A Salutary Lesson From A 4-Year-Old

Every parent knows that children can always be relied on to listen closely to what they’re not supposed to and yet are completely deaf when you ask them to tidy up or anything else they don’t want to do.  But I was completely floored by what my 4-year-old came out with.

“Don’t worry, mummy, I know another way to get some money!”

And whilst I could not stop myself laughing out loud, it was more in fear than amusement as my blood ran cold.

When the school finally opened after a long Christmas break, my twin boys were in for precisely one day before snow forced it to close again for a further two.  I had been on at them ALL DAY about charging recklessly about the house risking breaking just about everything.  The school had suggested some homework activities but the boys were soon bored again.  I resorted to threatening them that we wouldn’t have enough money for their birthday party in March if we had to replace TV, sofa, put the radiators back onto the wall etc.

I explained that as long as the schools were closed, mummy and daddy had little time to try and earn some money.

“Don’t worry, mummy.  I know another way!  All you need to do is get your old jewellery, pop it in an envelope and post it off.  Then you get a cheque in the post and you can exchange that for money, can’t you!”

WHAAAT? !

So that’s that then!  Simple!

It’s a sobering lesson and a sign of the times.  Advertising is very powerful, even when it is not aimed at children.  But just to be sure, all my jewellery is going straight into the safe!  I can’t risk it might be “popped” into an envelope and randomly posted! 

Just as well we’ve recently replaced the safe batteries then!

The Stress Of Too Much Fun

WooHoo!  I’ve survived Christmas!

I’m with the crowd who thinks Christmas is the most stressful time of the year.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love Christmas.  I love the Christmas lights and the decorations, the cheery smiles that you get even from Londoners.  And I love Christmas food.  For us it’s goose.  It’s a traditional family thing.  And since having children, Christmas has become very special. 

But it is still very stressful.  There are just so many jobs which have to be done; writing cards, buying presents, wrapping (my personal pet hate), putting up decorations (I love it!), food shopping, travelling, meeting relatives and general entertainment of visiting relatives and rising 5 twins, not to mention the pressure to have a good time!  And, it really does not help to have a grump of a Bah Humbug husband around!  Seriously, on a good day he could give Scrooge a run for his money!

I think that’s maybe why families argue so much at Christmas.  🙂

But the worst stress this year has come from entertaining the children.  When it is too cold to play outside, they quickly go stir crazy inside.  Playdates, trips to Lapland UK (just do it!), visiting Santa, ice skating, Christmas parties, pantomime trips and general relative visiting, every one of whom bestowed heaps of presents upon them, only raised their excitement levels to totally uncontainable.  I love them madly but they would test the patience of Job! They broke up 3 and a half weeks ago and as their exclusive carers, (no nearby grandparents, aunts or any other relatives for that matter to help out 🙁 ), we were counting the days ‘til school reopened! 

And now it has closed again!  After just one day because of the snow!  And virtually no chance it will reopen ‘til after the week-end!  The snow-bound UK must be the laughing stock of the world right now!

But at least I appreciate why I am feeling stressed right now.  And I anticipated it, so it’s not been as bad as it could have been.  And I also decided not to feel guilty about feeling stressed either.  Women in particular tend to give ourselves a really bad time (men, such as my husband, generally give others a bad time, LOL).  And somehow, just giving myself permission to not feel guilty about feeling stressed, somehow helped me feel less stressed.

Which is just as well with Christmas starting earlier every year.  I’ve probably got just 9 months until it starts all over again…