There are twenty-four days of our winter vacation,
Before New Years and school comes to end it
So the holiday challenge for kids of all nations,
Is finding a good way to spend it. Like maybe…
Not the exact words of Phineas and Ferb, but I had to change them to be accurate for us.
My kids are officially on Christmas break. Amazingly, so is Jon! We kicked off the vacation with Andrew’s choice of takeout for dinner last night and a family viewing of the movie, Brave.
The takeout deal was kind of a bribe to get Andrew to do some of his chores – you do the chores, you can pick dinner – without him breaking out into a rage attack. I am thankful that it worked. However, this “deal” that we made was duly noted by Andrew’s siblings and today Claire declared over and over that tonight SHE got the dinner deal. Unfortunately, she wasn’t pleased that we don’t plan to have takeout every night. Fortunately, it was meatloaf night and the kids all loved it. Phew!
This morning we woke up with plans to take advantage of a sale at a kids’ clothes store, then visit Santa at a different mall. Daniel was not on board. Upon arriving at the parking lot, he started repeating over and over, “I’m not going in. I’m not doing anything.” So, Jon graciously offered to stay in the van with Daniel (and Claire who also didn’t want to go in) while I went in with Josh and Andrew to quickly grab a few things.
Well. Apparently Daniel did want to come in and he threw an all-out fit in the van while Jon asked him 56 times to sit down and buckle his seatbelt back up. By the time Josh, Andrew and I returned, Daniel was in full meltdown mode and everything that he had thrown at Jon was on the floor by my feet. Daniel continued his antics and begging to go home most of the way to the next mall, while I coached him to calm down. By the time we were parked, the kids were all in good spirits and had donned the new coordinating sweaters that I had just purchased.
We went in and saw Santa. I am so impressed with this Santa. He is so kind and takes time with each child and seems to be happy with his job, but not fake happy or weird happy. His Mrs. Claus is kind and personable and enourages me to take as many pictures as I want. This is our third year with this Santa, and I hope he is there for many more.
After we saw Santa, we offered to go home, but Daniel wanted to check out a couple of stores in the mall, so we did that. When we were all hungry, we came home and had leftover takeout for lunch. Then the kids fought for about half an hour, then cleaned their rooms under Jon’s watch while I went out to do some last minute shopping. I was only gone for just under three hours, but it was really refreshing to be able to take a breather from parenting. I took my time and didn’t rush…it felt so good.
When I got home, the kids’ bedrooms were clean, everyone was happy, no one was fighting. I made dinner and everyone enjoyed it. And the rest of the evening was sweet. I am hoping hard with all my heart that the fighting and grumping lessens as the days go on. I’m out of ideas to try to make the kids stay calm and get along. Hopefully quality family time is the answer, like so many “experts” say.