The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

We’re doing it all wrong. This whole winter break thing–it’s terrible.

For the first few days, it’s pretty exciting. It’s almost Christmas, and even when you’re rage-wrapping on Christmas Eve, there is still that excitement in the air, even if it’s hard to feel amid arguments over the one remaining roll of tape.

Christmas is nice, and the next few days are nice. The kids have new toys and books, and they’re excited about each other’s toys and books, and there is still this semblance of goodwill toward familykind.

But now…now it’s MONDAY. That awful, midway, second Monday, where the children and family have all been confined together, mostly indoors, for over a week. And we all HATE EACH OTHER.

By 10:40 this morning, we had enjoyed:

One forty-minute work period where I was relatively cheerful and focused and making great progress even though I kept asking the children to leave my office and stop playing with the heater

My interrupting work time to play blocks with the kids, ended by Asher throwing a block that struck me in the hand

One attempted argument about something totally unrelated because Asher was grumpy that I didn’t like when he threw a block that hit me in the hand and was claiming that he did not hurt me

A period of mopey complaining about the trampoline being too wet

Leon criticizing the kids for not leaving me alone to work

The kids never leaving me alone

A wailing episode when the dog knocked over Noah’s Kapla blocks

Realizing that the stocking stuffers have already mostly broken down into rubble

Asher building a beautiful temple of Kapla blocks that he accidentally leveled and then angrily kicked

The dog continually trying to play with the snarling rabbit, who hates her

An ugly period of time where Asher was chasing down Noah, demanding to know why Noah would not play Life with him

A period of mopey complaining when I asked the kids to take the dog to the park that’s approximately 4 feet from our house

A giant tizzy when Selah drew a card while Asher was out of the room when they were playing Life and his insistence that yes she is indeed a cheater who cheats

An even worse tizzy when Asher destroyed a salary card, Selah quit, Asher threw the game all over and tried to tell me he was not going to pick it up, and everyone claimed that everyone else destroyed the card or quit

All of this resulted in my rounding up all the offspring to give them a sound telling-off, followed by my packing my things to go work at the library.

Once at the library, I began to feel slightly better, until a pack of thirty to forty crying children took over the lobby. You wanna know why there are hundreds of people crying at the library? Because it’s Monday of stupid winter break. But at least they were not my crying kids, and eventually they all took off.

Another mom walked by, alone, as I was working, and I said, “Oh, do you hate your family too?”

“There’s a reason I’m here alone!” she said in chipper manner.

And we still have a week and a day of this hellscape to look forward to. So here’s my proposal:

Winter break begins well before Christmas, and Christmas is moved to a time of year when people can be forced to play outside without slipping in wet dog poo on their way to a sodden trampoline. Siblings have staggered breaks. And we return to those days when children were supposed to be seen and not heard and they would appreciate that they got time off to play with the Kapla blocks I keep being struck by or comforting people about instead of working their fingers to the bone. And also Christmas is canceled and I hate everybody and do you guys mind I am trying to work and seriously can you just communicate instead of shouting and please stop yelling at me I am not the one who did that to you.

Happy New Year! Only eight days left until my sanity returns and I can be nice again!

The Lincoln Memorial…


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