Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Fatigue

We are battling the same demon legions of families battle this time of year: the Christmas fatigue. Parents are shopping, attending parties and lunches and desperately trying to keep up with school fundraisers, Christmas concerts and the deluge of crafts coming home from school.

But that is only the half of it.

The kids are dealing with reduced academics, increased sugar and Christmas hype at every turn. TV, school, and the general mood oozes excitement. This all converges and means less sleep.

Last Sunday at 12:04 a.m. I went to turn off the hall light and I saw the Jackson's light was still on. He was reading. "I just got so distracted by my book, Mommy."

On Monday he was tired, with dark circles under his eyes. At 4 p.m. he has used up all the civilized words he could manage. Things went downhill from there.

On Tuesday I went into work early. Husband, who does the Tuesday morning routine, reported that Jackson's eyes were so swollen, he looked Asian.

Sydney for her part was needy and unreasonable.

On Wednesday, the dark circles under Jackson's eyes turned reddish grey. You know, the kind you see on heroin addicts.

Wednesday night the kids had their Christmas concert at school. Jackson was exhausted and tense over a misplacing of the jingle bells he was assigned to ring during his class' singing. He was teary, and tense and generally not easy to deal with. I bribed him to go to his bed and with his light out and music on. He fell asleep by 10:00 which is something of a miracle this week.

Thursday morning was a little better, but Thursday night, Sydney was demanding. The J Boy was back to being nocturnal, going to bed after us.

Husband and I have thought seriously about tranquilizer darts.

Today, Friday, I needed a crowbar to get the kids severed from their sheets. They moaned, complained, whimpered and whined their way to school. But they were someone else's problem for 6 hours.

Christmas break started at 2:45. It was 5:30 and I was tempted to count the hours until Christmas vacation was over.

Sydney was pouting about everything, including my not knowing that TODAY she would want to look at something she brought home from school YESTERDAY. I should have divined that I should have left it in her backpack so she could refer to it in the drive home from school.

Jackson is not exactly amenable to getting along with the human race when he is tired. He has taken to hogging the computer and only very grudgingly giving me minutes to check my email and make my Scrabble moves on Facebook. And he storms off uncivilly when things did not go his way.

I know once Christmas comes, things will ratchet down, but it might be a long six days. We are already lining up play dates and activities to keep them engaged in anything but driving me crazy.

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