Written in homage to my girl, who did just about this to me last Christmas!
It was Christmas Eve. All was far from silent and even if a mouse had braved moving with daft cat about it would have had no chance of being heard above the racket that the children where creating.
The evening I had envisioned, curled up on the sofa, a child snug in new pyjamas on either side watching old Christmas films was I knew, always going to be an unattainable fantasy. It was just never going to happen. Not while the children would still fit inside those new pyjamas. By the time I might gain a little control I would probably be over run with Grandchildren. At least by that point I can at last be smug about it all.
It was taking every second of my eight years of parenting experience just to get the two wildly over exited children to stop bouncing up and down squealing intermittently and asking if they could just open one little thing now. Even with those years of experience I was still failing miserably. Even daft cat had defied me and broken into several gifts under the tree. It was a lost cause and all hope had been abandoned somewhere around lunch. Around the same time daft cat had a silly moment and rolled around on a glitter painting that had been left on the floor. I now had a daft cat that shimmered with a Christmasy red sparkle. Classy.
It took a considerable amount of time, threats and bribery but the children where finally in their beds one and a half hours behind schedule. No lovely traditional Christmas films had been watched, apparently they are all boring while watching Frozen for the 957th time is not, apparently.
I now had to finish off all the wrapping and wait for my little
blighters darlings to actually go to sleep. Sounds so wonderfully simple.
I finally finished my Father Christmas wrapping at midnight, the living room was tidy and the breakfast things laid out by one but still every time I snuck upstairs to check that the children where in a deep enough sleep one of them would stir, raise their heads and then quickly pretend that they where asleep all along. By 2am it was only the eldest that was keeping it up. The child had morphed into the lightest sleeper known to man or beast, nothing escaped her notice. By 3am I was considering hitting her on the head with something just so Father Christmas could visit and I could try and get some sleep. I still had just about enough reason in me to realise that a concussion was not really what I wanted to give my first born for Christmas and maybe, just maybe I would regret such action.
At 4am I finally made the connection. The gig was up and the child was playing me. She knew dam well that the bringer of gifts was my own sweet self and she was simply determined to catch me in the act what ever it took. Fair play she was really going for it. I decided in the end to pretend that I didn’t see her pretending not to see me. Rather than risk a full incursion into the children’s room I carefully placed the two stockings in the open doorway and ran like hell into my own room hoping for the best.
Not 10 minutes later, just after I had finally laid down my sweet head I heard it. The sound of a tenacious 8 year old scampering out of bed to claim her prize. A few moments later I heard her wake her younger sister to join her in the spoils of her war. At that point I just gave up completely, closed my eyes and welcomed the hour at most of sleep I was going to get. Merry Christmas indeed.