Christmas isn't always made of euphoric scenes of tinkling bells, perfect family harmony, matching pj's and festive fun. This pic was taken early December when we went to Lapland Uk, little did we know that was going to be our pinnacle!
Sometimes Christmas is pretty shit.
I know there are a million reasons for this, I've heard all sorts of laments from mates this year, this festive lark isn't all it's cracked up to be!
Whether you are on your own, with too many people, without a man, with the wrong man, stuck with friends or family you'd run a mile from the rest of the year, gifted the same old thoughtless poo you got last year and the year before, despite a short but well thought out inexpensive wish list.... these are just a few of the issues of discontent I've heard about over the last week.
For me, I had the ideal scenario all mapped out for Christmas 2016, with perfect gifts beautifully wrapped, lots of plans made for those in between days to save us from our leftover turkey curry stuffed selves which would add up to a right jolly old time.
Then the kids got ill! Not serious ill, thank God, but flu bug ill, which was enough to wash out our winter wonderland.
Aaaaargh, first Dominic, then Harry. It was musical beds in our house with either me or the hubby comforting whichever kid sneezed loudest or coughed longest!
I went all noble for some strange reason and volunteered myself for the first couple of nights, going solo so the hubby could sleep as he'd been jet-lagged out of his brain (#1stworldproblems) and had also been on a lengthy work bender and needed a break.
Nobility is very overrated as after two nights averaging 3 hours sleep and bags under my eyes that could make a Balenciaga blush, I was a sleep-deprived banshee!
Well, once your kids get that bit older (only 4 and 10 so hardly ready to flee the nest lol) and always sleep through the night it is right bloody hard to go there again!
Gone are the days when I could heroically turn night into day and soldier on with matchsticks propping my eyes open, I'm old now for God's sake, this 43 year old body rejects night-dwelling now! I have waxed lyrical about lack of sleep as a parent before, here, one of my most read posts ever and was published here on Huffington Post.
Anyway, once Dominic turned the corner, Harry went into full effect and coughed the night away - well the entire Christmas week in fact. Phlegm sick at every opportunity and no appetite is not exactly conducive to festive fun and frolics now is it?
Poor lamb, his ribs hurt like hell and he was all glassy eyed and lethargic. This inevitably led to the cancellation of the aforementioned fun times I had lined up and with the husband coming down with obligatory Man Flu, I ended up three men down.
Endless days of nothingness! My kids weren't over the door from Christmas day til New Years Eve! Unheard of for this super active family but these two plus the Man Flu sure needed a recharge. Facebook was full of happy smiling fun-filled faces enjoying all the sparkle Christmas had to offer and I was tidying out my knicker drawer while my parents watched Get Santa with the invalids for the fourth time. My Timehop was my nemesis with gleeful memories of fun times past.
What I've taken from this testing time though is the joy of my boys' gentle nature, their ability to amuse themselves when their energy levels allowed and the knowledge that this was not solely dependent on Ipads/phones/devices (delete as applicable!) but actually on their own imaginations and dynamic as brothers.
When my youngest kick-started the whole debacle by being phlegm-sick (yes, its def a thing!) in the car pre-Christmas, my eldest held his little bro's hand and recited the soothing words we've said to him a million times over so Dominic didn't get upset at sitting in regurgitated quicksand and knew we would sort the whole thing out for him and make everything good again.
When Harry had no energy and couldn't even do any gaming to pass the time - we are talking serious times here people - Dominic disappeared for a moment and came back to proffer his favourite cuddly toy to snuggle with to make him feel better.
They didn't go stir crazy, they didn't fall out every five minutes and the house wasn't trashed. They are fab little humans and an example to their Dad and myself.
It really made me think and feel for the parents of kids who are properly poorly, long term and my heart and admiration goes out to them.
We had my parents staying as usual over the festive period so although my practical and teetotal parents are never exactly party animals, it made for a far more sombre affair than I bargained for and they took their cue from the boys inability to leave barracks and battened down the hatches. As a result and a massive plus, I now have every bit of ironing done, DIY is up to date - thanks Dad! - there is not a sock in this house left unpaired and the charity shop better be ready for a big delivery as we've cleared out every cupboard in the house. Every cloud and all that!
Anyway, this all pretty much added up to a pants time but thankfully the fever has broken and we had a lovely New Years Eve to kick start good health and great times for 2017.
How was your Christmas? Go on, make me jealous with your tales of festive fun and frolics!