Advent Day 13: A Special Treat

Public Service Announcement: Tonight’s post is written with chocolate and merlot, preceded by a chocolate chip cookie, potentially followed by more chocolate. And more merlot.

I’m not sure why tonight beat the snot out of me. Maybe several weeks of whizzing about has finally provoked the over-tired toddler in me to throw a tantrum.  After I picked up the kids from their respective child care locales, we grabbed a hot-and-ready pizza from Little Caesars and darted home to eat in a hurry before Lydia’s basketball practice.  After last time, there was no way in heaven or on Earth I was going to wrestle Henry into captivity for an entire hour in the gym, so while Lydia practiced, the boys and I went to Hawkins to pick up some groceries (yay, no grocery shopping tomorrow!) and to cash in the advent activity for today– pick out a special treat.  We visited the delicious Hawkins bakery and bought two iced sugar cookies for Lydia and Elvis, a spritz snowman for Henry, and a chocolate chip cookie for mama.

Let. Me. Go!

Lyd had pictures tonight, too, so there was no avoiding bringing the boys back into the gym for the remainder of practice.  I should’ve gotten Henry a bigger cookie, (“Stillwell, angel, have another chocolate bar!”) because he gobbled up the spritz snowman before I could say, Frosty the Snowman had to hurry on his way… which is what I wanted to do, hurry on our way.  Henry tried to escape but I was too fast for him and found some Thomas the Tank Engine video through the YouTube app on my phone, which pacified him long enough for practice to end.  Then, it was standing about with a 30-pound squirming worm in my arms and a 5-year-old clinging to my pantleg like I asked him not to five THOUSAND times while we waited for every girl on the team to get her picture taken.  On the way to the car, Henry kept squawking, “AWK! AWK!” so I let him walk but forced him to hold my hand, which he hated and did the wet-noodle-collapse-on-the-asphalt trick.  I picked his arched self up, which he hated even more, and tried to put him in his carseat, but it’s hard to bend a U-shaped body back to a sitting position.  “Sit DOWN!  Mama’s gonna lose it in a minute, Henry!” I squeaked.  All three kids laughed at me.

God, I love parenting.

Then it was home to take the fastest bath on the planet– in fact, I’m not sure the boys got wet at all– and then to bed to bed to bed!  Yay!  The older two were out before I headed back down the stairs, but I don’t think Henry stopped singing and talking to himself until almost 9 p.m. He’ll be buckets of fun tomorrow. 

The tantrum-throwing, over-tired toddler in me could’ve crawled underneath a crocheted blanket and watched a romantic comedy, but tomorrow is trash day, and thank God I saw the Hawkins plastic bag on the table because I would’ve forgotten all about the bags of eggs, sausage, bacon, and yogurt just waiting to spoil in the back of the kid hauler.  Trash can on the curb, groceries in the refrigerator, sticky spot on the floor grabbing my sock every time I walk past the silverware drawer.  Oh. Well.

I unloaded the dishwasher but turned off the light in the kitchen before I could notice the sink still full of dishes from this morning. But I had to flick the switch back on to find the wine and chocolate.  Don’t worry, I was careful to shield my eyes and then dashed away again.  I’m safe now in the living room away from those oatmeal-crusted bowls and those lipstick-stained coffee mugs.

I thought about the laundry briefly, but blogging about advent seemed like a much better use of my time, even though I don’t think Henry is going to be wearing any pants tomorrow. 

All of this to say tonight was one of those nights that makes me want to quit. All things. Am I absolutely insane to think I can do this AND take classes toward a master’s degree?  I can’t keep all of *this* (waving arms frantically, the universal symbol for utter chaos and disorder) together as it is.  Yeah, I see you —  o.O  — stop looking at me like that.  We serve crazy here every night.

My advent calendar could’ve ended December 19– all I’m anticipating right this minute is the end of work for 2012 and the beginning of agenda-free Christmas vacation.  That whole waiting-to-celebrate-the-birth-of-baby-Jesus-God-with-us-prince-of-peace thing is totally overrated.  Okay, not really.  I just want to see my husband for more than a couple of hours before he takes a plane to another state, to disengage my alarm for two whole weeks, to shift into a slower pace of life instead of this frantic running all the time.

And all I really want for Christmas is to think only about family, friends, love, joy, and peace… and to indulge in tasty food and good wine.  Bring it, Advent.  Bring. It. On. 

Published by Sarah M. Wells

Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others (2022), American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation (2021), Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.

One thought on “Advent Day 13: A Special Treat

  1. Oh boy have I had those days. It seems since I started the MFA those days have been served up quite frequently.
    Don't quit, though, OK? 🙂 Your poetry is a blessing to me and to many others. I would be sad not to read it. Also, it's nice to know there is another mother out there who is crazy enough to do what I'm trying to do.
    Merry Christmas to you!


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