Dear Oliver,

Christmas is finally over and you are fast asleep this December 26th at 2:51 pm. You've been asleep now for more than 2 hours.

Thank. God.

Oh little Peanut, you were so sweet this month of December, waiting with grand anticipation for the coming of.... Santa Claus.

I tried to teach you about Baby Jesus and the true meaning of Christmas. I tried to help you understand that we were indeed celebrating the birth of our Lord.

In the end, I resorted to tried and true tactics: If you don't help me put the dishes away, Santa will not be happy. Some days a mom just has to go with what works.

You, my dear, were a hoot all of December. I had never experienced being around someone who was completely delighted and overly enthusiastic about the Christmas Day. You couldn't wait. You counted down the days. Each day you awoke and ran to your advent calendar to find a new lego toy and put it together. You counted forward, backward, added and subtracted. You announced with delight each morning how many days until Christmas.

I was thrilled to watch you squeal with delight. It was a privilege to see you with such anticipation. I too couldn't wait for that big day. Like we always have done in the past, we would put out cookies and milk, leaving a note for Santa.

But you're 4. I'm not entirely certain how 4 year olds are during the holidays.

I can tell you how this 4 year old was.

On the 23rd, your daddy came to pick you up. That was one day before Christmas eve. Unbeknownst to me, this would be your Christmas eve. This would be your special night, the one where you couldn't sleep, the one where you'd get up at midnight and look out the window to see if Santa was here yet. You were with your daddy when you fell asleep with extreme excitement for the arrival of presents for you. At 5 am you awoke and ran to the tree. You woke your daddy and headed out to see what Santa had delivered just for you.

Presents were under his tree. A new train — a Lego train! Santa had put most of it together while you slept. And more lego's! Oh you were in complete joy.

So much joy that on the 24th you did not want to come back to Mommy's. I don't blame you. I wasn't aware of this however. When you came home that night you were sweet. You were reserved and polite. You didn't say much, and I didn't notice you were upset. When daddy left, you began to whine to me about opening presents. You wanted to open one. I said you could have just one after dinner which was a big fat mistake because then, at 4 pm, you started crying that you were hungry. You wanted to eat. We couldn't eat because our guests hadn't arrived yet. You cried that you were starving. I couldn't let my child starve, so I gave you a snack. After the snack you asked if you could open a present. That's when I realized you were not hungry at all. Why you little conniver. You just wanted a present.

And so it went. On and on. Tears. Whining. Presents. More presents. You were tragic, really.

On Christmas morning, not much had improved. Before you even got out of bed, you headed for a time out. I was so sad, so disappointed. This Christmas did not turn out like the others. :( My dear sweet boy was gone. The gleefully excited cherub was now a greedy little imp. My sweet baby, you had turned into a spoiled brat, plain and simple.

After a long time out, you changed your attitude. You came back to my bedroom and spoke sweetly to me with a gentle kindness. Shortly after, all was well, and we headed to the tree to find what Santa had brought for you. Oh you were so happy, so excited. My Peanut was back.

But not for long. Off and on it went. Into the night. Into today.

At this moment you are asleep. You cried yourself to the point of being emotionally and physically exhausted, and then you just passed out. You're tired. You're over stimulated.

You're 4.

And all your presents are piled up in mommy's room. I took them away because the last bit of attitude put me over the top, and I just could not tolerate one more sass back.

I still love you, of course I do. The presents will return. At some point. I hope you will too.



  1. Ha ha ha! This is great. Join the club! :)

    PS. Don't worry. One day he'll be aware of the true spirit of Christmas. And then... he'll have kids and forget what the true meaning is once again!



  2. All the hype about Christmas gifts and traditions just plays right to human nature's greedy side. It's hard for a 4-year-old to control that greedy, whiny impulse. I hope your 'regular' kid returns to you soon!

    We celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas in our family, so I seem to spend all of November and December constantly lowering the expectations of everybody, including myself. Because when the kids are older than 4, the Christmas day behavior doesn't necessarily get any better. I'm gearing up to write about my youngest child, now 13, who asked for homemade items, and when she received them, basically tossed them aside with a grunt.

