This past weekend my middle child wanted to decorate cookies. You’re thinking, ‘Why is her kid asking? Who doesn’t decorate cookies around this time of year?’ Well, this mom. Working 40 hours a week, updating coding skills, cooking, cleaning, dieting, trying to write, oh yeah and a shower kind of sucks all the Christmas cookie decorating spirit right out of you. But, she asked and I thought for a second and decided the best way to tackle this project would be to get EVERYTHING pre-made and supplied. Then there was the scheduling that needed to be figured out. The younger kid wanted to play with friends and the oldest daughter was at work and then there is dinner.
So, I sent my husband to brave the store and find the kits, son went to go play with strict instructions to be home at 4pm, and I started dinner (shepherds pie). Everything was going great until my teen decided that after work she would rearrange her closet. I didn’t argue because we all still needed to eat dinner. When she finally decided to come and join the family we had already finished supper and I had already set everything up. The less she had to do the better. You know, the whole pick your battle sort of thing. We began decorating the gingerbread houses. I was careful to pick the easiest house for my son as I didn’t want to battle him feeling like a failure because the house didn’t turn out. Let’s face it, those gingerbread house kits don’t always go as planned. We made jokes about each other’s houses but what I didn’t allow was the negative and the mean comments to come through. My oldest teen tried that with my younger son and I squashed her words before they could finish coming out of her mouth.
When we were done and I had everything cleaned up, I pulled her to the side. ‘Look, I get it. You’re too old to do this and it’s all beneath you. But knock it the fuck off! I don’t want anyone to remember your negative comments. I want us to remember the laughing and time spent together. Deal with it! We’re family and we’re spending time together. I’m a naturally negative person but I work REAL hard to not be mean. You need to practice the same!’ I got a yes ma’am and a good night. Is there a better way to put what I said minus the cursing? You’re probably right but since my daughter is like me, that’s what will hit home. People are going to be harsh when she moves out into that big world and I’m not going to beat around the bush with her. Next weekend…we’re going to try homemade crafts for the tree. Fingers crossed there isn’t bloodshed.