Captain’s Log. Diaper Date 2298. Father Christmas Chronicles.
There is a common misconception regarding Christmas and children and the “order” of the day. There are a plethora of movies that show the mother and father slumbering peacefully, only to be awoken by two (or more) of the most delightful young cherubs as they gently rouse their parents and beg to see if Santa has arrived. That’s the Hollywood Christmas.
The Captain is here to shed some light on what real Christmas is like…at least in our house.
Christmas actually begins Christmas Eve. The children are hardwired to stay up and wait for the Jolly Old Elf. They have ingested what seems to be gallons of hot chocolate, pounds of candy, and watched hours of Christmas movies. They can’t rest. They are unable to do simple things like brush their teeth, put pajamas on, and go to bed.
It takes several rounds to get the most ardent of insomniacs to sleep. In our house, The Diaper Dweller put himself to sleep at 7. More on that later. The Eldest on the other hand, fought valiantly until nearly 9.
9 sounds early. Except you, the parent, you are tired and want to fall asleep dreaming of visions of sugar plums (who does that) dancing in your head. But you can’t. You are part of the Santa Militia. You have a job to do, a checklist, to keep the magic alive.
1. The Elf on the Shelf needs to find a home until next Thanksgiving. Ours lives in the liquor cabinet, which is devoid of liquor lest an elf were to drink herself to sleep.
2. The reindeer food needs to be “eaten”. If you didn’t realize how cold it is at 9 or 10 pm this is a nice reminder of what happens when the sun goes down and it is winter time. Remember Long Johns.
3. The Santa key needs to be returned. If you have a chimney, this step can be skipped. If not, don’t forget the key. Otherwise you could be setting Santa up for 8-10 upstate for home invasion.
4. The cookies. Yum. Easily the best part of the list.
5. The milk. Depending on how long it takes for the children to go to bed this can either be a delightful part or a lukewarm experience.
6. The gifts from Santa. These can’t arrive until S.C. does, so they can’t come out until the kids go to bed.
7. Stockings. See number 6. Santa stuffs stockings.
You have to accomplish all of this without blowing cover. One quick wake-up and request for water, and Christmas could be ruined.
So after The Eldest finally succumbed at 9, The Captain had to wake Mrs. Captain up again in order to complete the checklist. We accomplished the checklist and I was watching It’s A Wonderful Life by 9:15 pm and in bed by 11:45.
And then it happened.
At 2:30 AM The Diaper Dweller woke Mrs. Captain up by standing inches away from her face and staring at her sleep filled eyes. The dog also needed to go out, and The Diaper Dweller requested water. I fulfilled both needs without The Eldest stirring.
I woke at 5:45 AM and both kids were sleeping.
At 6:03 AM Mimi and Papa arrived. The Eldest was awake and was contemplating ways to wake her brother.
At 6:10 AM I brought The Diaper Dweller down and he slumbered on my shoulder.
At 6:20 AM The Diaper Dweller opened his first gift while his sister had opened almost all of her gifts up and was riding her scooter around the house.
At 6:45 all the gifts were opened and we ate breakfast. By “we” I mean all the adults. The children were too busy playing.
7:00 AM The Diaper Dweller was still opening gifts.
7:30 AM The Eldest notices that her brother hasn’t touched his stocking. She opens it for him.
7:45 AM There is a carnage of plastic on my floor. Old and new – Dinosaurs, Toy Story toys, pirates, horses, and a host of other animals paint the floor of my living/dining room.
12:38 PM The first Christmas toy is lost. A search squadron is sent out looking for Buzz (1 of 15 that lives in our house) that rides RC.
12:41 PM Buzz is found in the oven of the toy kitchen set.
12:42 PM Buzz is misplaced again, but found seconds later.
12:48 PM The Eldest wants to go to Mimi and Papa’s house because she knows there are more presents there. She pretends to want to see family. We aren’t supposed to leave until 1:45.
1:00 The Captain showers and then Mrs. Captain showers and gets ready.
1:15 The Diaper Dweller starts to look sleepy. If he naps now, the rest of the day could be ruined.
1:45 We load the car
1:55 The Diaper Dweller’s eyes are critically low. We tickle him.
2:00 We leave for Mimi and Papa’s house.
2:03 we arrive.
2:04 The Diaper Dweller finds a Buzz Lightyear that is tied to a gift. He liberates him. Space Rangers rejoice everywhere. The Eldest wants a gift. We tell her to be patient. She, surprisingly, is.
2:15 The rest of the family arrives. There is chatter, laughter, hugging, more laughter. This is Christmas.
2:30 The Roast Beast is ready. Mimi and Papa serve up easily the best meal of the year.
3:15ish Presents again. Joy is had. Wrapping paper litters the floor. More laughter. Selfi discussion with my niece. Movie discussion with my other niece. The children are playing. Diaper Dweller is saving animals in trouble with Diego while The Eldest continues to create pieces of art. Awesomeness.
4:10 Somehow The Diaper Dweller breaks through the gate at the stairs and climbs the steps. He climbs into a bed and declares, “I tired.” And thus the packing of the car and retreat home begins before he can fall asleep.
The story ends with us making it home, getting the kids tubbed, getting the boy to sleep and the girl soon after. And then me passing out on the living room floor with a bowl of popcorn, can of Sprite, and a movie I can’t remember starting. Apparently, the popcorn was good though:)
That’s all I’ve got for now, Poop Deck Community. May your days be Merry and bright.