Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

In praise of the five-minute mommy nap

December 4, 2011

Tis the season of trying to cram too much living into too little time and space. Some years, we here at the Mommy Prayers candy-cane crunching headquarters cook and shop and decorate and entertain like mad fools. Other years, we declare ourselves to be having a soulful/non-consumerist/relaxed holiday, and wind up exactly as frantic and exhausted (soulfulness, we’ve discovered, takes energy. Who knew?)

All this, of course, is a cue for the youngest among us to immediately begin fighting every bedtime and, inexplicably, waking up before dawn on some of the darkest mornings of the year. Over at the lovely Standing in the Shadows blog, Sarah Buttenwieser’s preschooler arose at 4:45 one recent morn, leaving her in a state she oh-so-accurately described as being groggily wide awake — too tired to think straight, too wired to go back to sleep. A dangerous fugue, especially this time of year, as you could easily emerge from the fog to find you’ve inadvertently purchased some toxic toy or another.

The solution, of course, is one of the most blessed gifts every bestowed upon humanity — the afternoon nap. No, not for your kids, for you, exhausted parent. True, between cookie-baking and tree-decorating and Charlie Brown-watching and catalog-ordering, your chances of getting that nap are low. But it’s a magical season. A mom can dream, can’t she? Or, perhaps, pray:

Prayer for My Five-Minute Nap

Dear God, I cannot go on. It is four in the afternoon, my morning caffeine high is long gone, and I have hours and hours to go before I manage to get to bed. I am quite certain I could crash to the floor this instant and sleep like a rock for a week. I cannot read one more syllable of Owl Babies to my little  monkey chattering here beside me. I cannot even lift my hand to turn the page. Five minutes, God, and I’ll be a new woman. Please and amen. 

Prayer for December 26, the real mother’s day

December 26, 2010

It’s Boxing day, friends! December 26, the Day After the Big Day (if you celebrate Christmas, of course), the very most favorite day of the year here at the Mommy Prayers packaging warehouse and leftover sweets hut.

I’d write something witty, but I’m headed to the couch with a box of bonbons and a pile of books and lady mags. The house looks like a small tornado swept through, but I will be doing no cleaning, cooking or parenting today beyond the minimum necessary to comply with local and state regulations. Other than to offer up Prayer for December 26:

Dear God, Do these religious holidays exhaust you as much as they exhaust us? Are you a mess after Ramadan or in need of a day in bed after Rosh Hashanah? Because it’s December 26, I am utterly beat, and our house looks like a bomb went off in every room.

I’m not complaining, Lord — the Christmas season is just so much magical with children. Playing Santa…singing the old, beautiful Christmas carols with them…watching their eyes widen when we talk about how a baby saved the whole world…

And yet, there is endless cooking and cleaning and shopping and wrapping and mailing and making sure everyone we’ve ever met receives our family photo card, which took me four hours at the computer to get perfect. And there are family dynamics to navigate, already tricky but made far trickier with grandkids in the mix.

Now it’s over, God, for this year at least. I’m feeling deeply grateful, and deeply spent. Thank you for the Christmas season, and thank you that it only comes once a year. Amen.

 

 

Nearly naked Barbie and other stealth toys

December 22, 2010

The shopping is winding down here at the Mommy Prayers strip mall as we coast into the really fun part of the holiday, the part where we eat and drink and wrap presents in joyful secrecy only to watch them get unceremoniously — nay, even violently — unwrapped a few hours later. Oh what fun.

Then there are the presents you didn’t wrap — the ones your parents, or your in-laws, or your brother, or your spouse’s best friend from grade school, have generously bought and brought for your babies. Think of them as little landmines that can blow up your entire year of careful parenting in one big sparkling shower of inappropriateness.

I’m talking about Grammy giving Nearly Naked Barbie (so pink and pretty!) to your preschool daughter, Uncle toting an ultra-violent (and ultra-plastic) Nerf machine gun for a four-year-old, or your stylin’ and child-free best friend wrapping up black skinny jeans for your little girl who still has a toddler tummy, long may it pudge out over the top of her modest and comfy sweatpants.

‘Tis the season when those closest to you seem to feel all bets are off — your annoying parenting rules are there to be broken with gifts your kids will luvvvvvv and you will haaaaate for all of 2011.

For you, and for them, we offer up some choice excerpts from Prayer for Barbie:

Dear God, well, here she is in all her ponytailed plastic glory, Barbie herself. She of the freakish 36-18-33 body measurements and the Malibu tan and the 10,000 pink accessories sold separately, including tiny stiletto heels that get sucked up by the vacuum in no time flat.

The doll I swore would never darken our doorstep is inside, unpackaged, and currently having her Hot Tub Party House play set assembled, all thanks to my in-laws. So much for that moratorium.

God, I know this is only the beginning of a long struggle with toxic popular culture. Please give me the patience to endure these fads without over-reacting, and please give me the wisdom to know when I should react.

Also the foresight not to vacuum up those expensive accessories. Amen.