Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas Confession; Part II

This actually happened last Christmas, but I'm just now at a place where I can admit it.

I'm big on taking pictures of the kids and then sharing them with the world. I like to capture as much happy stuff on film as I can - and then refer back to it when Hope is screaming that Jack is looking at her funny and Jack is trying to pee his name on the bathroom floor.

You know.... a sanity saver. Proof that pleasant times have occurred.

So last Christmas, I'm home alone with the kids for the evening. I wanted to do something fun, something holidayish.

I wanted to make some memories.

Good memories.

The kind you take pictures of so that you can prove to the world (and to yourself) that you have a happy, fun-loving, holiday-filled family life.

So I decided to make Christmas cocoa (complete with whipped cream, peppermint syrup and sprinkles) and then brought out a little wooden Christmas Tree that we could decorate with these fancy, handmade little wooden ornaments (a family tradition passed down from my Grandma).

I get everything set: cocoa, tree, holiday music, camera.

Everything is ready.

We commence with the holiday festivities. They're sipping their cocoa, the holiday music is on, I have my camera poised and ready to begin documenting the loving, fun-filled holiday family time between my precious son and daughter.

It's going so well. The cocoa's not too hot, the music's not too loud, it's raining outside, the little wooden tree was easy to put together, the kids are getting along - it was a scene that would have compelled Norman Rockwell to paint a picture of our family.

As I always do when I'm in these situations, I begin mentally drafting my acceptance speech for my now-certain Mother of the Year Award.

And then it starts...

"Mom, Jack keeps trying to take my ornaments."

"No I don't - they're mine, Mom - Hope won't share!"

Not to be discouraged by this minor bickering (after all, I don't have any documented evidence that this magical night took place yet), I reply gently with, "That's enough guys... Let's have fun with this, okay?"

The decorating resumes and in an effort to keep them from talking to each other (or to me) I turn the Christmas music up just a few notches.

The bickering starts up again.

"Maaawm! Jack's breathing on me! Make him stop!"

"Hope, Jack will die if he stops breathing. It would probably be easier if you scoot over a little bit."

I grip my camera a little tighter - beads of sweat begin form on my upper lip. I HAVE to get these pictures. The world must know that my family is perfect, thay the love to be around each other and that the holidays at the Goble house are nothing short of magical.

Cue louder music.

I turn my back to set my camera to the non red-eye setting.

And then it happened. I'm not really sure who or what started it.

Hope is shouting, "Nooooooooooooo!" as her hot cocoa spills across the table.

Jack reaches for his ornaments in an effort to save them from the river of cocoa making it's way across the table at alarming speed.

He misses.

Instead of saving the ornaments, he drowns them in a new river of hot cocoa from his own cup while simultaneously knocking the tree and the box of the remaining ornaments all over the floor.

Hope starts yelling at Jack that he's making a mess, bends down to pick up the ornaments and smacks her head on the table.

She starts howling.

The Christmas music that was only moments ago providing us with our own lovely holiday soundtrack is now ironically blaring out that horrible song "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year."

Jack is crying and shouting over and over again that he didn't do anything.

I stand there, my feet frozen to the floor, powerless to stop the chaos, unable to accept the fact that my dream of documenting a perfect holiday memory is now an impossibility.

All is lost...

All I could think was, "I don't have my pictures yet. These rotten little mongrels robbed me of my freakin' Christmas joy photos."

Where's the stinkin' joy???

I snap.

I grab both kids by the ear and yank them away from the table. I slam my hand on the counter and scream at the top of my lungs:


The kids stare at me, their eyes the size of dinner plates.

They are gripped with fear.

They are completely silent.

The only noise in the room is that ridiculously stupid Christmas music, the dripping of sticky, pepperming cocoa creating a huge pool on my kitchen floor and my labored breathing.

But the kids are completely.... SILENT.

As in, they're no longer arguing, howling, screaming or crying.

See where I'm goin' with this?

I sieze what I know to be my only opporunity to salvage my dream, grab my camera and shout at them to say cheese and start snapping pictures.

I got my loving, happy faced family fun time picture!!

Of course, it's because the kids were paralyzed with fear, but you'd never know that from looking at the picture (as long as you're willing to overlook the sheer terror behind their eyes).

Now you know why I never post any videos of my family.

Sigh.... maybe this year will be better....

Addendum: I added the picture. There were several, but they're all pretty much the same (if you look closely, you'll see the terror behind there eyes - or at least a look that says, "Watch out for mom - she's got a camera and that crazed look again...).

P.S. I sincerely hope I am not alone in this sort of behavior... I'd like to think that there are other moms out there who are just as obsessive and neurotic as I am.


shana said...

um, yo!! we want to see the picture. i mean really, hello! you can't tell us that story (which made me really happy and feel normalized, by the way!) and then not share the picture!
here's wishing you no repeat performances this year!
hang in there.

Billy and Laurel said...

You should know that you're not alone in the quest for Norman Rockwell Christmas memories. I went through a lovely experience decorating our tree on Wednesday night that was very similar to yours. When will the kids get it? Christmas is all about making us happy? ha!

Sarah B. said...

Nope...not alone. Last yr I did that whole "open a box that gives us a fun Christmas thing to do"..and I am pretty sure I blogged about how fun they were. We will NOT be doing that year because it was not at all how I imagined...not nearly as Norman Rockwell (thank you Laurel) as I was fact a lot of the nights were more like your story.

ThriceBlessed said...

Don't feel bad, you are not alone!

Diane Davis said...

i love a crazy mama! ;)

World of Wright said...

Nope...I have no idea what you are talking about...none of this stuff ever happens at our house. I'll be thinking of you when my precious angels are in their neatly pressed sweater vests telling eachother how thankful they are to have a brother.
(Just go with me on this ok)

SingingShrink said...

You need to send this in to readers digest. U could probably make a few hundred bucks off your Christmas cheer!