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I am the Grinch. December 17, 2010

Posted by phoenixaeon in Christmas, Parenting, Principessa.
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It is almost upon us. The moneypit of a ‘season’ of gifts and those useless items that end up in a corner never to be looked at again. You know you’ve done it, smiled at a present and wondered simultaneously why on earth the person who gifted it to you ever thought that it’d be the perfect pressie for you. But this is not the reason that I have the self-claimed title of the Grinch.

No. I am the Grinch because I have realised just how much I use the prospect of Christmas as a threat to entice Princi into doing something.

“C’mon, eat your breakfast. Father Christmas is watching. You need to finish your breakfast or he won’t come to see you this year.”

“Princi, turn off that DVD player and get sorted for bed or there’ll be no presents for you!”

Oh, there are various others and they are used in quick succession like the rapid spitting of ammunition from a minigun. And I can’t stop myself! It sickens me that I’m doing it, but I can’t stop. It’s an autopilot situation when I feel like Princi is getting the better of me. The thing is, I know I’m not going to cancel Christmas, but I’m pretty sure that Princi knows that too, as she just continues doing what she is doing. This week’s mornings are testament to that – where she sat and stared at her breakfast and ignored me when I asked, then told, then demanded that she eat. I’m not joking, sometimes it took 45 minutes for a single bowl of cereal to be eaten. (I just hope I’m not giving her a reason to hate food with all my pestering.)

You’d think from this that Princi is a naughty kid. She’s not. The majority of the time she’s fabulous, caring and downright funny. But she knows the buttons and she pushes them when the whim takes her. That it’s mostly in the morning when we’re most pushed for time is the problem. The day is started with threats and not-niceties that sets us both at odds with each other. By the time she’s home from school it’s all hugs and rainbows, but mornings are horrible. And mornings on the run-up to Christmas are guilt-ridden pits of despair due to the threats.

I feel like I’ve taken the excitement out of Christmas for Princi because I threaten a non-Christmas so often. She knows it’s soon, but unlike me when I was her age, she’s not at all phased by it. We sat down the other night and wrote a letter to Father Christmas on emailsanta.com (brilliant site, the letter that arrives back in just under a minute is fab), but even this hasn’t inspired excitement. She’s more excited that tomorrow is the last day in school (and a yay! for a full term without absences. She insisted on going to school despite having a horrible cold) and that she gets to stay up a little later for a couple of weeks. Maybe when the tree is finally up I’ll have the Christmas excitement. Or maybe I should just accept the fact that it’s possible Christmas doesn’t inspire her with glee – though I’m sure that the presents on Christmas Day will.

Or maybe I should hold back from the threats of “There’ll be no Christmas for you” from now on. Maybe then the spirit of Christmas will germinate in the mind of my gorgeous little girl.

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