I suspect this will my final blog post before the New Year. I can’t quite believe the old year is nearly over – what happened, where did all that time go?
Son No 3 is really no longer a baby – there is no denying it anymore. He had his hair cut this week and he looks like a proper little boy now. His naughtiness levels have shot up exponentially all of the sudden too.
It’s his table manners that are most alarming. Two minutes into any meal he stands up on his chair and holds his arms out to me saying, “I want you”.
“Sit down and eat,” I say.
“I want you!” I eventually give in because despite the fact I am trying to eat and it’s irritating having him on my lap while I do so, it’s more irritating having him standing there wailing and not finishing or even starting his meal.
When I offer him his plate he might push it away or even slap me in the face for daring to suggest something so audacious. I suppose it all makes sense to a two year old.
Son No.2 has an even worse emerging habit. He seems to think it’s very funny to stand up on his chair in the middle of supper and take his trousers down for absolutely no reason. The other boys think it’s too funny, of course. There are times when I would like to pick up the ketchup and squirt it at Son No 2’s face from across the table, but I’m guessing that would just heighten the sense of chaos and the mother is probably meant to resist the urge to join in with general juvenile anarchy.
Currently at mealtimes Son No 3 is really only interested in discussing what he might be getting for Christmas. Oh! There, I’ve said the Christmas word so I guess I ought to say a little more about it now.
I love Christmas. I love the presents, the lights, the food, the mulled wine, the excitement. I love the tree and the smell of old decorations and spices, and the presents – oh yes, I’ve said presents already haven’t I? I really love the table cloth with a Christmas tree on it that my mother digs out each year, which she had as a child and which I remember from my own childhood. I love the bittersweet nostalgia that Christmas brings with it. I really look forward to the drinks and socialising and cheesy Christmas songs that make you feel warm and slightly icky at the same time. But, and it’s a fairly loud BUT, I cannot abide the fact that Christmas starts around about the 27th July thanks to the shops desperately needing us to start spending after whatever event failed to deliver their summer sales numbers. It drives me insane!
So, the boys try often to discuss what they want for Christmas from about the 27th July and I always say, “Not until the 1st December. I will absolutely and categorically NOT discuss Christmas until then, alright!”
“OK, Mum,” they groan.
I tried that line last week on about the 7th December and Son No 1 looked at me like I was an imbecile.
”You’re going to have to face it, Mum,” he said, “It’s December and Christmas has arrived!”
Tomorrow we will head out to buy our tree and I’ll drink some mulled wine while we (I) decorate it and listen to those cheesy songs (I’ve got a very well worn CD of them), although this is the first year where Son No 1 is so vocal about his musical likes and dislikes so I’m not sure how they will go down. Nope, I do know. He’ll hate them and try to insist on something much cooler.
I can’t help wondering how the boys will behave at Christmas lunch this year. The “I want you” phrase two minutes in after I’ve been cooking for hours is not going to go down well with me and if Son No 2 drops his trousers again I might force him to sit through the Queen’s speech. Son No 3 will hardly eat and be desperate to get back online for something or other, I’m sure. And my mother may have had a little too much wine. These are the realities of my life!
In any event, Christmas for me is about wrapping up time as the year comes to an end. And when it is wrapped, and has been transformed into the gifts that we give the people we like and love, we say good-bye to all that has past and make space for the new. Present giving is a universal and important human activity that cements and reaffirms relationships, family and otherwise. So, however you celebrate the festive period, I hope you and yours have a wonderful time and I’ll see you again in the New Year. xx