There are things that I love about the holidays; the cool weather, the food, the jolly mood everyone is in, and then there are things that I really don’t like; sweating over what to get the nine (yes, nine) people/couples in my life (not including the Secret Santa gift and the sibling gift on my wife’s side). With kids now, there are even more things to love and/or hate about the holidays.
For instance, our kids’ daycare is closed for all major holidays. In the case of Thanksgiving, they were closed understandably on Thursday and Friday, but of course we still have to pay for a full week. Regardless, this means that instead of the kids playing for nine hours with their friends at daycare, they are either strapped in a car on a long trip or stuck in a boring house with people they don’t know and only a handful of toys carefully selected for both portability and creativity, and unable to generally get out and burn off all that energy that keeps them the sane lovable children we all hope they are come the weekend.
As my friend pointed out over at Pantsfreesia, by Sunday afternoon I’ve got that twitchy eye thing going and if the weather is nice, my wife is urging me to get out-of-doors and go do something that doesn’t involve kids. So, long holiday weekends, such as what we just had for Thanksgiving, are especially trying for me even though I love my children with all my heart.
I love em; I just don’t wanna play with them for 96 hours. And it’s not just the playing either. When my oldest son doesn’t go to daycare and burn off steam, he’s a different person. He talks back, he whines over piddly stuff and he just generally isn’t as well behaved as he is when he gets tons of exercise. And for whatever reason, riding bicycles and hitting the ball are poor substitutes for chasing each other around the playground pretending you’re Spider Man trying to knock down the Red Power Ranger. I know this because I played it for ten minutes and I was done, both because it’s physically demanding, and because it’s a tad humiliating for people to see you imitating a three year old making noises that you haven’t made since you were, well, three years old.
And no, I never bought into that whole, “Dance as if no one were watching” idea. I mean, someone is always watching and even if they’re your parents, in the back of their head, behind the part of their brain that’s saying, “What a good father,” they are also thinking, “My goodness he looks like a total goober.”
Welcome to parenting.