There are times when teenagers and toddlers together is a combination so toxic it wouldn’t even have got a mortgage pre 2008.
When tantrums, hormones and a complete lack of self-awareness collide. When tiredness erases the flashes of compassion and forethought. It can be like being pinned down by hyenas circling their prey.
But over the last few days peace and love have broken out. It could be the magic of the season. It might just be that there is now 10 days between Didsbury Son, Didsbury Wife and work. This sense of family is helped by the sheer excitement that a Milky Bar Advent Calendar and a triumphant afternoon at pre-school as sheep and star have breathed into the Twins. Their new place is a little more rural and one of the teachers brought her own donkey for an al fresco Nativity.
I don’t really mind. We are celebrating Winter Solstice by talking to the Sun and moon. We’re starting our weekend with latkes for Chanucah. We’ve brought a turkey from Waitrose which, for the price of it should come with Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. We’ve also given to charity, been nice to the pets and I’m looking forward to celebrating Boxing Day with elasticated waistband, paracetamol and a full day of football on TV.
The lights are twinkling in the house and as I lie here snug against the now sleeping Mighty Headed Boy, I am surrounded by rhythmic breathing from toddlers and teenager.
Didsbury Son has retreated from teendom as the smiley ghost of Christmases past finds a gap in the over-stimulated mind and sneaks in. The four year olds have been convinced they can see or hear Santa so before bedtime we set up a little ruse. As we took them to the window to see the moon, Santa’s sleigh bells could be heard jingling.
The effect was magical. My brave little boy virtually jumped into my arms in shock and our Pearly Princess could not sleep for fear of people on the roof.
Didsbury Son and I laughed, bonded and silently agreed to watch Grimsby again before the end of the holidays. It’s the magic of Christmas.
Enjoy yours, whoever your faith lies with
Quick Christmas sweepstake.
1. First “can we go downstairs now?”
2. Which child will cry first and declare undying avarice for the other’s toy?
3. First over-excited forgetting to go to the toilet?
4. First broken toy?
5. Time you think back to your most miserable Christmas and think longingly back to how quiet it was?