Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I'm not going to let you ruin Christmas

There has been fierce action in our Competitive Parenting of late. It usually ramps up around the holidays because there are so many opportunities to snatch greatness. Like printing out ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas schedule so we don't miss any of the classic shows (that was me), making hot chocolate from scratch (Sam), or finding a Super Mario stocking (me again!).

Friday we got our Christmas tree. We usually get a Charlie Brown Christmas tree that's about four feet tall, but the boys came home with one that's a hair taller than me. It only has four branches, though, so it still qualifies. You can really see the ornaments without all that pesky greenery. Paolo and I were decorating it when Gianluca woke up. I told Sam to take over for me while I fed the baby. He kept flailing his limbs and clawing me with his little razor-nails rather than eating, so I got annoyed and started sniping at everyone. Sam hung exactly two ornaments before huffing over to the couch to read a book. Lacking direction, Paolo began jumping over the pile of ornaments until he landed on one and broke it. Sam promptly shut down Christmas for the night, and we all sulked. Fa la la la laaaa. Later, Sam began speaking to me again in order to tell me he had decided not to let me ruin Christmas. That is our new holiday motto. For example, "You drank the last of the egg nog? I'll pick some up at the store, because I'm not going to let you ruin Christmas."

Saturday, Paolo and I made an Advent Calendar out of a cereal box and old Christmas cards. So now he can count down the days until Christmas by opening little doors to reveal pictures that he cut out himself. I thought I'd racked up monster parenting points...until Sam got Paolo to eat spinach sauteed with garlic and red wine vinegar at dinner. I don't know many adults who would eat that, and the kid snarfed it up. That pretty much blew my Advent Calendar out of the water.

I was still mourning the loss of my parenting crown yesterday morning when Sam called me to report that Paolo had upchucked his breakfast. He was convinced it was because he had been giving Paolo too much sugar lately, and the chocolate-covered donut had pushed his little body past its limit. As Sam described the crushing guilt he felt when the sprinkles came out of Paolo's nose, I murmured my sympathy. But really, inside I was shouting, I'M BACK ON TOP! Well, it wasn't the donut after all. Paolo threw up a half-dozen more times throughout the day before I got home from work, but had absolutely no other symptoms of illness. By pure coincidence - I mean, superior parenting - once I took over rationing the food and drink, Paolo kept everything down. He made it through the night okay and is doing fine today, which is as it shoud be, because we're not going to let him ruin Christmas.

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