So, yes, it's nearly Christmas and don't I know it. In the past five days I've been to three different versions of The Nativity with the common theme of BEING CRAP. Thank god I can get on Twitter in the school halls although I've been fighting The Toddler for the iPhone as he's been equally as pissed off about the fact that my kids have two seconds on stage behind forty other kids in an hour long production of "Carry On Cabbage-Patch Jesus". It would be quicker and less painful to have a blood transfusion.
And I really detest this sending-Christmas-cards-to-every-goddamn-kid tradition. If the other mothers are anything like me, cards will be scooped out of the bottom of bags and chucked immediately into the recycling. Because, let's face it, the cards are usually stupidly tiny and you can't tell half the time who they're from and you probably hate that kid anyway. Also, you need to help the environment by making sure your green bin is very full at all times.
But you know what, you'll be surprised to hear that I'm not actually that Bah-Humbug. I am fully looking forward to doing naff all at my Mother-In-Law's and I will gratefully accept all presents.
I digress. This year is probably the last time The Tweenager will believe in Father Christmas. And once he knows, he will make damn sure that the other two kids know that it's just Mummy & Daddy telling lies. So I'm kind of thinking that this Christmas has to be a bit special. Except I'm the weakest link. No actually, The Husband is. Off he trots to Christmas dos, client drinks and seasonal wankfests while I'm left to organise all the presents. Except for last Tuesday when he took the day off to shop with me - but then spent three hours on a conference call in Toys R Us. I'm just sorry that the weapons in the "Kids Can Kill Other Kids" aisle are all made of plastic. Of course the same row happened in Toys R Us that has been happening for the past eight Christmas's. Where I want to get absolutely everything off the kid's lists and The Husband wants to get absolutely nothing off the kid's lists but then suggests we get a pack of guns instead.
Me: "Honestly, have you met our children?"
Him: "Honestly, who is paying for all this crap?"
The guy in charge of the store's CCTV must show his family a good time each year by airing our footage. Hell, he probably has it on loop - beats The Sound Of Music any day.
Anyway, here we go. The Top Five Father Christmas Fails According To Me:
1) Taking The Toddler with me when hitting the shops. Firstly, because he wants everything. And secondly because I made the HUGE mistake of buying my 3 year old nephew's present when I had my 3 year old son in tow. And it wasn't even anything good. It was bloody ELEFUN so it wasn't as if I was willing to get two. So The Toddler had the most almighty hallelujah tantrum that the checkout lady was without a doubt wishing she could deck her hall with him.
2) Buying wrapping paper when out with the kids. Because, you know, they never remember to wipe their bums but they'll sure as hell remember that the paper their presents are wrapped in is exactly the paper that Mummy bought in Asda. And because I hate wrapping (it's a craft, after all), I'm going for the basic white-with-silver-snowflakes design so I can't even pass it off as being completely different to the one I purchased.
3) Letting The Toddler have an advent calendar. The person who invented Advent Calendars clearly did not have children. Trying to explain to a toddler that he can only open one door a day will leave you more red in the face than Rudolph's nose. My toddler's advent calendar lasted a triumphant nine days. On the first day of Christmas he tore off all the doors. On the second day of Christmas he had a huge strop because I wouldn't let him eat everything. On the eighth day of Christmas he had the remaining twelve chocolates for breakfast.
4) Ordering on Amazon so that your delivery arrives on a Saturday thus ensuring that your 8 year old child opens the door to the courier.
5) Losing the children's lists the day after they wrote them. I had to tell them that they had been posted to Santa even though they knew I hadn't left the house. My friends and relatives are under strict instructions to ask them at all times what they want for Christmas.
These fails are made all the worse by the fact that I am terrible at lying. I've tried everything - even resorted to "Oh those toys I left lying around are for the little orphans of Africa" because, let's face it, if you bring orphans into it then you can't possibly be lying.
But it'll be fine in the end. We'll be up at 5am on Christmas morning. And to survive the season until then, well, there's always the threat of Santa on speed dial.