    I'm so glad you had the time with your son, making cookies. That in itself makes a great gift, and doesn't require wrapping. And I completely approve of your difficult and correct parental action in taking away the gifts until a calmer child reappears.

    And now I get to read more about your cookies, which is a gift to me!

    1. Wow, two holiday celebrations. That's a lot... and I give you credit for upholding two traditions. I suspect your 13 year old will do the same with her children and at some point appreciate your traditions (and granting her those home made items) knowing full well how she couldn't appreciate them at first.

      I'm not sure how this happens! When I was a little girl, I loved my presents and I'm sure I was a little angel. ;) (Tongue in cheek).

      x o x o

      thanks for sharing your story and checking in...

  3. Oh, poor little guy! It sounds like it was a very confusing and exhausting Christmas for him with lots of celebrations and lots of people wanting to spend time with him. And from his point of view, toys materialized and evaporated so quickly, I can see how his four year old brain would become overly-focused on the gifts... I hope the days after Christmas were more enjoyable for you both!

    1. Thank you... he's back to his happy, sweet self again. I think he was very over-stimulated and very VERY tired. :) He has all his toys again, and he doesn't even notice the ones that he hasn't played with yet. There were SO MANY! We are blessed!

  4. He's 4. I can't imagine calling any of my boys a brat. Even in jest. And for the record, it's "although". His family is torn apart and your post reeks of bitterness. You are going to have to co-parent your entire life, I would suggest letting that go or figuring out how to deal with it our you are going to have a miserable little boy on your hands. Kids pick up on that, I know, I was one of them

    1. Ah anonymous reader, where to begin...

      I understand what you are saying. It's easy to think, if you don't know me well, that I am angry with my child or that I am intolerant of him. Yes, you might read my post with a tone that sounds angry and bitter.

      It is possible, however, to read the post and see that I am so incredibly in love with my child, that I adore him in so many ways. The point of this post was to allow people to see my son as a normal 4-yr old, not some angelic little boy who can do no wrong. Sometimes I hear feedback from readers who think that my son and I have this ideal life, that there is never a mess, never any temper tantrums (by either of us!) and that we are this perfect little family of two. Such is not the case, and this blog is a place for me to journal about my life.

      But I can see how one might read the post and think I'm bitter and angry. In fact, there are times that I *AM* bitter and angry. I guess that's part of the journey of being a single mother, going thru a divorce and several other things.

      The fact is, you don't know me, nor my story. I doubt you read the heartbreak, the struggle, the depression. I doubt you read how I faced my life with joy and dignity even tho things were going on in my life that were really difficult to face.

      As for my relationship with my son's father, most people are completely surprised when the see the two of us come in contact. Our son has been mostly kept out of any disagreements (or arguments) we've had, and the majority of the time, my X and I are unfathomably kind and friendly to each other. I have interviewed 7 attorneys before picking one to represent me in our divorce proceedings. All but one have told me how fortunate I am to have an X that is kind, easy to work with, a man with whom co-parenting has been mainly trouble-free. It's not just unusual, it's an anomaly.

      I'm sad that my post bothered you so much. I'm also sad to hear that "altho" is bugging you, but that I hope the inspiration I offer will allow you to overlook any English fallacies I committed.

      Calling my son a brat... I think the personality of my relationship with my son is so beautiful and strong, and we are so close and warm with each other, and we laugh and have a great sense of lightness about us that when he one day may read this, he will tell me, "Mom, I was a brat! Thank you for loving me anyway."

      I'm glad you don't use that word with your sons given the way you view that word (which is not wrong mind you!). I think, for me, it was spot-on.

      I'm disappointed you perhaps think, (you said in not so many words) that I am not doing this co-parenting thing well and that you think my writing contains a lack of respect and skill. One thing I have had to learn is that when I put myself out there for the whole online world to see I will not always please everyone. As much as I want to make everyone happy, it just doesn’t work all the time.

      I hope you've come back to read my response. If not, good for you for moving on. There are 1000's of other bloggers out there who might be more suited to your liking.

      Thanks for commenting!



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