Christmas started a little early in our house. I'm not talking about 3am. I'm talking about months early. Think Halloween. Yup.
Our church puts on a Christmas play and the play director approached us when we were out grabbing Kit-Kats about the play. She asked if Marvin was going to be in it. When he hesitated, I quipped, "Sure if you can find a spot for Cary Lynn." I then did what every good mommy does. I forgot all about it. Yup, that's how I roll:). If it isn't written down or burned into my brain with lasers you might as well forget it.
Well, apparently the play director didn't. When she presented her group with the challenge of including a non-mobile, non-verbal kid they didn't blink. When Marvin came home with his part after practice I was informed of how my daughter was going to be an angel in the play. What??? At that point my daughter was eating and spitting her food all over me so angel was not what I was thinking of, but I'm pretty sure they didn't want the alternative in the nativity.
So with some Christmas lights, a wagon, and lots of batting and tape a little ingenuity this is what happens:
We also had Christmas. Marvin started Christmas eve by spiking a bit of a fever. So we missed one of the many family gatherings that Shannon has. And he has many gatherings. I love them all, but if I had to recall every name I would be in trouble. Thankfully, most of them know my name.
On Christmas Day Santa came!!! This is where we tend to have some trouble. Cary Lynn can't open gifts and really looses interest after about 10 seconds. Marvin gets totally overwhelmed and goes into sensory overload. I wish I had the kids that got up and ran to their stockings and ripped into presents like crazy. Instead I get the kids that melt down and throw an hour long screaming tantrum.
But this year I got a little smarter. I put gifts in gift bags, kept the numbers down, and the stockings were pretty pitiful by "normal" standards. But we made it through Christmas morning with no melt downs.
Then we went to Shannon's parents. They did an awesome job. Unfortunately, I blew it. Marvin got a scooter. That's all he saw, all he wanted, and the rest could have disappeared and he would have been good. But I got into traditional Christmas mode. I kept trying to drag him back in and show him stuff. Sigh. You would think after all the classes, books, and articles I have read that I would have learned by now.
Yes, Marvin blew up. For about an hour he raged. And I was left feeling frustrated, upset, and downright embarrassed. But after he was done and he was nothing more than a giant puddle on the bed and I was left feeling like the worst parent in the world for just pushing him I decided that if he can't change just yet I need to change. I don't want to bubble wrap him from the world. But I do need to change how I respond so maybe Christmas can be a better thing for both of us. To let him lead me with his cues. To prep him beforehand. And maybe try to make things simpler for him. To do less instead of trying to cram 8 million things into one day.
So we get up and try again. I may never have my Norman Rockwell Christmas, but hey, I really don't know anyone who does. I can't force my kids into molds that don't fit them. I can however accept and love them the way they are. They are my children, but also my teachers. They show me that even though things can be hard at times and melt downs happen that the storm blows over and we pick ourselves up and try again.