I take comfort in the fact that my kids will forget most of my mothering mistakes. And whatever is remembered is a gift for some future therapist session. Tell me about your mother…
But, I am feeling super extra crappy about this one.
Each year, we do the Portable North Pole, which is a custom video message Santa sends to your kids – you upload pictures and select options that are tailored to your child. This is the third year we have done this, but this is the first year that my youngest has been more naughty than nice.
We never had terrible two’s with Charlie, but just before he turned four until to now (four and a half) he has become the most stubborn person I have ever known. He could just care less what you have to say (unless it involves candy). Honestly, if you ask him to do something that he doesn’t want to do, he will say nothing and just turn his head like he doesn’t see or hear you. It’s not all the time, but when he acts like that, it’s maddening.
It turns me into crazy mommy.
Earlier this week, I was trying to find a good Christmas card option from photos I have taken, but everything just looked like some attempt to tell the world we are all happy all the time. So, that, of course, makes me want to go renegade and send out a card with a picture of them melting down.
Unable to find a picture for the card, we decided to take some. Needless to say, the cooperation was fleeting. It’s always fun when you have to stop the family photo session to punish a kid. Yeah, now smile! Awesome. Good times.
Alright, back to the message from Santa. I was working on them after having just wrestled Charlie into his pjs and fighting the daily battle to get him to brush his teeth.
I was still mad, so I did it. I put him on the naughty list. And I did it for my own selfish reasons. I was hoping it would entice him to be a better listener (because he has grown insensitive to Elf on the Shelf). A message from Santa though – that’s coming right from the source. Surely this could reach him.
We watched the videos last night and Charlie went first. He was in awe. The more in awe he was the more I started to sweat and shrink into my chair knowing what was coming. My husband was standing behind the kids and looking at me like, “Please tell me you didn’t put him on the naughty list.”
Charlie is glued to the computer watching his video anxiously to see what Santa thinks about him.
I change my mind! I thought. I change my mind!
But it was too late. That ship was sailing and about to overturn my little boy…and I was the one who set it in motion.
Wracking my brain to come up with a good way to handle what was about to happen, I switched from hoping for a sudden power failure to hoping he wouldn’t understand the video. Yes, that’s it. Maybe he won’t know what it means!
Oh, he knew. His lower lip came out a little bit and he looked at me with teary eyes and I jumped in with, “Hey! Did you see that, Santa knows exactly what toy you want! Aren’t you excited?”
“I’m not excited that I am not on the nice list,” he said.
Panic! “It’s okay, Charlie.” I’ll talk to Santa and make sure he knows when you do good things. Remember what he said, Honey, there’s still time.”
And though I felt like the scum of the earth for having done that to my kid last night, he has been really good all day today.
Not that I would do it again. I feel really REALLY bad about it. So, if you are reading this, go for the “nice list” option. Even on the nice list option Santa can still deliver a reminder to brush teeth or clean your room. Lesson learned. (I know and my kids know Santa isn’t what Christmas is all about, but Santa comes to our house and he’s part of the magic.)
Anyway…have any of you had any less than perfect moments lately?