So when the crumpled wrapping paper is bagged, the Christmas dishes are put away, and the mad dash for batteries for new toys is over, what’s next?
I always find the week after Christmas a little anti-climatic. You spend all of these months planning, and then in a few short hours, it’s all over. The kids are still mildly hopped up on candy from their stockings and the excitement of having new things to play with, but I am exhausted beyond words.
In many ways, it’s like having a baby. You spend nine months pregnant thinking that this is the hard part, and then you have the baby and the work begins anew. The days following Christmas are like that. The kids are out of school and looking for things to do. Usually, the weather is not stellar, so, much of the activity is limited to inside games. The inevitable “I’m bored” usually begins within about seventy-two hours of the unwrapping.
“But you have all these new things to play with,” I say with as much incredulousness as I can muster in my flabbergasted post-Christmas fog.
“I’ve already played with them,” she says to me with her hands on her hips. “What do I do now.”
The quote, “they know not what they say,” comes to mind in these moments when I feel like having a breakdown and throwing something. But I don’t. I calmly come up with a list of ideas of things we can do together to pass the time between Christmas and the
inevitable return to school and work. It is also in these moments that I am reminded of what my stepmother said to me recently, “You will be so sad when they are gone.” I know in my heart this is true.
I scoop up my baby and tell her I am hers for the day. The boredom seems to immediately dissolve from her little face, and surprisingly, so does my malaise.
Amanda is the mother of two girls, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including one on motherhood called "Smotherhood." Find her here on Mondays.