One of the things I love best about Christmas is the Santa-threat factor. If used properly, a parent can use the Santa-threat for up to 6 weeks leading to Christmas. For example:
"That's fine, boys. Don't go to bed. But Santa is watching you. He's always watching you. And if you don't go to bed right now, he's going to put your name on the naughty list, and all you will get on Christmas morning is a lump of coal in your stocking!" (Cue children running like hell to get in bed before Santa edits his naughty/nice list).
However, I had a shocking thing happen to me last night. My perfect and awe-inspiring parenting skills (snigger...) came whipping around to bite me in the ass. After delivering the Santa-threat to Phoenix when he kept getting out of bed, Phoenix says to me, "Mom, it doesn't matter if Santa doesn't bring me anything on Christmas morning. Christmas isn't about presents. It's about being with your family and loved ones."
So what do I do to shore up the crumbling wall of perfect parenthood? Do I hug him in the joy of his having learned a very important moral message in this season of commercialism and greed? Nope. What I said, albeit sweetly, was this: "That's wonderful Phoenix. I am glad that you will have the comfort and joy of your family and loved ones. I hope that makes you happy as we are all sitting there opening our presents from Santa, because we were good, and stayed in bed when we were supposed to."
Chalk it up to stress, bah-humbugism, or what have you. I admit, sometimes my sarcasm gets the better of me, as countless friends and family will attest to (no comments from you, Leanne!) I should know better than to unleash it on a helpless child. My excuse is that I am a Scorpio, and a bit of a bitch. So I just can't help it. Plus I read somewhere that children that were not breast-fed as babies (as I was not) are sarcastic due to lack of oral gratification as infants. So there.
But as I lay in bed last night, I did feel a tiny glow. That when all was said and done, I must be doing something right, if beneath all the gimmee-gimmee of the season, my son knew what was important. And he learned it from me.
PS. He got the good-boy hug and kiss this morning...