While many of us are greeting the new year with fresh attitudes and steel resolve, you’ll forgive my children if the looks on their faces reflect shock and dismay.
This new year is greeting them like a bucket of cold water over the head on a 30-degree day, and we have no one to blame but Saint Nick himself.
Why, it’s the celebration of all things Kris Kringle (and OK, Baby Jesus, too, but even in jest, I cannot bring myself to blame my Savior for anything) that has caused my kids to (falsely) believe each and every day is filled with sweets and treats and unending piles of wrapped packages and brand! new! toys!
Really, I have to shake my head in shame and disgust when I survey the last 15 days or so. Getting out of school, staying up/sleeping as late as they wanted, getting more toys for Christmas than should ever be allowed, eating every cookie and candy and chocolaty treat this side of the North Pole …. and that was just the first nine days of Christmas break!
Follow all of that excess with trips to the movies, tours of the museums, any number of play dates, and my, even a sleepover thrown in for good measure. Is there any wonder they are bouncing off the walls?? Should I even ask why my head is pounding??????
So imagine my children’s surprise when I actually WOKE them up Sunday morning for church (hey, I told you, I don’t mess with Jesus). Grumpily, they reacquainted themselves with having to be somewhere on time! And the fun didn’t stop there. We had (boring) meat and vegetables for dinner. And the only dessert was …. fruit! And we spent the evening going over our math and our reading, all in preparation for our (reluctant! joyful!) return to school, bright and early Monday morning.
And so it is with a little less joy that my kids started the week, until I pointed out that A. they are blessed beyond measure, so show some appreciation and B. the toys are still here, waiting for you when you return from school (after homework and chores are completed, of course).
Happy New Year, kids!!
Jennifer is a mom of two and WRAL-TV assignment editor in Fayetteville. Her food obsession memoir, “Designated Fat Girl,” came out in 2010. Read more about Jennifer and her book on her website. Find her here on Go Ask Mom on Tuesdays.