toddler’s hand in the other and trying to carry on an adult conversation while giving the this-is-neither-the-time-nor-the-place speech through clenched teeth and a fake smile. I had exactly one conversation last night with another mother, and we discussed my favorite subject . . . people who know how to parent other people’s children better than the actual parents themselves. (This group is generally comprised of the elderly, the childless, and those employed in the cash-register field.)
They didn’t light the tree until after an inappropriately high-heeled, short-skirted woman sang Rudolph with the kids. She sang with a shaky voice and seemed nervous, which kinda makes me laugh because kids are the BEST audience ever! They could give a sh*t what YOU sound like; they just want to belt out the words as loudly as they can. Oh, there’s a tune to this song?
I may have lost my Christmas spirit for a moment and uttered under my breath, “just light the damn tree already!” Hypothetically.
Merry Christmas and all that.