We all piled into the car and headed to Kneaders for our traditional Christmas Eve breakfast of cinnamon roll French toast, and/or omelets.
The kids were excited, I was all pumped because I had made it to the gym earlier, and was ready to rock Christmas eve, and things seemed to be headed in the right direction.
|yummy breakfast at Kneaders|
My plan was to stay home with Molly and Luke and get the house cleaned and food made for the party we were hosting that night, while the two littles played.
It was an epic fail in the most major way.
Molly and Luke cried, fought and whined the entire day. I am not talking here and there...it truly was the ENTIRE day. I did my best to clean our house with Molly either crying or on my hip, and with Luke following me around crying or whining. It was enough to completely unravel all of my nerves and destroy whatever Christmas spirit I had felt that morning.
To top it off, Ben and the kids called and said they would be home late. Oh joy.
I wasn't able to start cooking the food until right before our company arrived, and the rest of my family walked in the door.
We all ended up waiting almost 30 minutes after everyone arrived to even be able to eat.
I thought that for sure once everyone ate, and we started playing games that my kids would start to settle down and behave.
I was wrong.
We played some really fun games, and for the most part my kids and the other families had a fun time...
|reindeer antler contest|
but William was freaking out over everything, and acting like a complete brat.
It was so embarrassing and frustrating to me.
At the end of the party, we decided to finish off with the kids acting out the nativity. We tried to quiet things down while our friend Blair Lybbert began reading the nativity story from the scriptures.
After Anna, who was playing Mary, placed the baby Jesus (Molly's doll) down in the manger, William got off the couch, ran over, and kicked the baby Jesus as hard as he could. The doll flew into the wall and then into the other room.
I honestly couldn't believe it. I just froze in sheer horror, humiliation, and fury.
Molly began crying because he had just kicked her doll, and Nathan, another kid who was playing Joseph commented that Santa would not visit our house now. Luke heard the comment, and began crying.
In order to try to keep things moving along, Blair continued reading the story, but wasn't paying attention, and was reading about Christ's circumcision. That brought some questions from Mary.
It was a disaster.
I quickly put William in time out, and tried to end the party. I was in no mood at all to celebrate Christmas anymore, and I was absolutely in no mood to shower my children with gifts that night.
Everyone left our house, and all I could do was just sit there. I knew I should be tracking Santa with my kids, opening our Christmas Eve pajamas, setting out cookies, and doing all of the fun Christmas Eve stuff with my family, but I was so defeated from the entire day, and completely upset that I didn't know what to do. It was a VERY VERY hard moment as a mother.
I prayed so hard that I would be able to end the night well somehow. I didn't want to end the night with three kids crying and me be so upset I could hardly function.
By the grace of God, I was able to pull it together and try to go through the Christmas Eve motions. The more I tried, the easier it got. God is good...really good.
We opened our PJ's, and William's first comment was "I hate these."
Ben came to the rescue and quickly talked William into how cool they were and kept things rolling.
Eventually, the kids were ALL excited and happy with their pajamas. The girls were especially a hit this year.
After we all got our pajamas on, William decided he wanted a drink of Sprite. He decided to open a new 2 liter of Sprite we had in the fridge.
He twisted the cap off, and soda went flying everywhere. William panicked and began running all round the kitchen. Sprite was EVERYWHERE. Sticky, gooey, wet, soda on the cupboards, counters, appliances, stools, food....EVERYWHERE!!
I just closed my eyes, went into my closet, and began praying even harder.
We cleaned up the mess, set out cookies for Santa, carrots for the reindeer, and tracked Santa on the computer to see how close he was getting. We read the scripture story once more, this time with a lot more reverence and said prayers. The kids went to be happy, giggling, and very, very excited...and honestly, that was a complete miracle.
I was doing a great job of hiding my still lingering frustration and exhaustion from the day.
Ben's quote while we were setting up Christmas later that night pretty much sums is up.
The kids are going to learn that Santa is very merciful.
Never has that been more true than the Christmas Eve of 2016....the year my son drop kicked baby Jesus.