So, I certainly don't want this to be one of those blogs that constantly talks about how our family is sick. One of my favorite blogs (which shall remain nameless for now) has at least one annual column about how everyone in the family gets the barfing flu. Since I've been reading the blog since I've been pregnant with Lucy, I've been reading about the barfing flu, oh, for five years now. (Yes, I know. I should just skip those columns.)
But....we were sick over Christmas. We had been sick before and soldiered on through all the Christmas and birthday activities, then got somewhat better, then suffered a relapse. The night before Christmas Eve, I stayed up until after midnight wrapping all the presents, then went to bed--only to be told by Darren at 2 a.m. that it was my turn now to deal with Elaine who was doing her personal non-stop rendition of Dogs Singing Jingle Bells, except it was all barking and no Jingle Bells. He'd done the 10 to 2 shift, so I got the remainder. I got into the guest bed with her while she thrashed and coughed and cried the entire night, and I felt my own sinuses gradually filling up until I could no longer breathe except through my mouth as I drifted in and out of sleep-deprived halluncinations.
She finally decided to get up for the day around 6, and I went back to our bed and collapsed and just let her potter around, riffling through my bedside table and running her doll stroller around the room. Then Lucy got up, so they decided to play together. The last thing I remember was hearing Lucy say, "It's Christmas, Elaine! It's Jesus's birthday!" I thought, how sweet, and drifted off.
Then, I felt a poke in my shoulder and a little voice saying excitedly in my ear, "Mommy, look what I found!" I opened my eyes and stared into the face of Molly, An American Girl. An American Girl doll. That I had wrapped up the night before. I leaped up out of bed and shrieked "Where did you get that?" to which she immediately started to wail. The uproar brought Darren up all standing, and he rushed downstairs to see all the detritus of Christmas spread throughout our living room.
Yup. They opened up all their presents. By themselves. On Christmas Eve morning.
Of course, saintly mother that I am, I simply hugged them and said, "It's OK, girls. You weren't to know. Let's wrap them up together and they'll still be a fun surprise tomorrow!" I absolutely did not sit down on the top step and begin to cry and say, "Christmas is ruined!"
But...if I had, then Lucy sat by me and cried and cried and kept saying, "But they were so beautiful, those presents were so beautiful!" Then she said, "It's Christmas today, Mom, and we even got Baby Jesus out and put Him on the table so you wouldn't forget about putting him in the stable.....waaaahahhhhhhhhhhhh....." And I might have said something like "....up all night....just wrapped.....no sleep....can't breathe.....Christmas Eve not Christmas......whose kids open presents without asking....waaahhhaaaaaaaahhhhhhh...."
Darren said it was like watching a Carol Burnett skit.
It will be gratifying to know that I finally did pull myself together and apologize right away for saying Christmas is ruined. I said that Daddy and I had some nice surprises that we had wanted to give them ourselves, but that Christmas is about celebrating Jesus' birthday and nobody can ever ruin that.
We mopped our tears and had an OK rest of the day. I spent most of it on the couch being miserable (with my cold, not with the opened presents) and holding Elaine. Darren took Lucy to church later on in the evening, while we stayed home. I did make scrambled eggs, bacon, and monkey bread so that we could have a picnic on the living room floor like I had promised earlier. And after the girls went to bed, I sat and rewrapped all of their presents.
Christmas morning was lovely, and they were suitably surprised at their new Sunday coats and hats, American Girl dolls (the mini ones lest anyone think we shelled out $100+ each on dolls for a 4-year-old and 2-year-old), and Lyle the Crocodile books even though they had seen them all 24 hours previously.
We spent the rest of the day with my family where I spent the day curled up in a chair and drank approximately 72 cups of wassail. The next day we headed down to Darren's family where, among other festive holiday activities, I scratched my cornea. AGAIN.
We got home yesterday and promptly took down the tree and all the Christmas decorations. I always love that day. Christmas is wonderful while it lasts, but I'm always glad when it's over. A snowstorm came, and the girls have been busy indoors playing with their new toys and alternately fighting and making up.
Right after the great Premature Present Opening of 2007, Darren said, "Hey, at least you'll have something memorable to write about on the blog!" and laughed. I said, "I think I'm going to need a little bit more distance for me to be able to laugh about this."
So...it's the 28th and I'm writing. And laughing. I guess my sense of humour heals faster than my cornea.
And for that, I am thankful.