Hooray for the holidays! Time off from school and work (presumably) to spend time with those you love (and those you're forced to "love" or at least pretend to like. That's why there's spiked eggnog, my friends!)
And as much as you're probably relieved to have some much needed rest, and some much needed chocolate-dipped-everything, there is something you might be fearing...
DAY AFTER DAY SPENT WITH...YOUR CHILDREN
Now, before you get your knickers in a knot, June Cleaver, just hold onto your apple pies for a minute and hear me out. We all love our children (presumably) but let's be honest: they can be exhausting. The days can be long. Yes, the years are short. But the days. Are. LONG. Like...Ron Jeremy long. Y'know? No. June Cleaver, you don't know. But everyone else reading this does.
So because I love you (and I do) I've come up with a list of fun things you can do over the holidays! Behold...
JEN WARMAN'S LIST OF AWESOME THINGS TO DO SO YOU DON'T GO CRAZY OVER THE HOLIDAYS!
1) PLAY IN THE SNOW. Yes it can be shitty, and yes it can be cold - but if you cant beat 'em, join 'em. Get bundled up and get outside. Shovel. Build a snowfort. Build a snow-man. Have a wresting match. It's good cardio (have you tried running in snowpants lately?) and it's a lot of fun!
2) BOARD GAMES! Unfortunately my kids aren't old enough for board games, but I absolutely cannot wait to spend hours upon hours playing Scrabble, Monopoly, or even Candyland. I'll wait until they're at least 5 to play Cards Against Humanity...Eeeek! I just love boardgames.
3) GO SEE A LIVE SHOW! If you're like me, and live anywhere near Toronto - you can check out a hilarious and awesome holiday comedy show for kids at The Second City. "The Naughty Listers" is guaranteed to make anyone in your family laugh (from ages 4 plus). There is something for everyone in this show. Seriously. From Obama references to #hashtags - it's a holiday comedy show the whole family can enjoy!
4) BE A TOURIST IN YOUR OWN CITY / TOWN: Are there places you've never gone, or rarely go to, in your own city? Well now is the time to go and explore them for yourself! We went to the Science Centre today and it was absolutely amazing. I forgot just how amazing it was. I seriously considered hiding out and spending the night just so I could keep playing (We've all had that fantasy, right?)
5) GET CRAFTY! Sure, you might hate arts and crafts, but do you know who doesn't? Your kids (most likely). So get in touch with your glittery side and get gluing! Pinterest can offer up many ideas - and simultaneously make you think "who the f-ck has time for this?" - but you'll thank me when this homemade playdough recipe buys you 2 hours to clean your floors and fold laundry (or drink more spiked egg-nog). Either way, it's a win-win if you ask me.
6) VISIT FRIENDS. 'Tis the season to visit family and friends. So do it. Call that friend you've been thinking about for ages and set up a time to hang out (with, or without the kids). Just do it. Seriously. Now. You'll thank me later.
7) READ MY BLOG. Hey, look! You're already doing it! Looks like you can scratch THAT off your list. Look how productive you've already been!!! *pats your back*
8) PUT A LIST OF IDEAS INTO A HAT AND...pull them out! Then do them! Let your kids come up with ideas, put them into a hat, and when they're feeling "bored" tell them to pick something out of the hat. If you want to be a jerk, throw in a few chores. Just for shits and giggles.
9) HAVE SEX WITH YOUR PARTNER. It's cold. You're cold. Get warm together. Maybe make another baby? Or not. But at least one of you will be happy (presumably) maybe both? (Let's hope both...)
10) I CAN'T THINK OF A TENTH THING, BUT I FEEL LIKE A LIST ISN'T COMPLETE AT JUST "NINE THINGS TO DO..." SO...HERE IS A PENIS MADE OUT OF KEYBOARD CHARACTERS: 8=====D
PS> This is personally my favourite blog post I've ever written, purely because of that penis. That one was for you, my dear belated friend Eric. You taught me how to make that, many years ago...
MERRY CHRISTMAS, AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!
Babies crying on Santa's lap photos are the best, and I've always wanted one for my own personal collection. Is that cruel? Maybe. But it's such a holiday treasure, isn't it? A right of passage in a way? Sure. Go with it. Unfortunately, despite being terrified, I've never managed to capture Cole's fear on camera. I considered pinching him mid-photo, but I didn't want one of the nosy elves to call Children's Aid...
So to make up for my lack of hilarious photos, I've asked my friends to submit their best Santa freak out photos. And believe me, there are some real gems here! You might want to empty your bladder before you take a peek at these.
MERRY CHRISTMAS! ENJOY!
"NOT FAIR. SHE GETS TO SIT ON SANTA. I GET THE DUMB HORSE. THIS IS CRAP."
Adalynn 3.5yrs and Alaina 11 months
"IT'S LIKE LOOKING INTO THE EYES OF A DRAGON! THIS IS TERRIBLE!"
Aliyah age 1 submitted by Valerie Good
"HE'S A FRAUD! WORST. DISGUISE. EVER!"
Baby Mason 10 Months
"THIS IS THE POUTY LIP I WILL USE TO GET ANYTHING I EVER WANT IN LIFE!"
Benjamin 9.5 months
"I AM SO NOT OKAY WITH THIS. BROTHERS! DO SOMETHING!"
Darien, Mara, Zander
"I DIDN'T LIKE YOU THEN. I DON'T LIKE YOU NOW. TWO FOR TWO."
