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O Holy Schnikes

We’ve hit the ground running for the
holiday season, and we’re zigging and zagging from event to
event. Completely in a fun way: I’ve learned to turn down
stuff we’re not going to enjoy, and to try to build some
moments of calm into our entertainment schedule. But we’ve
got a lot going on fun-wise, and I fear the meltdown consequences.

Yesterday a friend hosted a cookie exchange right after school. All
of Cora and Maddie’s best friends got together to gorge on
cookies and candy canes, put together a few crafts, and gleefully
tear up my friend’s house in a sugar-induced frenzy. The
girls were excited (duh) and couldn’t wait to dig in –
er, go to the party.

And yes, it was a sugar fest. They both
ate an entire candy cane, sucked down a juice box, and put away
probably three cookies apiece. That may not sound like a lot for a
grown-up, but for a four-year-old, that menu is a ticking time

As the detonation timer counted down, my girlfriends and I chatted,
pausing every once in a while to make sure one of the dozen kids
wasn’t locked in a closet or terrorizing the toddler.
Upstairs was mayhem and frankly we avoided it as much as possible,
having a great time laughing and eating our own cookies.

But I couldn’t avoid my own little monsters forever, and we
finally had to head home, me knowing the entire way that something
was going to light the fuse – ANYTHING. I took deep breaths
and prayed centering prayers and steeled myself for the worst.

While I was still unloading the car, clock ran out and Cora
exploded. Sobbing and curled in the fetal position for a truly
imagined slight from her sister, Cora looked miserable. I
wordlessly picked her up and held her for twenty minutes, the room
darkening around us. When she finally calmed down I pointed the
girls towards the kitchen, saying, “I know our tummies are
full from cookies, but we need to eat a little something so
we’re not hungry in the middle of the night. You can have
whatever we have in the house, as long as it’s real food. So
what do you want me to fix you? A sandwich? Some cereal or

In stereo, Cora and Maddie replied, “some fresh fruit

So that’s how we had our “supper”: bowls of
applesauce with plates of fresh strawberries and apples and
pomengranates. Both girls crashed hard and had to fight to stay
awake while they ate, then fell into bed.

Tonight we’re walking the neighborhood singing Christmas
carols with the same gang. Outdoor air, good exercise – all
culminating at a friend’s house for hot cocoa and cookies.

Pass the fruit bowl, please.


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