Saturday, December 13, 2014

Stupid, Dumb Snowman Scarf!!?

We haven't been real busy.
Not even really caught up in the hustle and bustle.
And had some discussion about Christmas gifts.  Santa. Naughty and nice lists.  Jesus.  Angels.

But it's the me, me, me, me, me.....attitude...


I am so frustrated by how self-focused we have become, by my presents...being bigger than yours, or more expensive, or prettier, or more deserving, or better...and on and on...yes, these are the consistency of my two girls' arguments the past week.  We have seemingly lost sight of Christmas and the real reason for the season...

So I declared Friday and Saturday our giving days.  The whole entire as many different creative ways the girls could come up with...we have been following a 30 days Random Acts of Kindness Calendar, so today's random act was to "Candy Cane Bomb" a parking lot in a public place.  Easy enough.  Planned.

The girl's also decided to make some Christmas door hangers and take to their great grandma's retirement community to hang on door knobs...ok, easy enough.  Done.

They also made some cookies to deliver with their 'Giving Plate' that they received from friends a few weeks ago...bought a few gift cards to surprise random strangers with...check. check.

All sounded perfect.  We woke up Friday morning ready to check things off our list throughout the weekend.

First, mission: deliver cookies.  Leah wanted to give the cookies to her teacher for her we made them the night before, packaged them up and planned to take them to school.  Well about 3 blocks from our house Friday morning, on our way to school,  I remember the cookies are still sitting on the table at home.....ERRRRRK. (hitting the brakes sound)....back we go to get them, after I mistakenly say out loud..."oops I forgot the cookies..."  followed by a wailing cry of anguish and panic and despair by a very excited red head bubbling over with joy in anticipation of surprising her teacher...right in my ear.  So needless to say we were late to upon arriving at the school I direct Leah to go on in and I'll bring her cookies in after dropping Blake off at his classroom.  Off she goes.  I unbuckle Blake, sit him down on the pavement and reach in to grab the plate of cookies...Blake takes off running with his hands in his pockets...I quickly reach out to grab his hood so he doesn't run into the street...but I only get enough to throw him off balance...and look over my shoulder to see him sidestep in slow motion...toppling forward, face first, mouth wide open into a mud puddle....he looks up at me...angry and upset...mouth and tongue coated in mud...eyelashes dripping in brown muddy water...and all I could do was laugh....and laugh--half out of humor, half out of going crazy out of my mind of how ridiculous the whole situation had become....which only made him madder...he stomped his foot, crossed his arms, tilted his chin out and away from me and yelled, "NOOOO! STOP!"   After attempting to dry him off, I grabbed his hand and the cookies and off we went.
 >>Cookies delivered. Mission accomplished.

Second, mission: Santa crafts.  The directions were simple...tear pre-cut foam pieces out of the package and glue together using Elmer's glue.  Easy enough for toddlers to do...ok!  I put Blake in charge of tearing the foam pieces out of the package and the girls organized the various snowmen, sled, presents, and penguin foam pieces.  Final touch was to glue it all together.  Well, it started off well.  Then Leah accused Autum of stealing the stripes off of her penguin's that required her pulling Autum's hair...Autum screamed loud enough to crack windows in the entire house...Blake freaked out and threw his hands over his ears which knocked the glue over and dumped all the arranged pieces off the table on the floor into a big mess.  I took a few breaths.  Then assured everyone we would get these finished just fine.  No worries.  And we did get them all rearranged again...ready for glue.  Leah got a little irritated by the polka dots on her snowman's scarf...and threw the glue this time...luckily I ducked as it flew over my shoulder...then she ripped the arms off the snowman because he was "stupid and dumb"...and was about to decapitate her snowman before I rescued him from his early death and redirected her to another room to cool off...all the while, my "know it all" 4-year old daughter...was reminding us that we all need to just get along, that Leah's not gonna get any presents because Santa is watching and that she is a good little girl and she is going to get everything she wants and that includes a princess bracelet and a white doggy that walks and what are we having for lunch and she is thirsty and wants to go to the park and when does the pool open again and Blake stinks did he poop....and on and complete monotone...never raising an she glued her penguin together, licking the glue off her fingers between swipes...
>>Crafts finished...after a few mommy and daughter timeouts...mission accomplished.

Third, mission: Candy canes.  We went to the store (first mistake) and I let the kids pick out a box of candy canes each to "bomb" a parking lot of their choice.  Leah chose the chocolate mint candy canes.  Autum the Sweet Tart ones.  And Blake the blue ones, purely based off their cool color.  I grabbed a few extra boxes because I knew Jerad liked the Starburst ones and the others were on sale.  As we neared the checkout counter Leah says, "so how many of these candy canes do I get to eat?"  I said, none. This is our weekend of giving.  Not for us.  Autum catches the end of this conversation...."Wait! WHAT??  These aren't for us...??  None of them...?  WHAT?"  I said, "no, these are not for us.  We are going to show God's love to other people and surprise them with candy canes to make their day.  Ok??  Got it?"  Enough said.  Wrong.

"MOOOMMMM....I can't even have 1....paawwwweeeeeease?  I weally weally weally wuv them, moooooommmmm!"
"No." (cooly)
"Paweeeeease, mom."
 "NO..." (in my getting slightly irritated voice)
"WHAAAAAA.....(plopping down in the basket, crying with real drama)
"AUTUM....stop it now! We are showing God's love to other people with these CANDY CANES AND YOU ARE GOING TO DO IT AND LIKE IT...AND YOU ARE NOT GOING TO CRY ABOUT IT..."  (By this point I'm shoving the cart around people and aisles at full speed, on two wheels, staring straight ahead, on my way to a checkout line....yelling enough for anyone near to hear and get my point...")

We get to our destination of candy cane bombing...after the girls fought 3/4 of the way there and I had to pull over once and threaten both of them within inches of their lives if they cross the center imaginary line and touch each other one more time....I hand each kid a box of candy canes, we head up the stairs to start our secret mission...Blake trips on the bottom step, lands on his box of candy canes breaking all of them into this point I just shake my head...and shake my head, pausing for a minute...close my eyes, try to decide whether to just turn around and head back to the van and forget this mission for fear of losing it, for good.  Or to just keep pushing through...hoping I'll laugh about this all someday...

Well, we eventually finish our mission which ended up being Blake and Leah hand delivering all of the candy canes to employees at a workplace one by one...while Autum clung to my leg in shyness, clenching her candy canes, in hopes that she could maybe just hand out one or two and keep the rest for her room...maybe...just maybe..

We made some surprise stops on the way back home, handing out our door knob hanger decorations...which all proved to be somewhat successful. Then we drove back home, crying and screaming until 2/3 kids fell asleep...mouths wide open, heads bent awry...
Handing out Candy Canes at Papa Gary's work

Autum clinging to me during this part of our mission..

First surprise visit and where we dropped off our doorknob hangers...

Second surprise visit that ended in cookies and drinks...yumm!

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