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This Christmas was a very different experience, one that I’m hoping to some extent not to repeat.  Christmas is usually spent in the traditional way, drunkenly singing Fairytale of New York while promising to never drink again as the invisible man smashes my head with a hammer the following morning. This Christmas was more chaotic and busy than ever before, this was a Christmas with a toddler.  This is meant to be a magical time with my angelic child as she experiences Christmas with the ability to walk and notice the shiny balls and festive lights that hang from the Christmas tree. A time when shiny paper wrapped around presents lies at the bottom of the tree. It’s a glittery, shiny extravaganza.

 

First we go to the tree, the tree that in the eyes of my toddler is a game, the game of how many times can I get mummy to redecorate the tree. To be honest I lost count. I didn’t want our tree to be top heavy in decorations so I was determined to have shiny balls, sparkly lights and long thin beads all the way down to the bottom, a big mistake. My child won’t stop pulling off the balls, shaking the lights and rattling the beads and thinks it is hilarious when I tell her no. I went online to see if there were any tips and unfortunately came across the sanctimonious mums who point out how well behaved their children are as they have simply told them no. They offer such advice as, ‘tell them no’ or ‘be firm when you tell them’ or my favourite and I chuckle as I write this, ‘tell them with your eyes not your finger’. Oh my god really, I am supposed to tell my child no and mean it, I didn’t think of that. As I tried to stare at my child like some sort of a possessed serial killer I realised that nothing with her works and slowly accepted my fate, I will just have to keep redecorating the tree. So as it was pointed out by these wise mums,  you teach your child ‘no’ to touching the tree like you tell your child not to touch other things, I finally accepted that my child is challenged in the acts of behaving and realised I am constantly fighting a losing battle. Hello my name is Lorraine and my child doesn’t listen to a single word I say no matter what approach I take. I can see the mummy groups now, the horror.

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Once Riley had her fun.

 

We move on to the presents, presents that are there to be opened on Christmas day, what a joke that is. Presents had been under the tree for a few weeks and up until December 23rd they somehow went untouched. The shiny colours of silver and gold that covered each gift was not enough to entice my child to explore and see what lay beneath the green tree that was covered in colourful balls, lights and shiny beads that had somehow appeared in the room.  The temptation must have become too much eventually as she then proceeded to open her presents. With presents belonging to Dev and myself she somehow knew which ones were hers and only opened them, she’s so well behaved when being naughty. On Christmas day she had little to open but as she doesn’t understand, so it was no big deal. She helped me with mine.

After 24 days I could take no more and I finally took the tree down today, it is so annoying constantly chasing your child around the front room with what she has pulled off the tree, or watch her shake the shit out of the poor thing. Taunts of Santa won’t come and visit won’t work until next year as she hasn’t the first clue of who Santa is. Next year I will begin the threats of Santa not coming as I explain to her that a bearded man will break in to our house, eat our food but then leave presents under the tree, making it OK to commit a crime of breaking and entering as long as it is in a red suit. The elf on the shelf or in my case the Freddy on the shelf will somehow convince her to behave on a daily basis on the lead up to Christmas day.  While this Christmas has been rather stressful with the never ending ball tugging and bead rattling I am rather looking forward to next year when she begins to understand what it is all about. I look forward to seeing her little face light up when she sees she made the ‘good’ list after she wakes us up at the crack of dawn.  She may be insane but she’s my little insane girl.