That’s how I feel these days. Ms. “I do all the organizing around here single-handed.”. Blah. You know I actually don’t like organizing, tidying and having huge to-do-lists, though one can’t tell when looking at my life. For the past few years I have been trying to trim down Christmas. But that’s been real hard. And with a child in the mix it is even harder. He loves Christmas. Even I like some Christmas traditions.
But I don’t like to have that much to remember and to do. I already have almost all the gifts for Christmas, I don’t do Christmas cards, but still I have to remember dozens of things to bring to the kindergarten’s Christmas party. On Friday at 5. Again I had to ask two students to come in on Thursday so I could go to that kindergarten thing. I thought I was smart when I signed up to bring only juice and water for the buffet. I have to remember to dress my son in a beige t-shirt and beige leggings to go with his tree costume for the Christmas play. We’ll bring the guitars. For this I will have to actually practice Christmas songs because I’m not that good a guitar player. But at least I refused to bring my keyboard. I was very proud of me when I told the other parents that not only I refuse to act in a CHRISTMAS PLAY THAT THE PARENTS ARE DOING FOR THE KIDS, I also told them that I couldn’t attend the rehearsal. Because that’s the time when I will be teaching the students I can’t teach on Friday.
What I’m really pissed about is not the fact that obviously other parents have either far more time (which I doubt) or far more Christmas spirit (for sure), no, what I’m really pissed about is that every single parent that I spoke with didn’t want to act in the play. None. So I was real clever and suggested just singing a few songs and be done with it. Then I didn’t go to the meeting the parents had in the bar and the next thing I hear is, “We’re doing a little something so that the kindergarten’s owner won’t be angry at us.” WHAT? I’m not a kindergardener anymore. So let her get pissed at me. She won’t kick out my son for that. And the very next thing I heard was, “Oh, we thought you could just be the (I don’t even remember what role they had in mind for me) and we’ll be meeting on Thursday at five.” Well, you might, but I won’t.
What I don’t get especially is that both the PTA women organizing this whole thing are single mothers with jobs. – Maybe they don’t need to sleep. Or they are just very bad at saying no. For which I’m quite grateful, because otherwise maybe I would have had to be a member of the PTA. Just when I was about to foolishly volunteer for it the queen of the kindergarten picked another mother by saying “You look like you want to volunteer!” with a big fat fake smile on her face.
But the frelling kindergarten Christmas party is not the only thing on my mind. First I have wisely picked this time of year to start eliminating my energy drains. I have asked De of sober briquette to be my partner in crime and have been working on my anti-procrastination list since last weekend. Then my son happens to have the very convenient birthday of the 17th of December. This year there will be a children’s birthday party in the mix. This will be my first. The past few years we kept it simple. I bought a cake, defrosted it the night before, there were birthday candles, cake breakfast and the unwrapping of presents. Later my MIL would come down, refuse a piece of cake with shouts of “How can you eat something sweet for breakfast! I could never eat cake in the morning!” (Never mind that about 75 percent of the nation eats something sweet for breakfast.) Then comes the ritual “But only one piece! Well, if you insist I’ll have one in the afternoon.” complete with more unwrapping of presents. That was it.
This year there will be five other preschoolers in the mix. I bought paper napkins and some decorations. I will have to bake a cake this time. My son wanted chocolate muffins with m&ms and that’s what he’ll get. Then, on Monday there’s the cake to bake to share with all his kindergarten friends. And then on Tuesday I will have to have the big suitcase packed so that hopefully a nice man can bring it to my parents. Because we’re going by train and this time I’d like to travel without all my son’s Christmas presents on my back.
So this is my timeframe:
- tomorrow we’ll borrow my MIL’s car and got to the big city to try and get the audio mixer repaired on warranty (bought back in February, wish me luck)
- I also will have to look up muffins recipes and to make a grocery list for everything we’ll be needing until our departure in ten days
- the rest of the day I’ll teach (blissful structure)
- on Thursday I’ll teach from morning until evening and in between I’m going to do the big grocery shopping
- also I’ll practice playing that frelling christmas songs on the guitar (Oh, and transpose a couple of them, they are way too high.)
- on Friday I’ll completely panic, think about what to wear for two days and then decide that it’s too much of an effort to change
- then I’ll teach,
- afterwards the frantic struggle to get to the party on time with everything we’ll need
- on Friday evening collapse with drink after putting over-excited child to bed while screaming (child, me or both – we’ll see)
- on Saturday start panicking wildly and bake cakes
- decorate house at midnight
- on Sunday have usual birthday celebrations
- then totally freak out
- have lunch with overexcited son
- between 2 and 5.30 have five other over-excited preschoolers in the house (I think time will be passing quite fast at this point. Just getting all of them to wash their hands and got to the toilet before having cake and juice might take up to 20 minutes. Of course I’ll see to it that they got to the toilet first and wash their hands afterwards – with soap.)
- after cleanup and putting now really over-excited kid to bed I’ll
- decorate yet another set of chocolate muffins
- on Monday morning find a way to transport said muffins to kindergarten (again juice and water, maybe I’ll take the bike trailer)
- then go home and try to find clean clothes to pack
- teach students
- on Tuesday: spend whole day waiting for the guy who’s supposed to fetch my suitcase
- Wednesday: don’t forget to bring 2 € to kindergarten for puppet play the children are watching that day
- Thursday: start packing for Christmas travel
- Friday: teach endlessly
- Saturday: get up at dawn, pack rest of things, catch train (This includes the traditional fight between my husband and me on our way to the train station. A nice tradition we shouldn’t miss.)
- Then sit down in train. Change trains at big city, relax, eat lunch on train, change trains again, and again (special holiday connection)
- arrive at parent’s home
- mixture of mild panic and boredom until we return a week later(which reminds me to put my groceries for our traditional New Year’s eve meal on my grocery list for this week)
- begin New Year,
- make a vow never to stress that much during Christmas season again.
Repeat again next year.
But you know what I’m grateful for? That this year I’m not the one who has to organize the actual Christmas stuff. No tree, no decorating, no grocery shopping, no wrapping of Christmas presents, no cooking – nothing. Because for the first time in years we won’t be spending Christmas at home. That might be a good thing. And even though my son thought different, we won’t even have to pack the Christmas tree.