Contrary to popular belief, the Grinch does not crawl back into a hole in a far away mountain once Christmas has ceased to echo into the dark recesses of his lair. He takes up residence in my home. Like a grim reaping body snatcher.
I am the Grinch, aka, the meanest mommy ever.
There are no elves on shelves, present prisons, or threats of the naughty list left that will work. The kids have another 360-whatever days to earn back their place as “Nice”, so they can be as awful as they normally are without much worry. Or so they think. Because I don’t play that game.
Christmas being over is not a reprieve from good behavior. The watchful eye of Santa is always watching. Only now, the gifts are already here. They’re tangible. I can put my hands on them.
I didn’t even have time to come down from the high experienced while watching the kids unwrap gifts I so painstakingly picked out, wrapped, and placed under the tree. No opportunity to shoo away the sugar plum fairies still dancing in my head. The plate of crumbs from Santa’s mostly-eaten cookies was still sitting on the mantle. The shredded paper still on the floor, the echoes from the glee while shredding them hadn’t even stopped echoing through the house when I heard it.
Arguing. Fighting. Screaming. Shrieking. Over the very gifts they had been given just moments before. The ones meant to signify good behavior, love, sharing, cheer. It was the absolute opposite of what I think of when I think “Christmas”. It was the seventh circle of hell, and I let my children know in no uncertain terms that it was absolutely unacceptable. At first, I was very calm about it- “Quit being a dick to your brother. It’s Christmas.”
By the fourth time I had to get up from what I was doing to walk my ass up the stairs and warn them when I just wanted to be relaxing, I broke it down in a way I knew they wouldn’t understand.
“If you don’t start being kind to one another–which is BASICALLY THE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS AND WHY YOU WERE GIVEN THE GIFTS YOU ARE PLAYING WITH– you will lose them.”
I dunno, y’all. It’s like they just don’t take me seriously until I’m a stark-raving psychopath.
It was the morning after Christmas. Everyone was still in their pajamas (new pajamas for the boys, as per Christmas Eve tradition). My repeated warnings and chances had not been heeded in the slightest. I heard the screaming kick back up in new, obnoxious ways. Not only were they arguing about the other making noise, but they were refusing to share toys that were given to both of them to… wait… what’s that word? OH. SHARE. SHARING TOYS. What a novel fucking concept, am I right?
A strange, rage-filled calm possessed my body as I slowly walked around the house collecting every. single. present. they received on Christmas and put them in a box. This includes the things they were refusing to play with together, and their pajamas. YOU’RE DAMN FUCKING STRAIGHT I HAD THEM TAKE OFF THEIR CHRISTMAS PAJAMAS.
They needed to get dressed, anyway.
I then informed them that if they wanted to get them back, they would have to earn them.
You can think it’s harsh, you can think it’s overkill, you can think that I ruined Christmas– but Christmas was lost the second they started treating each other like garbage instead of at least pretending to get along in the name of the spirit of the season.
One chore per present.
It’s not that I expected them to be scrubbing on their hands and knees like Cinderella after she’s promised she can go to the ball. I just hoped it gave them some time to think about why they were given gifts in the first place, and what they did that was so wrong that they lost them all. And like the movies, a Christmas miracle occurred.
No, not much cleaning got done, but the boys started to work together to get the chores done. Without fighting. For the most part, anyway. They actually had fun doing so, which is the biggest shocker of all– especially to them.
I’m not happy about having to pull the Grinch card after Christmas. I’m not happy about them forcing me to go to such lengths. I’m aware it won’t last forever- I’m frustrated, not delusional. But it worked, for at least a little while, and maybe even taught them a lesson in the process. Oh, and I now don’t have to do a couple loads of laundry or clean the microwave… so, yeah, win/win.
Screw the Elf on a Shelf. The Christmas Repo Reaper is where it’s at.
@DianeAuten There is no other way
@DianeAuten I'm so glad you're enjoying it!
Minecraft Stole my Children goo.gl/fb/VG9w3M
I don't know what I want for dinner, but I can guarantee it's not any of the 14 things my husband will suggest.
@ThisIsAstartes Best worst little shits on the planet.
What's that smell? A lot of pants on fire. pic.twitter.com/bVK0FnJgeB
I'm officially done parenting. Here's how I did it: holdinholden.com/2018/01/im-o…
I’m Officially Finished Parenting. Here’s how I did it goo.gl/fb/TBJQPJ
Some people meal prep to be healthy throughout the week. Some people meal prep because they want to be lazy for the rest of the week. I meal prep to prove to my kids that humans CAN eat the same thing day after day without dying.