Dear Ghost of Christmas Future,
Hey! How are you? Hope you had a nice summer! Did you take any trips? Not sure if you ever make it to the Cape but you should visit; there are so many annoying tourists to haunt that your dance card would be filled from May through September.
Anyway, I’m writing to you instead of Santa this year because what I really want for Christmas is less of the Big Man’s “bag” and more of yours. I mean, he’s certainly cornered the market on wooden toys, sugar cookies and claymation specials but what I want is right in your wheelhouse. I know this is a super-busy time of year for you, what with the television specials on everything from CBS to Sesame Street (ps, your Muppet Christmas Carol is one of my faves), but since you probably don’t get these requests that often I’m hoping you’ll hook a sister up.
Christmas Future, what I want this year is answers. Simple answers that might make the next few trying months of parenting just a little easier. You have to understand, my three little darlings are at such different stages of life – pre-teen boy, precocious elementary school girl and hell-on-wheels, four-year-old whirling dervish – that the hubs and I are perpetually stumped. Just when we’ve put out one fire, another one pops up right next to it. Will it end in 2014? Will it end…EVER?
For example, let’s take the aforementioned pre-teen. I’m told that these mood swings are normal but HELLO how long should I expect them to go on? One minute he’s my sweet, helpful and caring firstborn and the next he’s an eye-rolling, “you-don’t-know-anything, MOM” creature whom I hardly recognize. I can handle this as long as I know that there is an end in sight…and being the Type A kinda gal that I am, I’m gonna need to know WHEN that will come. I mean, are we talking three months? A year? (Gulp) UNTIL 18?! If that’s the case then I may consider diving into the ditch with your boy Ebenezer just to ride out the storm.
Here’s another answer I seek…when, OH WHEN, will I be able to go out for dinner with my children again, knowing they will behave like humans? Get this, tonight a friend and I took our kids out to a pretty family-friendly restaurant, The Halfway Cafe. They stuck the seven of us in a booth in the back corner of the joint (smart move) and we must have threatened our children 48 times apiece with the old “Naughty List” standby. To be honest, I think the kids are on to us at this point; they must plan on pulling an 11th-hour miracle because about 10 seconds after each warning they were back under the table again, swallowing full sugar packets. IS there a future for my family when it comes to fine dining? Or any dining for that matter? Will we be relegated to a lifetime of takeout? Or worse…DRIVE THROUGH?!
My last question is a simple one: when will my children stop yelling? I don’t mean outside, with friends, on a playground, during a soccer game or at a concert…I’m talking about at home. While eating dinner. Or laying in bed. Or watching a movie. Or at church. I’m seriously concerned that they don’t physically have the ability to do anything BUT speak at a volume so loud that it would wake the dead (no offense). Is there a time in the future that they learn the art of the whisper? Ever? No? Can you nod? Why do you continue to point that bony finger at me? Are you going to turn it into a thumbs up? No?
Anyway, I appreciate you taking the time to read this. Obviously, peace on earth and good tidings to Tiny Tim and all that jazz; I’m hoping that because I’m not being AT ALL materialistic in my list this year (and since you probably don’t get a whole lot of love from anyone EVER) that you’ll send me the answers that I’m looking for. If you’ve ever wanted to leapfrog over the Man in the Red Suit, this could be your big chance. Don’t squander it, Ghostie; take a page out of Scrooge’s book and learn from this. Ain’t nothin’ like a shiny new second chance.
Hope you have a great Christmas scaring the bejeezus out of cranky old jerks. If you’re looking for a few new victims this year, just holler; I keep a list of some really deserving ones.
Ho Ho Ho,