Dear Kids,

You have asked me several times what I want for Christmas.  When I tell you I don’t want anything, I can see that my answer disappoints you.  It hurts me to see you frown during the holidays, especially knowing I am the cause of your frustration.  So the past few days I have put a great deal of thought into your question:

“Mommy, what do you want for Christmas???”

As it turns out, I want LOTS of things for Christmas.  In fact, my list is so long that at first glance you’re going to think I’m greedy!  But since you’ve asked with love, I’ll answer from the heart with honesty.  

Mommy’s Christmas List 2013

  1. I would like for you to be just as excited about cleaning up after a craft as you are about making a craft.  Especially when it involves glitter and tiny scraps of paper.
  2. I would like you to put your dirty clothes in the laundry bin, and your clean clothes in your drawers.  Even though you assure me I’m good at it, I do not enjoy washing your clothes.  Especially when they aren’t dirty in the first place.
  3. I would like you to put your clean laundry away.  I know you know it’s clean because you tear through my nice, neat piles and destroy them.
  4. I would like for you to gather your clothes for school the night before so we know where everything is.  I do not enjoy scavenger hunts in the morning, even though I am a pro.
  5. I would like you to brush your teeth – the right way – without having to perform a breath check.
  6. I would like you to wipe out the giant glob of toothpaste that always resides in my sink.  Thus, the breath check.
  7. I would like for you to accept that putting on your shoes and coat are also part of getting dressed.
  8. I would like for you to be ready to leave your classroom when I pick you up from school.  My days of wanting to hang out in the hallway are over.
  9. I would like you to move to the back of the van if you are the first to enter.  The other two do not enjoy crawling over you, and I do not enjoy listening to them snarl at you as they do.  Even if I don’t blame them for being frustrated with your stubborn inconsideration.
  10. I would like you to use the verbal skills I have taught you to end an argument, without me having to referee.  Trust me when I tell you I’ve armed you with the proper language to win on your own.  Ask Daddy.
  11. I would like you to take your belongings – more commonly referred to as “crap” – out of the car and into the house.  I would also prefer you put your crap away after it is in the house.
  12. I would like to see the floor of the mudroom when you are home: Shoes in the shoe bins, coats on the coat hooks, backpacks on the backpack hooks.
  13. I would like for you to hang up your snow gear and leave your boots to dry in the garage.  I understand the term “mudroom” can be a bit misleading.  Consider this clarification.
  14. I would like for you to empty your lunch boxes.  Especially on Fridays.  Please.
  15. I would like you to start your weekend homework earlier than Sunday evening.  It will be a much more pleasant experience for us all.
  16. I would like to share my shower with you without my bathroom exploding.  I get it.  My shower head rocks.  The explosion of clothing does not.
  17. I would like you to return my bath towels so I don’t have to dry off with a hand towel.  I am small, but not that small.
  18. I would like you to hang up your wet bath towels when you return them.  Daddy paid good money to have those silver rods hung on our walls.  They are called towel bars.  It would be nice if their intended function was put to good use.
  19. I would like you to put your brushes and hair accessories away inside the drawers.  It makes a drawer sad and lonely when it is empty.
  20. I would like you to put your outdoor toys away after you are done playing with them.
  21. I would like you to put your indoor toys away after you are done playing with them.
  22. I would like you to put your piles on the stairs away.  I have your eyes checked at every doctor appointment.  I am confident you can see when your stair bins are overflowing.
  23. I would like for you to let Tucker in from outside.  I have your ears checked at every doctor appointment.  I am confident you can hear him when he’s barking.
  24. I would like you to bring your water glasses downstairs in the morning.  All of them.  We are not in the business of growing scientific cultures, nor do I want to be.
  25. I would like you to eat your food so I don’t feel like choking you.
  26. I would like you to drink your orange juice, instead of saving it for later on the edge of a shelf in the refrigerator.  When it spills during the day while you are at school, it causes Mommy to say some very nasty words about you.  Out loud.  Wishing you could hear me.  Afterwards thankful that you don’t.
  27. I would like you to recognize that when I pull out my phone or computer for a breather, I need just that – a breather.  One without you looking over my shoulder asking me what I’m looking at.
  28. I would like you to accept that you have to sleep in your own beds during the week.  Why you wish to continuously sleep on our cold, hard floor baffles me.  The carpet isn’t even cushy.
  29. I would like you to respect the word “No” the first time I say it.  I do not enjoy negotiating with you all the time.  And if you haven’t noticed?  You rarely win.
  30. I would like you to turn the Xbox off after using it.  This also applies to the tv.
  31. I would like you to turn the lights off as you leave a room.  The button on the wall is actually kind of fun to push.
  32. I would like to spend some time in my bedroom with your dad without you feeling the need to knock on the door.  I know you know what we are doing, because I have been responsible enough to teach you about such grown-up topics.  There is no need to discuss it further as it pertains to us.  Especially while you are knocking.

As I said before, I know this list seems very large.  However, not one single item is new to you.  In fact, you hear me ask for most items every single day.  Having said that, I would now like to ask for the biggest gift of all:

I would like for all of the above to occur without me having to remind you all the time.  

I do not enjoy being a drill sergeant, even though the logo on my blog looks happy and cheery.  I’m actually a very fun person when I’m not in get-shit-done mode.  Yes, I swore.  Again…not the first time you’ve heard this.

All of the above is free.  It will not cost you a cent.  But it will offer me the most valuable gift of all:


Time for me when you’re not around,

so I can have more FUN with you when you are!

I love you very much.

Even when you drive me crazy.



p.s. When I say I would like to poop in peace …I really mean that.  I know you think my exasperated declaration of this is funny, so perhaps that is why you don’t take me seriously.   But for real – it’s a solo activity that I do not wish to share with anyone.

Xmas Wishes