FILED IN: Parenting

The Sanity Clause

As a stay-at-home-mom — who happens to spend a large portion of the day in the car, just so you know — if you’re a parent…then you know…a vast majority of my time is committed going to (and from) practices, or meetings and paying for teacher gifts, or class parties (seriously, enough already) and then probably spending the rest of the afternoon, waiting, on perhaps one of the longest lines, I’ve ever seen.

“Cheese and rice; did everyone in the world to run out of milk, eggs and fabric softener today?!?”

Isn’t it always the way?

“I know you’re tired and hungry.”

I swear.

“But, there’s one more stop we just HAVE to make!"

Especially, at this time of year, when my kids are more than accustomed to hearing me holler two very conflicting phrases:

"Hurry up!"



If you are like me — a parent and/or prone to severe bouts of pococuRANTism — then perhaps you can understand why this is a very dangerously caustic time of year, for a lot of people.

Especially, at the end of the day, when you perhaps feel most vulnerable and have developed a penchant for thinking out loud, like me!

"I swear…I’m soooo tired…I haven’t been home all day…I mean…if I have to wait on one more loooooong line…or, hear one more person ask, "You’re NOT working, right?!?" I mean…I swear…I…am…going…to…go…buh…"

And from somewhere behind me, in a very little voice, Mini-me finishes yet another one of my sentences:


[eyes go wide]

"I mean…dat’s the word you supposed use…wight, Mama!?!?"

Yes…I mean…NO…ugh, what’s the right answer, anyway?

"Buh-listic…is what I meant to say!"

What’s red, white and green all over?

Why, it’s my house…and her house…and his house…and perhaps even your house…as families all over the…well, planet…try and live…yes, LIVE…through the next 24 sleeps ’til Christmas.

Is it me, or does anyone else feel as if their head is slowly beginning to come apart at the seams and believe that your nerves have been stretched to their limits, much like the elastic on my sweat pants, during the holidays!?!?

Which brings to mind the old saying:

"You can’t have your cake and eat it too."

When used in an incompatible way, sort of like:

"Happy Holidays!"

And perhaps even:

"Merry Christmas!"

I get it, now!

“Eat me with all your Christmas cheer!”

I feel as if I’m being force fed visions of homespun holiday joy and actually believe that, YES, you too can create the perfect Christmas is…well…it’s enough to make a person see red!

How can I not?

When I’ve already expended most of my energies explaining to my children how they surely are NOT the only kids on the block who do NOT have a PSP, Xbox, Wii, whatever and then the creeping crud hits and I quickly switch from conquering the green-eyed monster, to fighting off the puke fairy — you BITCH! — and totally forget to take something for the migraine that’s about to hit, no doubt!

Yep – you feeling it, right – it’s a battle.

[sound of crickets chirping]

Don’t worry, it’s okay.

[inhales deeply and tightens belt]

I don’t think anyone will notice — we each have our holiday burdens to bear, yes — but, there are people, who are more than willing to debate, whether we choose to have our children believe that it’s all, you know, real (or, fake) and whether to call it a Christmas, or Holiday tree.

Of course, my children are confused — look at the great example I’m setting — talking smack and standing in long lines and all.


“Woohoo, Mini-me’s got potty mouth!”

They ARE all mine and yes, yes, cursing is a no-no in our house, too.

“But, how come SHE can say it?”

Debate all you want — don’t let my indecision stop you — however, I believe that Mommies and Daddies are exempt from any (and all) guilt — especially at Christmas — and I explained it to them, appropriately.

“Yes, Mini-me, there is a Bullshit Clause!”


“It’s Santa’s evil twin.”

You don’t believe me, either?

“You’re soooo silly, Mommy!”

But, you know I can’t help it.

“Noooo, she’s nuts!”

I still love this time of year and hope that my children will remember Christmas as a time we actually enjoyed spending together, sort of.

“Yeah, she can be really weird, sometimes!”

Where we can laugh a little at ourselves, kind of.

“She’s not weird, just…I dunno…kind of sounds, funny!”

Perhaps even think of someone else and – dare I say it – grow a little more tolerant of each other, for once.

“You think I’m bad, you should see his wife!”

At least, as a parent, you’ll always have my sympathies!

“The woman curses like a truck driver and is insane with jealousy!”


“She’s even in charge of the Naughty List, I think.”

It’s the little things, really — like, believing in the magic of Christmas and helping my children find faith in each other — that helps me and mine get through the day and perhaps even keeps my husband, Garth (not his real name) from questioning my sanity, too much.

Who’s to say?

“You’re just making that up, Momma!”

[shrugs shoulders]

“Maybe, maybe not.”


“Just wait until you’re a Mom or a Dad!”

Don’t believe me?

“Then, you’ll know it’s true and, even if it wasn’t, we’re allowed to make stuff up, as we go; it’s in our contracts!”


“Oh, I get it…you’re saying that we should be good…just in case!”

That’s okay, as long as my kids understand.


And will continue reminding me, no doubt, just what this year is all about for…um…however many  more sleeps ‘til Christmas. In the meantime, for what it’s worth, I suggest that you join me in eating  up all the holiday cheer that you can find — HURRY UP — I’ll wait!