Dear Me Before I Had Children,
Christmas is, and has always been, your favourite time of year. The excitement in the air is tangible, you can almost see it sparkle, you can definitely feel an air of anticipation. Not much has changed now you have the boys, and oh what adorable boys they are, the excitement is still there.
The thing that has changed is you. Your ideas of parenting before you had the boys, is quite frankly, laughable. That life wouldn’t change and that the boys would slot in around you happily. Writing this post is a case in point, you’ve already stopped four times, twice to sing “I’m a little teapot”, once to sing “Wheels on the Bus” and once for a WEE WEE emergency. The idea that children are seen and not heard? Well they haven’t heard my boys.
So, given that it is Christmas, I thought I’d send a festive themed letter back to you, reminding you of the things you said you’d never do, or that indeed you would do, at Christmas time once you have children. And I shall sit here smugly drinking my (cold) tea and eating (read *sharing*) my mince pie while I pour cold water on pre-children’s me misconceptions.
Santa will not be used as a behavioural tool
And he wasn’t for the first three Christmases. However this year the Big One knows who Santa is and that you have to be good for presents. What better tactic to get him to LIE DOWN in bed than to remind him he needs to be a good boy for Santa?
Chocolate will be a treat
You’ll be glad to know that you’ve stuck to the “I won’t deny my children chocolate” ideas that you had. But only as a treat?
More like chocolate for breakfast.
You will not be dictated by routine and nap time
A Christmas party play date at 4pm? A 20 minute car ride away? Declined. However much you’d love to go, it isn’t worth the risk of the Big One falling to sleep on the way there or back. Nap time has left this house because of the impact on bedtime. Some things just aren’t worth it.
They won’t watch TV
OK so they don’t.
They watch the iPad instead.
In PJs. You are on first name terms with Raa Raa the Noisy Little Lion, you are adept at turning the magic on for Tree Fu Tom, you even tolerate Melody and hey, at least that is introducing him to classical music??
Vegetables will be their friend
No. Vegetables require massive bribery tactics. Or hiding. They do not share your love of sprouts…
While there are things that you said you wouldn’t do and that you do, and things that you thought would happen that haven’t I wouldn’t worry too much. Your boys are growing up into very nice little men.
Polite, well mannered (most of the time) but most of all, they are so loved. Which is also different to what you thought. You knew that you would love your boys. What you could never have predicted or even understood is just how much you love them.
These boys? And their Daddy? They are your whole world.
You will love them to the moon, and back, and then some.
Sure they will fight, they will irritate, they will bicker, they will test boundaries. But your love for them? Will just keep growing. And that is something that could never be explained. Not while you were a single girl living the party life, not while you were embarking on a brand new relationship, getting engaged, not even when you found out you were pregnant. Some things can’t be written down, or explained.
But those things? Those things are often even better than we ever expected.
Enjoy it. Every moment. They grow so fast.
And learn to eat fast. In the kitchen. Otherwise you share.