Friday, December 28, 2012

Holiday Breakdown, I HATE Winter Vacation

I love my kids. Really, I do. I just hate winter vacation.

So it's officially past that special day that comes once a year. You know, Christmas, the time where the jolly little man on a reindeer driven sleigh gets all the props for making it look like Toys R Us blew up in your living room. Yes, sure, it's the celebration of Jesus' birth -(-not making light of this, really, our kids know that and celebrate that, but I'm talking about winter break, not religion-)- and we love that, but I really hate winter vacation.

So you bust your buttons scrubbing your house from head to toe, because, well, if Santa isn't going to complain about the dust bunnies under the couch, you know damn well that great-aunt Margaret might, and if your family was an eighth as dysfunctional as mine, you would whole-heartedly understand why the heck I HATE winter vacation.

So you invite your dad to come over on Christmas Eve, so your kids can at least pretend the rest of the year they have a grandfather, because since the divorce he's just as rare as a fart in the wind... every now and then you catch a whiff, but then it's gone, just as quickly. Our friends came, and the kids exchanged their gifts to each other, which was great, but that freaking breeze blows by, and there's that stench again. So I put on my plastic smile, shovel food into his face, and send him on his merry way, hours after our friends left, because it's quote-un-quote, "past his bedtime".

I burn off the last few minutes of sanity by sending the kids to bed and guzzling a glass of wine like it was from The Last Supper.

Kids go to bed, the husband and I watch some sort of television program, that I cannot recall for the life of me now, and we begin to shove present after present under our already packed tree. It looks beautiful, the tree, the house, the lights, the kitchen, the floors.. no mess, except the aforementioned Santa Sack Explosion under the tree.

I know I've mentioned this before, but that third kid really sends you right over the edge. I have no idea why the hell I thought that this year would be different. Why or HOW did I forget that the kids weren't spoiled as much as they were this year, yet they broke, lost, or ruined half their shit within the first 9 hours they were unwrapped?!

Well, whatever, either way, I completely forgot about that.

So the morning rolls around, the kids tear into their presents, and the living room and half the dining room look like a Tsunami and Armageddon happened simultaneously. One would think that all that would need to happen is a quick shove-all-of-your-garbage-wrapping-paper-and-bows into a garbage bag moment for it to go back to looking pristine, the way it did the night before. But no.. no it didn't.

I have no idea what kind of a Jenga inspired trick the Night Before Christmas entails, but other than some Christmas magic, there was no way all of those toys were fitting under the tree again. So we decide to stack them up, leaving the babies stuff under the tree, only.

So now it looks like Toys R Us was ransacked and dumped in front of my hall closet, both big kids with a pile of stuff, and the baby still isn't awake. At least the mess is no longer in the dining room, and two bags of wrapping paper, boxes and bows are out in the cans. Round two commences as the baby starts to squeal from his crib, and we begin to video and take pictures. I have no idea what the big kids do during this time period, because after presents are opened, I mentally and physically crash. "Go rest, babe," is the last thing I hear before I go back to sleep.

In all actuality, I should know better. Any time mommy disappears for any amount of time, whether a super rare nap, or a trip to the grocery store, Walgreens for formula, or just anywhere, all hell breaks loose.

So I awake from my slumber, because it's time to get ready for the rest of our day, my mom called and said we should come around 4:30. Great. See you then. None of the kids are dressed, nobody was supposed to open any of the toys until their rooms were done. Their rooms were not done, and the toys were all over my house. Seriously. You couldn't take a friggen step from my bedroom door to the front door without stepping on a piece to something. Why?! Never again, I vow, and threaten the children with garbage bags. They scatter to their rooms, and say they're getting ready.

The husband is ready within moments, the baby is still napping, the six year old starts whining like an old car, because she caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan't fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiind [her] tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiights, the nine year old Aspie is covering his ears, singing loudly, because he's feeling overloaded, and Mommy is wondering if it's too early to dive into the bottle of wine in the fridge.

Catastrophe is adverted, we get into the car at 4:15, and begin the 40 minute trek down to my moms house, and realize we need gas. Pump gas. Stress whether or not the-person-formally-known-as-my-sister (TPFKAMS) is going to actually show up or not. Call mom, tell her {surprise} we're late. She tells me that TPFKAMS showed already, because we're normally there earlier, and that they are going to come later for coffee. TPFKAMS doesn't even drink coffee.. but I digress.

We get to moms, eat a killer meal, enjoy opening presents that my ungrateful, nasty children don't deserve. TPFKAMS texts my mom back FINALLY, and says she's heading to bed. We open the presents TPFKAMS left for the kids, and no surprise when they give my kids the furthest thing from their wishlist. (Read-I'm not about the presents, I'm about the "presence", but if you're not going to be a part of my kids lives, don't pretend to be an amazing aunt and get them a crappy present. At least get them something cool to apologize for acting like an ass to them.)  They run off and play roblox until I'm screaming for the 90th time it's time to leave, and I'm returning all of their presents.

We make it home in one piece, and I walk back into the war zone, send the kids to bed, and crash before I could enjoy that glass of wine. Husband goes to work the next day, and I proceed to pick up pieces of games, toys, and whatever-nots, as I make my way into the kitchen to start the day.

Is it part of the Autism? Is it their age? How do I not raise ungrateful little turds? It's been three days since Christmas, and every time I turn around there's pieces of ANOTHER game all over my floor. I told them to wait on opening the K'nex so my husband could help, and pieces wouldn't be lost. He didn't, and guess what!? It's already missing pieces. So a brand new toy that has never been played with is trash because the damn thing is missing pieces.

I decided today I'm loading the car up with the presents that still exist. Whatever they earn back, they will earn back. Whatever is lost will be thrown away, donated, or given away to random kids on the street.

I'm over it. The two big kids are fighting, the baby's butt is exploding, I'm cleaning the house every three minutes, and my head is going to explode. All day long I hear, I'm huuuuuuuuuungry. All of the checklists, and plans are not working, and frankly, aside from duct taping them to their beds, I'm out of options.

If I go to use the bathroom and have only two more squares on the roll, I will flip my shit. No pun intended. How in God's holy name will I {they/we} survive another week and two days of this, I have no idea!!!!

So, did I mention....? I hate winter vacation.     




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