Life Lessons at Christmas Break

Christmas break image

Merry Christmas to you all! The kids are out for the Christmas break at school and we are planning to bake like mad. Last week we finished up all the projects from school. We tied clear sandwich bags around a coat hanger to make a very cool wreath. I wasn’t sure at the outset, but it turned out to be cute and is proudly hanging on his door. The pre-teen dissected a frog and declared it disgusting. The teen assures me that all of her holiday projects were completed and she can laze around the entire Christmas break texting, Instagramming, and watching YouTube videos.

I like a nice break but it is beyond me how the teens can sit around doing nothing for such long periods. And what little they do, they do one-handed. It is difficult for the poor dears because they can’t actually work and be on the phone at the same time. I mean, rolling out Christmas cookie dough and holding a cell phone are just not compatible. Folding clothes one-handed becomes a nightmare so they kind of roll their things and wad them into the drawers between texting friends. At times, the teens are not only one-handed, they can also be lame-brained.

I asked the pre-teen – who is close enough to the teen category to be acting just like a teen – to start the dishwasher. Whaaaattt? He sputters and stumbles all over the kitchen looking for the soap. He opens and slams seven cabinet doors. Where, I ask any of you, just where would most normal moms keep the soap for the dishwasher? UNDER THE SINK! 392_DSC02265And he says, “Well, how was I supposed to know?” And so, I am justified in stating that teens, and nearly teens, are life forms in and of themselves.

And I get to spend the next two weeks trying to find ways to entertain them without out going batty myself. THEY would like to sleep in. The youngest still wakes at the crack of dawn to get to the TV first. I would like to rise somewhere in between the teens and the early riser. I would really like to rise and not have to listen to Minecraft music. As such, I have trained the early risers to make their own breakfast and use headphones if they get up before the sun.

For moms with several kids, this is an easy process that can begin quite early. Teach them to make cinnamon toasts in the microwave or have plenty of toaster waffles in the freezer. The beginning basic “breakfast on your own” is a slice of cheese melted onto a flour 100_0024tortilla. Making breakfast is also an academic training for the young ones. They quickly learn their numbers. The larger numbers will turn the cheese back to plastic and the smaller numbers will gently melt it onto the tortilla. They learn number placement, how to find numbers on the back of a box, and how to operate different appliances.

In keeping with the academic training they also learn communication skills. There have been times when I was in the shower and a plate materializes at the end of the curtain with a small voice asking, “How much for this?” Having been trained academically, they understand when I state, “Two, Five” and yank the curtain closed. I know they are cooking and they know they are cooking and so it all works out fine. The only trouble is when they accidentally push two, five, zero, zero and then Start. Suddenly the early riser pops back into the bathroom to tell me that there are little flames inside the microwave. Oh, dear!

I counsel the early riser to leave the door shut and the fire will go out. Another academic lesson! With no oxygen a fire will eventually go out. It might smell really, really bad, but the door must stay closed. The small learner also learns a bit about time management because he used the last tortilla in the accidental fire/microwave experiment. So now, he must make some decisions quickly. Move to frozen waffles in the toaster or clean the microwave for cinnamon toast? Not a difficult decision for one so academically gifted.

He can be finished with the toaster and into his headphones before mom can get dressed and down stairs. Out of sight, out of mind. Hopefully.

And so the teens are spared on the first day of Christmas holiday. article-2730757-20B0C1A000000578-374_634x337They were still asleep when the cheese, I think it was the cheese, burst into flames inside the microwave. However, the early riser will be afforded a lesson in janitorial upkeep on his first day of Christmas break.

I hand him a chisel and he starts chipping the molten cheese off of the glass microwave plate. I spray the spray and encourage him by singing work songs. cleaning-inside-of-microwave-ovenThe others already know the work songs and that is probably why they hardly leave their rooms over Christmas break!



About Fawn Musick

Writings to make you Smile and Think. Fawn is an award winning newspaper columnist. She is an avid writer, blogger, and mom. Her advice comes from her years of mothering her eight children.
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