On December 28th, I stabbed this note into my phone:
“At least when you write, when something horrifyingly disappointing happens it holds some value in life currency - the chance to share and see if anybody else out there has f-cked up so royally.”
I KNOW my kid still sh-ts herself. I UNDERSTAND she doesn't comprehend the historical and magical time of year that is Christmas. I realized, despite everybody's kind advice, that I DON'T CARE.
After months of planning, list-making, ritual-creating, baking, cooking, buying, wrapping and decorating for her first Christmas (where she wasn't a log of flesh and gas), she greeted the holidays with a spectacular mixture of meh and teething.
All the holiday visits where I farmed her out to relatives and good friends, to receive only love and thoughtful gifts, she ended up writhing on the floor in a state of half-dress and misery. The Christmas lights excursion lead to a howling session so severe I had to pull over at a gas station and jam mum mums and singsong threats down her throat.
Christmas eve we carefully chose the best App to read T’was the Night Before Christmas as a family. It was beautifully rendered in 3-D, and I would describe it better for you but holding her down forcefully so she wouldn’t leave until the godamn story was done took my attention away from the end of the story. Putting out Santa’s snacks and Rudolph’s carrot was met with an emotion just south of "eat sh-t Ma."
All the gifts we had carefully wrapped and stuffed into a large box, an elaborate labyrinth of rad, was not acknowledged until she tripped and dragged her mouth down the side of it. The dramatic reveal of the stocking, hidden under a blanket on the couch, was met with a mournful gaze. (Looking back, I should have just swung it around and knocked myself unconscious with it. Don’t underestimate the power of a solid mandarin orange in the toe of a stocking. It’s like nature’s nickels.) Her Santa pj’s were too hot. Christmas dinner wasn’t to her liking.
So Nuv sucked it up like a mature adult who was okay with paying $35 to ship one tiny Batman plush figure that she pretended was invisible, while I drank during the day for the first time in a very long time. Turns out that Baileys in coffee is Mother Nature’s way of soothing the rawest of disappointed parents.
The worst part is that when I complain to friends, I lie to agree with them. I say - I get it, right, next year will be different, she was in pain, I’m silly. The truth is - having a kid will always be the most predictably easy way to break your heart. And, she gets one more chance at this Christmas sh-t. Next year I expect some sincere motherf-cking joy and appreciation.