"DEAR SANTA; YOU'RE ABSOLUTELY HORRIFYING." xoxo - Ellie
Ellie submitted by Stevie-Lee
"WHAT KIND OF CRUEL TORTURE IS THIS?!?"
Elliott 9 months - Submitted by Jayne
"I DEMAND TO BE REMOVED! EJECT! EJECT!"
Emery 17.5 months
"ARE YOU MOCKING ME?!?"
Jake 8 months, submitted by Justyna Marr
"I PROMISED MYSELF I WOULDN'T CRY...I PROMISED MYSELF I WOULDN'T CRY..."
Lena, Abigail, and Linden submitted by Sarah Duff
"YOU THINK THIS IS FUNNY MOM? MY FUTURE THERAPIST WILL HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY ABOUT THIS!"
"WHAT KIND OF MONSTER ARE YOU?!?"
Logan 9 months
"YOU CAN PUT ME IN PIGTAILS AND PLAID, BUT I REFUSE TO LIKE THIS!"
Madison 3.5yrs & Mackenzie 1.5yrs - submitted by Nadine Norris
"IF ONLY I COULD WALK, I'D BE OUTTA HERE SO FAST! DAMN YOU, IMMOBILITY!"
Maxim 8 months
"THE LADY ELF HOLDING ME DOESN'T MAKE THIS SITUATION ANY BETTER!"
Olivia 18 months
"YOU'RE LEAVING ME HERE, AREN'T YOU?!? COME BAAACCCCKKKKKK! I PROMISE TO START SLEEPING!"
PHOTOGRAPHERS: THIS IS WHY CROPPING IS IMPORTANT
I CALL THIS ONE "THE TIME DADDY GOT FRIENDLY WITH SANTA..."
"SURE, I'LL WEAR THE HAT. BUT YOU CAN'T MAKE ME LIKE THIS!"
"WELL SOMEONE HAD TO BE THE CRIER OF THE FAMILY..."
"I'M SO. NOT. OKAY WITH THIS!"
CUTE KID. CREEPY SANTA.
LIKE MOTHER, LIKE DAUGHTER!
"YOU CAN GUIDE YOUR OWN DAMN SLEIGH SANTA!"
Seamus - submitted by Karen
"SANTA, WITH A BERET? I DON'T BUY IT!"
"FULL EPIC MELTDOWN IN .5 SECONDS..."
Sydney 8.5 months and Emery 3.5 yrs
"BUT MOM! I THOUGHT YOU LOVED ME?!? WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS?!?"
"THIS MAN KNOWS WHERE WE LIVE AND WILL BE COMING DOWN OUR CHIMNEY TOO? GET ME AWAY!!!"
A few Sundays ago, I was having one of those days. No, not one of those days. The other kind. The rare kind: the kind where all of the stars line-up and you find yourself thinking, "Holy shit. I've got my shit together! I'm rocking the shit out of this day." (Does anyone else swear as much when they self-congratulate? Well, now you know what goes on in my head...)
But seriously, I was kicking-ass a few Sundays ago.
We had a 3 year-old's birthday to go to later that afternoon, and I was organized. Cole and I hand-crafted a card in the morning. We even cleaned up the mess. Then he went down for a nap at the perfect time, which meant we wouldn't be late for the party. Maeve napped well too, which was even more rare. I think I even drank *hot* coffee while *sitting.*
I'm not trying to brag, but I even found time to shower, shave, get dressed, do my hair and my make-up (usually I have time to do one of these things). I can either be clean but disheveled, or dirty with mascara. Well, not this day. A few Sundays ago, I was clean and pretty. Holy shit.
And do you want to know what else I did? After I wrapped the gift I decided to add ribbon (wtf?) and then I took the scissors and CURLED THE FUCKING RIBBON. Did you just dry heave a little bit? Yeah. I know. It was a little obscene.
I actually had a cocky moment of thinking, "Maybe I shouldn't have done that. I don't want to make anyone feel bad if their gift doesn't look as pretty..." (Who thinks such an asshole-ish thing anyway? Me. That's who.)
When Cole woke from his nap, all four of us hopped in the van and made our way to the party destination 30 minutes away and no one was crying. A bloody miracle. I think I even clicked my heels together as we skipped towards the entrance of the rec centre where the party was being held. Perfect. Day.
And then... (of course there is an "and then"...) We asked which room the party was in, and the girl at the front desk reception looked at me with confusion. "Umm..." She stared at her computer. "I'm sorry, that party was yesterday."
"What? Are you serious?" I frantically opened the invite on my phone. Please come to L's 3rd Birthday party on SATURDAY. But I was having a perfect SUNDAY! Today was Sunday, and I was kicking its ass! Remember? No. No. This couldn't be happening.
My perfect-stars-alining-day crumbled to the ground before my very eyes.
I actually felt a little sick to my stomach. I quickly texted, called, emailed AND Facebook messaged my friend. "I'm SO SO SO SORRY! I got the wrong day. I'm at the rec centre right now. We missed the party." I even took a photo of myself (and the gift with the curly fucking ribbons) to prove that I wasn't just feeding her a piece of shit excuse for missing the party.
After I finally calmed down and took 35 deep breaths, I did what any mother in my situation would do:
I jumped into the pool with my son and we went swimming. Fuck it. We were already there.