Saturday, December 26, 2009

The nightmare AFTER Christmas.

OH. MY. GOD.   My house is a Christmas Nightmare! Since my kiddos are older, teens now, (old enough to not believe in Santa, but still young enough to be excited over new loot) we've started a new tradition of opening gifts on Christmas Eve.  Thus eliminating the need for Roy and I to be dragged out of bed at 5AM on Christmas morning to participate (if you can even call it that) in the usual Christmas morning chaos of gift opening.  Instead, we can sleep in.  Of course changes in long held family tradition are always a subject for careful consideration.  So, after great and serious debate (read: much whinging and manipuation by children, followed by the inevitable caving in to their every whim by my husband) the long standing custom was changed a couple of years back.
At first, even I had to admit that I enjoyed the luxury of sleeping in on Christmas morn, but I have since discovered a few minor flaws in that plan - most of which are the result of my control freak,  OCD about keeping my house sane and orderly. I'm honest enough to admit that theses are MY issues; In fact, since the other five and a half people living in my home have zero regard for the concept of order and organization, I really have no choice other than to own up to it.  For years now, I've been working on "letting go" of my anal retentive control issues regarding "my house."  And truthfully, I've come a long way towards relaxing and accepting that not everyone has the same standards about "their space" that I do - In other words, I've learned to adapt. 

However, there are times (like this morning) when living in my house seems like a hostile environment for my fragile sanity.  I know that it's not intentional, and it really can't be avoided with so many people (and dogs) living in such a small space.  Add to all that,  the excitement and chaos of a holiday that includes numerous new toys, PLUS an icy cold snow storm that keeps everyone trapped inside the house . . . I was doomed before I crawled out of bed. There was a time, when a day like today  would have had me believing that my family had maliciously plotted to destroy my sanity and insult my standards. Still, in spite of all the strikes against me, I think I did pretty well.  No emotional breakdowns, no tears, or screaming fits, and as the day draws to a close, everyone is sleeping peacefully in their beds - not a single death or serious injury  among them - we all survived!  Sometimes, I amaze myself.

Oh yeah, I'm pretty much as crazy as everyone else in this asylum.  My weirdness may run the other end of the spectrum, but I'm fairly certain that most "normal" people don't struggle with physical with draws from the vacuum.   Longing to hear that satisfing woosh and clatter that comes with sucking the grit off a floor.  Pacing the house, trying with all my might to resist the urge to gather the tiny scraps if scotch tape and tattered remains of Christmas wrap confetti from under the couch and coffe table. I doubt mentally stable people go into hysterics, when the Lysol bottle is empty; gathering their pennies and loose change just to buy a refil bottle from the corner store, like a chain smoker jonesing for a smoke.  It's sad really.

So, I waited.  I found distractions for myself.  Finally, after everyone had been fed and settled into bed for the night, I crept to the top of the stairs, grabbbed the vacuum and a bottle of windex from the closet.  I told myself, 'just a quick once over of the living room to get me through.'  45 minutes later, I felt I could relax enough to settle down and read one of my new books that I got for Christmas.  Tomorrow, Nick and Jenn are taking Heather to work with them, Roy may go to work as well, and Jake will find something to do to fill his time.  It'll just be Baby Brooklyn and me for most of the day.  The two of us can putter around setting our world back into place.  (Baby Brooklyn never tells Nana's secrets.)  By the time Monday rolls around my world will be spinning smoothly - I hope - even though the kids are home until January 7th.

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