Christmas morning, 7:00 am. My eyes flutter open and I realize that something is amiss. It takes a moment for my groggy mind to wrap itself around the problem, but finally things click into place. It’s silent in my house. No stampede of footsteps, no screeches of joy and amazement, nothing. The cogs in my head are working faster now. Is it really Christmas morning, or have I lost track of the days of the week? No, it’s definately Christmas, because yesterday was Christmas Eve. Is it really 7:00 in the morning, or is my beside clock wrong? Pick up my cell phone for a time check, and sure enough it’s 7:00. So where are the kids?
Asleep. Every last one of them.
I opened up Kaylee’s door to wake her first knowing that I’d need to do a diaper change. I cracked open her door, stuck my head inside, and gently whispered Merry Christmas to my darling baby. Her response was very teenager-like as she sat up in the bed and demanded, “What?” in a very attitude laden voice. I was taken aback by this un-ladylike response and entered her room fully to ask, “Don’t you want to see what Santa Claus brought you?” She pondered the question for just a moment before asking, “Tanty Claus?” Relieved that my daughter was acting more like her normal self I continued, “Yes, don’t you want to go and open more presents?” Her eyes lit up, “Mow pwesents?” and she scrambled out of bed faster than I thought was humanly possible.
After getting her diaper changed, we went next door to the boys room. I had Kaylee knock her tiny little fist on their door and call out Merry Christmas to the boys. The reception we received in their room was a bit warmer than the one I received in Kaylee’s room, but only just. Both boys were still sleeping and not terribly keen on getting themselves out of bed. A reminder that Santa Claus had been to visit us got Brendan up and moving, but Cameron continued to lay snuggled into his blankets claiming to be “too tired” to get out of bed. Finally, after telling him he could sleep while the rest of us opened presents, he decided that opening presents would be more fun than laying in bed.
With all of the family up and aroused, the Christmas excitement was finally able to begin. Before we even got to opening presents however, Brendan came to me complaining of a sore throat. At first I thought it was just due to the dry air in the house. I’d been experiencing issues with dry sinuses over the past week, and he himself had had a couple of nosebleeds. So I figured he probably slept with his mouth open and had an overly dry mouth and throat. I gave him a drink of milk and he said that helped, so we moved forward with our Christmas day activities.
Things were going well until about halfway through the present opening, when Cameron lost interest in opening any further gifts. You know you’ve gone a bit overboard when your 4 year old doesn’t want to be bothered by the effort of opening yet another present. The funniest part was that every time you handed him another present to open, he would sigh loudly and in a voice of complete exasperation state, “Again?” but when one of the other kids was opening their gift he’d look all offended and want to know when it would be his turn again. It was almost as if he didn’t want to open any further presents, but didn’t want anyone else to open any either.
After presents and breakfast, the kids were able to spend some time playing with their new toys while we all got ready to have Christmas out at Matt’s parents. The morning went quite smoothly. The kids played until I called them for their bath, then went back to playing while Matt and I got ourselves ready. We actually made it out of the house within 10 minutes of our target departure time (a miracle for us as some days the kids move so slow you’re lucky if you get out the door within the same hour you intended), and headed down the road.
Christmas with the in-laws is always somewhat of a crazy affair because Matt has such a large family. There are a lot of people, including 8 kids, so there’s lots of conversation and lots of activity going on all at once. The kids have a blast though, they love to see and get to play with their cousins, and they love opening presents because we do it differently there than we do at home. At home we hand out gifts one at a time and while they have to wait for their turn to open presents, it makes the whole experience last longer which can be lots of fun. Matt’s family hands out every present under the tree, and when you have a giant pile in front of you, you start ripping into everything you’ve got all at once. The kids love the free for all as much as the one at a time.
But before presents came dinner. Brendan was sitting across from Matt and I and picking at the food on his plate. We questioned him, and he said again that his throat was hurting. We also noticed he was looking tired and just not at all himself. Matt’s sister dug out a thermometer and we checked him out, but there was no fever. We encouraged him to eat what he could and go play with his cousins until present opening time. Shortly after the free-for-all, the kids had all gone to play in the bedroom while the adults tried to make some sort of order out of the living room. Around the time desert was being served, Brendan came back out to the living room and told us he just didn’t feel well.
We decided that rather than continue to expose everyone to whatever illness he seemed to be coming down with, that it was time for us to pack it up and head for home. My poor boy spent the rest of the day in his bed watching movies, and feeling miserable. When his sore throat didn’t let up by Friday we took him in to the doctor. Thankfully all he has is the creepy crappy viral crud that’s going around. No strep, and nothing major.
Hopefully he’ll start feeling better before New Years or we’ll have had a sick family for 3 holidays in a row.