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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Raging Toddlers, or All I Want For Christmas Is Sleep

Almost every night for the past few months our house is being visited by Raging Toddlers, the Incredible Hulks of smaller pink variety. Every night at bedtime it's fussing, crying, screaming, and poopalooning (the Little household word meaning running around, giggling, getting into things you shouldn't and avoiding doing what is asked of you in every possible way). I don't get it! I'm sure there are children who go to sleep quietly, sweetly saying their good night prayers. No, not zaiki! Sleep is an enemy that must be fought at all costs. Each has her own way of campaigning against it: Sonya bites her nails, and Maya just keeps talking, talking, talking, talking....

I hate bedtime. What do you do when your two-year old, in response to your request to close their eyes says "no"? And then there is two of them!!! I feel helpless. Kevin and I sit with them, negotiating, but every night ends up the same way: screaming till 10 pm, then blurry-eyed and cranky in the morning. The cycle repeats itself the next night. And what's up with two perfectly potty-trained little girls who pee in their pull up at night? And on purpose? And then tell me about it. Proudly. GRRRRR.

I know there's master manipulation going on, but there is two of them, and I just don't have enough backbone to fight two strong-willed little people at the same time.

Add the holiday stress on top of our sleep battles, and you have yourself an anti-social tired little me, who is snappy and short-fused. Oh, I completely get the Grinch! But Christmas is inevitable, it's looming and I can feel it breathing down my neck...It's coming! And zaiki know about Christmas - the most important thing a 2-year old should know: everyone puts up pretty lights and Santa (Ded Moroz) brings presents. Maya asked for a dolly and a hamster (HA! Good luck with that!!! As if I need another thing to clean up after!). Sonya asked for a purple rabbit. Every morning they keep asking when Ded Moroz is coming.

Given a bi-cultural household we run, I've been dumbfounded as to how to incorporate both: American Christmas is on the 25th of December, and Russian is on January 8th. Plus, The New Year Eve is kinda big deal for me: that's when Ded Moroz actually comes. So we have a discrepancy: do they get presents on the 25th or on January 1st? Or both? What about January 8th?

Also, I'm trying (unsuccessfully) to keep the religious aspect out of the holidays, at least for now, mainly because I don't want to end up going to church on Christmas as I have a feeling they may request that. Which I know, I know, is the WHOLE POINT of the holiday. Never said I was rational. All I'm saying is that I have issues. Huge ones. And knowing is half the battle. The problem is, how do you make a leap from "knowing" into "changing"? Crystal in your sock? Silver pendulum? (Hi Joe!!! Miss you lots!!!).  

Anyway, back to zaiki: walking downtown by the Catholic church the other day, Maya looks up at the stone Jesus and exclaims: "Mama, it's Jesus!". Then they broke into a duet rendition of "Immaculate Mary, Your Praises We Sing"... Well, our grandma-substitute-babysitter is Catholic. Sigh.

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