Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Ho, Ho, Holy Crap, That Was Funny

We had QUITE the holidays in Doodle-land. Hope you all fared well through the insanity.

Every year, I promise myself I'm NOT going to wait until the last minute for anything and everything WILL be wrapped before 12/15 and, uhh.... yeah. It's basically the same as New Year's resolutions, only they start in November and are dashed to bits by December 1st.

Last year was the Birth Control Christmas, courtesy of the 2 year old Monkey and her half sister, who was six. I don't even remember what happened, just that in the hazy fog of holiday insanity it was a hot mess.

Not to be outdone, this year, we had the "Mommy Can't Talk Right Now, Because She's Busy Banging Her Head against the Wall" Christmas. Not quite so catchy, I'll admit.

Like any major holiday when you are missing a loved one, emotions run high for Christmas. My brother's absence still flavors the preparations with anger and loss, often when I least expect it. I'm told that might get better with time, but it's been nearly three years and I don't see a difference thus far.

Thus, hanging the stockings still sucks, every year, because his is still in the storage tote. This year I even posed a question to my FB friends as to what to do so opening that stupid box doesn't fill me with such dread. I got responses ranging from "hang it anyway" to "fill it with something he would have liked, and donate it-- so it's not in that box anymore next year." Opposite ends of the spectrum, and advice given with love from some really caring people.

But, being my usual passive-agressive self, I, uh... did nothing. Left it in the box. I'll let you know what happens for Christmas 2012...

Anyhoo, it was the usual whirlwind of cleaning and cooking and shopping and wrapping and kids off of school wanting to stay up past MY bedtime (much less theirs).

MDDaddy's birthday is a few days before Christmas too, and I made *SPECTACULAR" coconut cream cake... so then, there's the sugar high (and crash) to deal with. Woo hoo!!

Add into the mix the arrival of my parents (who clearly outrank me in the eyes of these children, on the Scale of Awesomeness) and we had some crazy couple of days.

My soon-to-be-stepdaughter is a very smart girl. She knows my buttons.
She pushed Every. Single. One. 

That Friday night was just bad.

Then, Christmas Eve morning, I was attempting to keep the girls quiet (HA HA I AM SO STUPID) so they didn't wake the whole family.

By 9:00 AM I was ready to go all Godzilla, and I had even HAD half a pot of coffee. Not my finest moment.

Luckily, my mom is pretty much The Stepdaughter Whisperer, and she intervened beautifully to spare my sanity...at least, for another 12 hours.

Cuz, here's what happened, y'all:

Christmas Eve was a BUSY day, right? Everyone had to get fed a couple times, showered and dressed all purty for church. We had to be there early because as (what was supposed to be!) a surprise to my parents, the girls and I were singing together with my friend and her two daughters.

...Wouldn't that have been lovely? I mean, if they had both actually DONE it? Yeah, I thought so too.

But, all sparkly-dressed and coloring-booked to sit through the service, Monkey decides at the LAST possible minute she ain't doing this. No how, no way, fogeddaboudit.

Probably, because she was huuuuuuuuuuuungry, but because she had to go up front for our song, MDDaddy tried to take hold of Monkey's snack bowl of Cheerios. Oops. That was NOT WELL RECEIVED.

So we get up front to our seats, IN FRONT OF THE MICROPHONES (of course!!) and Monkey decides she is tiiiiiiiired. She is huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuunnnnngry. Which she announces as our pastor is reading a lovely scripture passage.

And, just like that, she was OUTTA THERE.

Bolted to Daddy, and that wasit. Her sister and I carried on without her. At least she *did* sing and overall it was still nice. Just, not quite how I had envisioned the performance...

We left church to go to dinner at this super-awesome Greek restaurant. YUM! By the time we got to our reservation it was crystal clear that Monkey had officially Left The Building.

We were in public with what truly looked like a drunk three-year-old. I kept looking around for DCFS to tap me on the shoulder and clear their throats or something.

Here's the short list:

  1. She crawled under the Christmas tree right by our table, because she wanted to eat the (dusty! not-really-food!) gingerbread house under the tree. This happened at least twice.  
  2. She fell off her chair so many times I lost count.
  3. She did, however, eat calamari again... even the squiggles, which *I* don't even touch.
  4. She also started singing at the table... the song she was supposed to sing with us an hour earlier. <fuming!>

I was tracking Santa on my phone (thanks, Norad!) which helped shuffle the evening along.
When we got home, the plan was to get the girls into PJ's and open the grandparent gifts.

Mainly because my parents had shipped SIX BOXES of presents to our house, and putting them under the tree took up most of the room. They're kinda cool and crazy like that.

So the explanation was, we do "family presents*" that night, and see what Santa brings-- IF he even visited our house-- in the morning.

*Our own presents had to wait because, you guessed it: not done wrapping before we left for church! ha ha haa... shoot me!*

So we get to the gifting and things are going well. The girls were being super sweet to each other, with the older child reading the tags and doing a fairly remarkable job of alternating between gifts for herself and Monkey.

It was lovely.

We finished up everything that was currently under the tree and were gathering up paper and such, when I notice Monkey crawling around under the tree.

We didn't have a gingerbread house there to tempt her, so I was confused...

She came out from the tree with the face every parent knows: the purple, scrunched, silent, ugly-cry face that indicates there is a giant WAIL about to be unleashed...

So, of course, I grab her, and start checking for injury, asking: "What?!! What's wrong? Tell Mommy!!"


She takes this huge breath and sobs:

(translation: He didn't leave me a Leapster!")

She had asked Santa for a Leapster Exlorer -- after first requesting a PONY, and being told by the COOLEST FREAKING SANTA *EVER* that he is "contractually prevented from leaving livestock of any kind, so let's try something else."

...I could've kissed him, I swear.


We calmly tried to explain Santa had not even BEEN THERE YET.

She did not get it.


So we dry the tears, and remind her we have to leave Santa his note and cookies and GET TO BED or he maybe won't come, for REAL.

Big sis got her own paper and marker and wrote a lovely note wishing Santa a very "Marry" Christmas. ;)

I got some paper for Monkey, picked up a crayon, and asked her to tell me what she wanted to write.


She announced:

"Dear Santa,
I hoped you would weave me a Weepstah... but, you *didn't*..."


I just set down the crayon and left the room.


I thoroughly collapsed into convulsive giggles and just looked at my mom, tears flowing, as I fell over onto the couch.


My mom, not missing a beat, finished Monkey's thought:

"You A-hole!!"

<snicker> My parents and I were whooping, coughing, laughing and crying on the couch, continuing what sounded like the rest of the letter.


"Thanks for NOTHING, you fat bastard!!!"



My dad: "Wait... You're not really going to write that, are you?"


I told him no... I was OUT. Done. Not taking part in the letter writing. Probably all for the best.


...Meanwhile, my very irritated Monkey was still standing in the kitchen, wondering what was so funny.


Her dad came down to help, and we explained the first draft of the letter.

To his immense credit, he DID pick up the crayon and actually wrote Monkey's letter.

It reads:
Dear Santa,
I have tried to be really good. I will keep trying to get better. I really hope you might leave me a Leapster. I would be very happy. Love, Monkey


And THAT, my friends, is why we left Santa this:


Cuz, milk just won't cut it this Christmas, folks.

Santa was pleased.
Ho, ho, and uh... ho.

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