Advent calendars. 24 days of hell.
Last year we banned chocolate advent calendars. Why? I thought it was because my daughter isn't very good when she eats chocolate.
Now I remember it is because advent calendars are THE SPAWN OF THE DEVIL. Who created them? Who? Whose idea was it to combine anticipation and chocolate with ridiculous plastic moulds, foil covers and cardboard doors that you need tools to open and give them to three and five year olds?
Did I say idea? I meant JOKE.
'Just one more.'
Our mornings are ridiculous. School run. Nursery run. Trying to nourish a baby in between. They are so bad that I have resorted to feeding my kids Cheerios - Satan's cereal. Just because they eat them one minute and 35 seconds quicker than they eat Bran Flakes.
Now, not only do we have to do hair, fathom tights, debate hair clips and what my daughter can take to school ('NOTHING because for the one hundredth time you are NOT allowed to take toys to school!'), but we also have to make time for 20 minutes of arguing over the sodding advent calendar.
'Can I have ANOTHER one?'
'Because you have ONE a day. That's the whole point. We're counting down to Christmas. We talked about this yesterday, remember?'
'Oh please, just ONE more. Purleeease! I'll get dressed if I can have just one more.'
A hostage situation.
And this is the major problem. Last week my kids would do stuff. Sort of. After I'd asked several times, obviously.
Now they will only do things in return for a door on the advent calendar. Yes, I am being held to ransom by an advent calendar.
My daughter's FIRST words when she woke up this morning weren't: 'Good morning Mummy, how are you today?' They were, 'Can I have my advent calendars?'
Yes two, because they have two chocolate ones each. TWO. Double the torture.
They also have one with gifts in that they share. You know, the ones that look really pretty, that you fill with special things, assuming you (or Grandma) can find 24 things small enough. That your kids take turns opening and relish what's inside.
OR that your kids argue over, pull open today's box, look vaguely disappointed and ask if they can swap the gift for the lip gloss in box no. 13.
Because obviously they've already checked out all 24 boxes.
Just call me Scrooge.
So now I'm threatening to throw all the advent calendars in the bin, because I hate them. I've even lost the desire to gorge myself on them when the kids are at school. They're that toxic to me now.
I admit that this is not very Christmasy. Although I doubt Mary and Joseph ever sat in the stable arguing over whose turn it was to open a door as they counted down the days to baby Jesus' birth. (So why should we have to?)
But I've learned my lesson. Once and for all. And next year?
Well, I'm going to make my own advent calendars.
And fill them with sprouts.
24 days of lovely, juicy, gorgeously green sprouts.
Let the countdown begin!
Have advent calendars made your life a living hell? Are you counting down to your own nervous breakdown?
This post is republished with the kind permission of blogger Amy Ransom. For more from Amy or to find out how to make your very own sprout advent calendar, check out Surviving Life and Motherhood or follow Amy on Twitter or Facebook.
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