Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How I am Going to Survive This Mad, Mad Holiday Season

Well, it is the holiday season again.  If you are anything like me, you are probably wondering just how the hell are you going to survive it this time.  Every year it gets more and more complicated.  When do you go to the in-laws?  When are you going to your parents? Who is going to be there? What are you going to bring?  The questions never seem to end.  Now, I have my son to take into consideration and all his nap times and such, which makes everything even more complicated.  Therefore, I need to make some definite plans because I want him to enjoy the holiday, but I don't want to go nuts while scheduling all the mandatory visits.  Personally, I would rather not go visit anyone.  I think a phone call should be sufficient.

No, a phone call is not sufficient, I know.  But, I'll be damned if my wife and I are going to stress out over timing issues.  It used be that we would try and make it to both of our parent's homes in the same day.  That wasn't fun for anyone because having two thanksgivings and two christmas' in the same day sucked.  We would just finish one dinner and have to go to another one immediately. We never got to enjoy ourselves.  So, the last few years we ended up scheduling the separate gatherings on different days.  That was annoying too because it is terrible to try and find a good time where everyone will be able to make it, but what else could we do?  Apparently, the holidays are a time when you are supposed to get together with your families.  But man, what a hassle.  I have my own family now.  I am sure you do too.  If grandma and grandpa want to see me, why don't they come and visit me on the holidays?  I know that they didn't like having to pack up all their kids and the various shit that was needed and head off to their parents or family get-togethers on the holidays.  Why don't they throw us a bone and come visit us instead?  We don't need a big dinner.  Some chips, dips, and coffee or pie or something would be just fine.  Besides, I know that it is expensive for grandma and grandpa to feed everybody that shows up anyway.  Plus, when the whole family gets together, you never really get to just hang out with the few people in your family that you can stomach.  Don't lie to yourself! No one likes everyone in their family.  Some of us even hate people in our families, so why force yourself to see them?  All that does is ruin your festive mood.  So, I suggest having just the people you actually care about over.  Forget about the rest.

Now that my son is involved in all the holiday gatherings, I am finding out that it is quickly becoming more complicated.  Not only is there space issues, but there is also a timing issue too, and for a nine month old, timing is critical.  Most of you know what happens when you miss nap time.  All hell breaks loose and the devil incarnate rises from the depths of hell and claims your child's body for an afternoon.  There could be tantrums, crying fits, or whatever.  Anything could happen.  Luckily, my son isn't too bad yet.  But, he is only 9 months old.  I have seen what monsters toddlers can be when naptime is missed.  Hell, I have seen what happens when 5 year olds miss their naptimes.  It isn't pretty, and certainly not funny for anyone involved.  But, what do  you do?  Send them to the car to freeze?  No, of course not.  So far, from what I have gathered, parents are supposed to just laugh it off and say in their cutest voice possible, which for me isn't very cute, "Oh somebody's a grumpy pants because he missed naptime."  That doesn't do anything to assuage the issue though.  How could it?  The kid is tired and cranky, not simple.  Your cutesy parent voice is not going to amuse him or her.  It surely doesn't amuse anyone else around you.  So why do we all do it?  Our cutesy voices are not a substitute for a decent nap.  Just roll with it.  There really isn't any need to explain anything.  The kid's being a brat.  Everyone understands.  If they don't understand you can explain it to them, but most of the time I find it isn't worth the time due to the fact that they are assholes anyway.

What helps a lot when my son misses his naptime is feeding him until he can't eat anymore.  Then, it doesn't matter where he is.  He'll be asleep in minutes.  Sometimes he will fall asleep in the midst of a screaming fit.  He will literally be in the middle of a long scream and suddenly fall asleep.  It is awesome.  Unfortunately, I can't say for sure that it will work this holiday season, but I am going to try it if needed.  It's worked in the past well enough.  As I said, hopefully, I won't have to try it anyway.  Maybe he will nap during his regular naptime.  We can only hope.  Worst case scenario I bring him home to take a nap.  Luckily, I don't have to drive far to visit anyone in my family.   That, and little man falls asleep almost every time he gets into the car anyway.

So there it is, my holiday game plan. Hope to god he naps before we head out anywhere, or, if he doesn't, we throw him in the car and go home or drive him around until he has a sufficient nap.  It is kind of simple isn't it? I have heard that those are the only ones that ever work, so I am going to cross my fingers.  I know, it is dangerous to plan when a baby is involved.  Luckily, our family gatherings aren't large or I probably could really get myself into a jam.  Just think, it is only going to get worse and more complicated as he gets older too.  Bummer.

1 comment:

  1. I understand where you are coming from, but it really isn't that bad. There has to be some place at each location where you can lay down the boy for a nap. That has been our easiest experience, we try to do the nap before thing, but it doesn't always work, and kids will get tired quickly anyway visiting everyone, it is a lot for them to take in. The best time we have for napping though was in between, if we did lunch at one and dinner at another, the drive in between would be almost instant and solid nap time for our little ones. I love the holidays and I love getting to visit with everyone, I don't always get to because my family (except my mom, stepdad, brother and one sister) is spread out from Groton, NY to South Dayton, NY. But I do get to see everyone close and we usually have a great time.