I’m an idealist. Or in other words I have unrealistic expectations.
This was how I imagined Christmas at our house:
We would put together a plate of cookies for Santa and the reindeer with the children. Then they would go to bed cheerily to dream of sugar plums. (Whatever those are…) Richard and I would prepare the gifts with broad smiles and butterflies of anticipation before settling down for our long winter’s nap. (You are beginning to see my unrealistic expectations, afterall, we have a newborn.) In the morning the boys would rise early full of thrill and would laugh and squeal with delight as they excitedly opened their gifts.
This is how our Christmas unfolded.
Richard and I suggested we leave a plate of cookies for Santa and the boys threw a fit. They wanted the cookies for themselves. The fit evolved into all-out tantrums by the time we got them to bed so Richard and I wrapped the gifts in a grumpy pout trying to figure out how our children became so selfish. We considered not giving them the gifts at all, but naturally I still had high hopes for the morning. Cameron fulfilled my expectations and awoke excited and was delighted with his gifts. Eli seemed to be in the same funk he was at bedtime and refused to look in his stocking. He expressed little emotion as we helped him open his gifts. Richard and I couldn’t believe that a kid could be so pathetic on Christmas morning. Just as we were about to finish up the festivities Eli threw up everywhere. Merry Christmas.
We felt awful blaming his bad mood on his tempermental nature. After things were cleaned up and he rested for a little while he felt wonderful and his holiday excitement surfaced. Sadly the gifts were all unwrapped and I think he felt robbed of Christmas. Thank goodness for grandparents.
Of course now that Christmas is two weeks past, all the boys can talk about is what they want next year. There’s nothing like reality to help adjust expectations.