When my children were babies my husband and I decided that I would take care of everyone’s stocking but he would take care of mine. One year in particular it was a very busy time for him around the holidays. He took the kids out on what my kids call “Christmas Eve Eve” because the holidays should honestly last longer. Christmas Eve we bake and play games and always read “Twas the night before Christmas”. We will do it again this year and my children are in college now. After the story is finished we track Santa and then read another story because clearly I don’t learn my lesson and get them all jacked up before bedtime of hopes of Saint Nicholas and we saw how good that worked for that guy, he was up all night and Santa put him to work.
Once they were in bed and asleep and confirmed that they are asleep actually sleeping and not just giggling under the covers, we begin the “Santa duties” building things and stuffing stockings and the whole nine. I filled all of the stockings that I was “in charge of” while my husband was building a bicycle for my youngest. I said to him, “I will let you finish up down here and I will get up with the kids in the morning.” Because anyone with children know that they wake up “Ass O’clock” looking for gifts and candy.
Our Christmas morning ritual is that they are not allowed to wake mom up before seven in the morning on, however, They are allowed to start with their stockings first without us. I hear the kids standing outside my door this particular Christmas morning and my children sound nervous. I look at the clock and it is “Ass O’clock”, this had better be some great fucking emergency if they are going to come in my room and wake me up.
There is a little knock on my bedroom door and I say “Merry Christmas!” to my little angels, because I’m not an asshole.
“Mom, You must have been very bad this year!” my son starts. (maybe I am an asshole!)
I open my eyes because what exactly am I being accused of here.
“Why? What happened?” I sit up in bed and now sleep is not that important.
“Your stocking didn’t have anything in it.” my oldest said and all three children look like they are going to cry.
“Nothing?” I say passively aggressively toward my husband while my foot aggressive aggressively looks to pull out some ball hair.
“It’s because you said the F-word!” my youngest has solved the problem. She’s helpful like that.
“I think it’s because she told my friend that if she is just going to cry the whole time she can just go home.” my oldest said. (Ugh, I stand by my decision there! That kid was the worst!)
“I think it’s because she keeps making us eat vegetables and yucky stuff.” My son suggests. (That’s definitely not it, I’ve read the parenting books.)
In case you are all wondering, this is what the day of judgement is going to look like, it’s just going to be your kids guessing why you probably aren’t going to get into heaven and then if you sit through it without yelling at them, the bouncer angels are going to say, “She’s cool, let her in!” or at least I think that’s the way it will be.
So there I am trying to quietly route out some ball hair from my husband’s scrotum with my foot under the blankest while trying to look all innocent and shit.
He looks at me and I know he thinks this is both bad and hilarious all at the same time.
But mostly he thinks it’s hilarious. I sit through my judgement day and I say nothing. The kids are both sad for me and shameful of me, because their mom was clearly on the “naughty list” and they are appalled really.
I say to my kids “It’s fine, I will be better this year I promise. I sure did learn my lesson.”
My children hug me and say how sorry they are for me. What they should be was afraid for their father. That son of a bitch!!!!
I am sitting there trying to get the kids out of the room so I can whisper-yell at their father.
He, on the other hand, needs their protection and so he convinces them to go and get his stocking and bring it to him. The two older ones run down stairs to get his huge and completely filled stocking and they bring my empty one up too, so I can see, in fact, that it is bare. The little one shows her father all of the great things Santa brought her.
“He knows me so well. I really love Santa!” then she looks at me as an after thought and says, “I’m sorry Mommy!”
Ugh! Are you fucking kidding me? Now they are treating their father as if he is superior to me because he got a whole stocking full of really cool things. I sit there with my most supporting actress face on. The whole time I’m pissed because I didn’t care that I didn’t get anything, I cared that he just sat there and let them think I was “BAD”. He was then gloating about how he was such a good boy and Santa knew how good he was. I sit there and try not to act smug.
“Shall we go open presents?” I ask because I have to get the kids out of my room. My husband is going to really hear it (at a rather low volume because I don’t want my yelling at him to ruin Christmas, well I want to ruin his Christmas but not anyone else’s). I could let it go, but I’m pissed so that’s doubtful.
“Do you kids want Daddy to cook breakfast?” He asks. All of the kids chime in together “Yeah!” because he has never cooked for them before and they don’t know that he is horrible at it.
My youngest one wants to stay with mommy while she gets dressed. I look at those sweet blue eyes and I realize that I’m being petty. I pick her up and I say “Did you like what you got in your stocking?”
“Mmmmhmmm!” she replies. She then digs in her little stocking and says “I think Santa meant for you to have this.” she says. She pulls out a hairbrush that Santa put in her stocking. “I think he put it in mine by accident.” she wraps her little arms around my neck and says “Because you aren’t bad, you just need to watch your mouth!”
I hug her with tears in my eyes and I chuckle as she scolds me again for saying the “F word” so often. We go downstairs because my husband’s fine cooking ability has set off the smoke detector.
“Mom’s bacon never sets off the fire alarm!” my son announces as he is standing by the open door waving the smoke outside.
“Bacon always smokes like this!” my husband tries again.
“Can mom just cook our breakfast?” my oldest asks.
“I sure can.” I smile I give my husband a kiss on his cheek and say “Thank you for trying.”
“I’m so sorry!” He looks me in the eyes and I know that he is.
I carried on with my holiday without causing him great peril and that was a win in and of itself. But here is the thing, my kids were shocked that my stocking was empty and they were simply trying to justify what it was I had done so horrible to have pissed Santa off. Later, as they got older, we were able to laugh about it. My oldest said “We were all shit scared because if Mom could get put on the naughty list than anyone could.”
It was the nicest thing they have ever said to me.
Moral of the story: Make sure to put a handful of candy in your own stocking too because sometimes your husband forgets and then you are trying to watch your mouth for a whole year. Like a whole year with no cursing, It’s not like I haven’t done it before but I was a stay at home mom with no breaks because my husband traveled all of the time. The F word was what kept me sane. If I could scream FUCK, when an entire bottle of juice spilled on a just mopped floor then it saved me from going completely crazy. Also cold feet to the balls hurt too, or at least made my husband squirm away, just in case you need that information!!!
Until next time 🙂