Hey folks! Remember me? I used to blog. I’d share some fun anecdotes about my kids, or tell wild stories about my mom-life. Would mention my favorite playgrounds or visits to the dentist. First milestones, birth stories, poop and boobs. And then I stopped. There was no real reason and, believe me, I had plenty of content.
Then I started writing a post in one of my Facebook groups that started to get long. I thought that it was almost long enough to be a blog post, so here we are. Did you miss me? I sure missed you!
So this time of year brings out the real a-hole in my kids. It’s mostly my fault, since I hate saying no. Usually, I believe that saying a little, tiny ‘yes’ would shut them up and prevents hours of potential whining. But sometimes, even I need to put my foot down. And when I do say no, I also can’t turn around five minutes into the whine-fest and change my answer to a yes because then they’ll learn that whining will get them somewhere. (Which obviously is true, but I keep hoping they won’t figure it out.) No means no and there’s no going back, so when I say no I have to be really sure it’s a firm no.
For Chanukah, I bought enough presents so that they’d all get something every night. My in-laws sooooo kindly and generously bought them the good stuff from my Amazon registry, but everything else came from us. Truth be told it was all either from the Dollar store, the dollar section at Target, or something they already needed like boots or a winter jacket. Nevertheless, no matter how lame or cheap the gift was, they still came to expect a gift every night.
On the second night, we went to a Chanukah Extravaganza and told the kids that they’d each get a handful of raffle tickets. If one of them didn’t win a raffle prize, I’d dig up of my pre-wrapped gifts along the lines of a pen with glitter water inside, unicorn snot, or maybe a pack of Shopkins erasers. I bought loads of raffle tickets and wrote their names on them. Annie had her eye on the large prizes that cost more money per ticket. She’d rather have fewer tickets for the big stuff than lots of little ones. Judah and Lisi were so overwhelmed with all of the choices they left their tickets on a table and walked away, so I entered the raffle for them. Then Judah won a Rubics cube and burst out crying, and Lisi won a board game then threw it across room. Guess who wanted another present when we returned home that night? On the other hand, Annie won a motorized sled that was actually too big to fit through our door, takes up half of our apartment, and is so loud they can’t even ride it inside. To actually enjoy it, we have to turn it on its side to get it through doors, cartwheel it into the elevator, then carry it up a few steps to get out to the sidewalk.
Well, we lost track of the count a little and, on the last night, we decided that since we didn’t have enough presents to go around nobody would get a gift. They were totally devastated. Like devastated as in they were literally mourning the loss of their gifts. Like all hell broke loose and our four-year-old cried herself to sleep in the kitchen at 6:30pm.
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Yesterday, the kids had off from school and so we went to Chuck E. Cheese with friends. Would you believe that was my first time there? It was actually a really great day; we were literally the only ones there and the staff was ridiculously patient. We spent over four hours there, and nobody got bored. My friend and I were acting like crazy Jewish mothers, patrolling the place for extra tickets that popped out of the machines every few minutes. I even founds myself looking under the machines for extra coins. I was positive that the security guards had picked up on our shenanigans and were going to present me with a bill and complementary video of it all. That didn’t happen, but the video would have made for some good blog material.
On our way out Judah, my sweet six-year-old (no sarcasm, he really is the sweet one) wanted me to add money to his card so that he could play some more games. It had been hours since we had even any played games. The bulk of the afternoon was spent hunting for tickets, eating, and negotiating prizes. I told him to save his card and then we’d come back again. Wrong answer, apparently: he lost it. He started air-hitting me. He was screaming and crying.. and remember, he’s usually the good one. Then he started to actually hit me so I grabbed his sleeve. We were on the busy streets of Harlem and I didn’t know how else to react. When we got to the station I threw his card in the garbage and pointed out that there were cops a few feet away and they wouldn’t be thrilled to hear what he had just done. In the meantime, some guy was selling one of these UGLY hat/glove/scarf combos with bunnies that Lisi just had to have at that moment (brat). I was still pretty distracted because of Judah and, sensing the tension, the guy said that she could have it and we should have a happy holiday. I told him that I’d pay him next time I was in that part of town with more cash and fewer kids, which he said wouldn’t be necessary.
He was too nice. Like, nice to the point that I felt guilty. Then Annie, who tends to be shy around strangers, in her sweetest, politest little voice was like may I please have one too? He didn’t fall for it, but she recovered quickly. And she didn’t even whine about it.
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One of my goals as a parent is to raise these kids as good, kind little humans. Tonight, as I hid in my bedroom writing this post on my phone in the dark, Judah come running in. He looks over at me and gestures — pointing to his eye, I, making a heart shape with his little hands, love, pointing at me, you — then bolts out of the room. My heart obviously melted. He’s still a bit of a jerk sometimes, they all are, but maybe they’re not the totally spoiled brats I make them out to be. And maybe we can let them open those leftover gifts after all.
And Happy Holiday to all!!!!