It's my mom's birthday today. Hi, Mom! My mom is awesome and I don't know what I'd do without her. She gets a lot of credit for how I've been able to handle this crappiest of crappy years. She took care of all the details of life for me when John died and helped me get my routines established and my mind somewhat clear in the weeks just after his death. How do you thank someone for that kind of love? I know of no way to adequately express it.
That said, I didn't try very hard this year. I was a slacker and didn't manage to send my mom a card until today, her actual birthday. Since she lives in Oregon and I live in Massachusetts, it seems unlikely at best that her card will reach her on time. I know she doesn't care, and we did talk on the phone earlier, but I regret that the card will be late and that it's just a card, no gift or anything. I'm counting the days until the twins and I go to Oregon for the holidays and we can just be together and enjoy each others' company. Cheesy as it sounds, that's the best gift of all.
On a related note, I'm seriously not into the holidays this year. Well, revise that. I like seeing the lights on the houses, and I've already gotten a few cards, which I enjoy. Yesterday, we got a gift in the mail from friends of friends, a very sturdy cardboard "gingerbread" house filled with cookies. The twins had fun opening the box with me and eating the cookies as an after-dinner treat. So that was nice.
What I'm 100% not interested in is buying gifts. I have no motivation to exchange gifts, go shopping, wrap anything etc. I can't wait to enjoy the lights on the tree, eat my favorite holiday foods, and be with my family. But with every passing year, I become more annoyed by the commercialism. This year, I'm pretty much at my limit. I have a gift for my stepbrother's kids, and I got a few little things for the twins. But I don't think I'm doing anything beyond that.
I feel a little guilty about this. My family does so much for me, and we're pretty big gift-givers. But I can't do it this year. I could, but I really don't want to. So I'm not going to. And that is that.
I've started using the counting/time out technique in the book 1, 2, 3 Magic with the twins. Last night, they were throwing bath toys out of the tub at me (that was the clincher), so I calmly said, "No throwing toys at Mama. That's one . . . That's two . . . That's three . . . " and then I thought, "How the heck can I give them a time out in the tub?" I usually put them in their cribs for one minute, but they were in bath seats, half washed.
Then it came to me. Just pull the shower curtain. So I said, "Now you will have a time-out in the tub," and pulled the curtain closed. I sat right on the other side, of course, and told them I was there. It still caused Riley to have a total meltdown. I only left the curtain closed for about 30 seconds, and he recovered fairly quickly. Frankly, I was proud of my quick thinking.
The episode made me think of Tertia and her bathtub posts. I'm hesitant to link to them because they caused to so much controversy, but hopefully the hubbub has died down a bit.