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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Holiday Hellions

Easter was a hard, hard day.

My kids were basically...well, they were bad. In fact, they haven't been so bad since Christmas. And before that, since Halloween. Which brings me to the question: What is it about holidays? They're supposed to be special and magical and happy and stuff.


Right, Clark.

So why do my kids seem determined to wring every last ounce of goodwill and holiday cheer out of me before 9 a.m.? I cannot understand it. If ever I felt like a mommy-martyr, holidays would be the time.

One friend of mine has an excellent theory:

"All children are jerks during holidays, important events, and moments of pure brilliance on the part of their parents. There is a secret society of children that gathers together while we are drinking our wine in the evenings after they're in bed. The children all gather in the astral plane and plan ways to torment their parents on days that we like to tell ourselves are 'all about family (ie: the children).' All memory of this secret society is removed from our brains the moment we produce our own offspring. Tru fax."

I can't think of a better explanation, myself. Of course, another friend tells me what I know I am guilty of.

"It's because a) their routines are all jacked up for holidays. Not just sleep and meals, but New! Stuff! and Sugar! and Being Able to Get Away With Shit Because Mom and Dad are Busy!, and b) we have super high expectations for them and of them - and when they aren't The Happiest Children on Earth, we feel like we failed."

Adding to that, I give them unrealistic expectations of me. The girls were talking about Easter literally two months ago. When will it be Easter? Is it Easter Day yet, mommy? Tomorrow? How about today?

The anticipation of the event soon outstrips anything I could have planned in the realm of possibility, so that when we weren't hunting eggs all day, tantrums started.

This is Easter. We require nonstop egg hunting.

The same was true for Christmas and for Halloween. They got so totally absorbed in looking forward to the holidays that they couldn't enjoy them.

I'd love to say that this is going to stop, but it will have to wait until next holiday because right before I realized how I was feeding into this, I ended the day by telling them when Independence Day was. So now they're asking for that. I've done it to myself. And, boy, do I start early. I forget that they have memories that stretch on forever, and a quick fix to halt the bed time tantrum when they know magical fun Easter is about to end (and they really didn't have magical fun, but they didn't was the heralded, the anticipated, EASTER), the throwaway sentence about the next holiday to look forward to, is what's setting this unwieldy ball of angst into motion.

I'll know better, next time.

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