Christmas Fail #2

The Village Christmas Fair

I underestimated how difficult this day was going to be. I figured, we’d be with my family, so my toddler, R would have his aunties, uncles, and cousins to play with, and Nanny and Granddad for cuddles, snacks, and toilet trips. If anything, I’d be handsfree to enjoy a lovely hot chocolate at the fair. What could go wrong?

Well… more than you’d think.

The toddler and coat situation

We arrived at the same time as my mum and brother, B, who looked exasperated. They’d forgotten the potty. It was B’s one job. I hadn’t brought R’s either, so it somehow became my fault too. B’s toddler C was potty training, and it was a crucial time to not forget the potty.

C was told he needed to put his coat on because it was freezing cold and windy. But he’s a toddler. He didn’t want to wear it. And to be fair, because he was kicking off about not wanting to wear his coat, R was so distracted that I managed to slip his on without a fight.

However, seeing his little buddy in such distress then made him feel all out of sorts too. My brother successfully got the coat on his son, and C eventually decided to not be enraged about it anymore, and they were friends again. Probably standard-fare for them.

But my son hadn’t quite got over it. This was the start of the miserable whimpering. He was sad that C got angry about the coat, and he was sad that he felt so cold.

While that was happening, my mum was seeing to the babies. She was having a laughing fit. They seem to erupt out of her when she’s overwhelmed.

Over Enthusiastic Love

My other brother, 10 turned up. He was so excited to see R that he came at him with full love and enthusiasm. But R had already been knocked off kilter, so he reacted to 10 like he was both a weirdo and a vampire. This made both R and 10 feel sad. So many emotions.

10 and his girlfriend, A, asked if they could walk with R to the Christmas Fair, they even threw in the joy of doing ‘1 2 3 wee’ with him, but no takers. He’d shut down, couldn’t walk, couldn’t speak, couldn’t be with anyone but me.

The wiggles

As R was all over me, I surrendered Baby S up to whichever family member was available. He was handed around from person to person, and although he’s usually a sociable little creature, he was wearing so many layers that he felt constrained and irritable. He also wanted a piece of his mum too. Baby S lost his usual happy demeanour. He was either strapped into his pram or being cuddled by someone other than me.

All he really wanted was to roam around freely. But the ground was too cold, muddy, and wet, and there were far too many people around for him to be safe. He kept arching his back and yelping, while R was grappling at me and whimpering into my chest. Poor little S, he needed me just as much as R did. I tried to hold them both at one point, but the sobbing maximised, and Baby S spent most of the time trying to break free.

So many people

For a small village, there was huge amount of people. My family are quite a mob of madness when we’re all together, so sticking us in the middle of a bustling scene must create quite the cacophony for little ears. Luckily, the many faces and Christmas crowds made R turn to 10 for comfort, so at least they got to be together for a bit. It wasn’t a fun time, but it was time none-the-less. And I got to give some attention to my baby.

We all went to one Christmas stall at the fair. It was my six-year-old niece’s “Christmas Bakes” stall. We spent all the money we had to make her feel happy. But she didn’t look happy at all. Not only was she completely blue and shivering all over, but her entire family descended upon her at the same time, all smiling like psychopaths and talking over each other like hungry seagulls. She did empty all our pockets though.

A long, cold walk

My mum, who was having a laughing fit, on and off throughout the morning, decided that the long, (cold) walk we were planning, was a terrible idea and we should all go back to hers for hot dogs and crisps. What a moment that was. YES MUM!

The mood changed completely. All the children were warm and happy at their Nan and Grandad’s house. No one needed to be stuck to me. They all just wanted to be free. Baby S could crawl and cruise around, R and C could release all their energy running around being racing cars, and 10 got to feel like an appreciated Uncle for a bit.

Don’t get me wrong, it was complete chaos, but at least it was happy chaos.

Lessons learnt:

  1. If it’s that cold outside, stay inside. No number of layers can keep child’s face warm. If must still go out, put toddler in backpack carrier and be human chill/wind barrier.
  2. When going to big family gatherings, always take husband in case of double meltdown. Toddler will dominate. Don’t leave baby hanging.
  3. Give baby freedom whenever possible.
  4. If toddler doesn’t want to be sociable, that’s OK. No need to apologise. Just be prepared to hug until ready.
  5. If in doubt, go to Mums for hot dogs and crisps.

Published by RaisingBoys

I’m Kelly. I’m 34 and I am a primary school teacher (when I’m not mumming). I live in a thin, tall house with my thinnish, quite tall husband and two beautiful boys. I love writing, and am trying to keep it up so I can keep a piece of me.

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