It's beginning to sound a lot like Christmas around here. Fighting, bickering, screaming, deal making and chaos. I don't think I like Christmas, in fact I know I don't, as much as I once did. Five children equals five active volcano's. Oh sure they simmer and smoke quietly until we get down to the last two weeks. Then they explode, spewing chaos everywhere. School is never done around here, we have lessons in everything we do. Right now I am learning about peace talks. They on the other hand are practicing open warfare.
Andrew is trying but still blows steam and spews nonsense. He is now 15 and calming down. He can however be goaded into and argument by Evan or Emma quickly. I have noticed how as Andrew has gotten older his gifts have gotten smaller but more expensive. He will be 16 by next Christmas, I have already told him not to expect a car. Well that's not entirely true, he will get his usual Matchbox car, a family tradition.
Evan is not trying anything but my patience. He forgets his chores mid chore. Argues, with everyone including the dogs it seems. Evan is 12, oh yes the joy of puberty has come to roost here again. Evan is harder to shop for, he is a tween. Still loves to play with toys but more interested in older kids stuff, video games, mp3 players and such.
Caleb, well Caleb is something. He has been trying, and getting better at social interaction. I saw a shirt that was perfect for him the other day, it said "Dear Santa, I was framed.". Caleb is 10, no signs up puberty, but plenty of defiance. Caleb has never been easy to shop for, he will not say what he wants. Santa has never been big with Caleb so no finding out that way. We know he loves Lego's, and any building toys. He also loves chemistry sets and chess boards.
Emma is all about the argument and drama. Should an argument break out mid chore she is very happy. A dramatic moment can be had, she storms up the stairs crying loudly and yelling "Thats it, I am going to my room I am not doing my chores.". This never works but she tries anyhow. Emma is 8 and very sweet most of the time. Emma is still easy to shop for and happy with pretty much anything you give her.
Kate is just Kate. She will fight with anyone in a heartbeat. She tries to help out and do her chores. She sings and dances one minute and slugs and kicks the next. She is our "Katie Kaboom" for good reason. Katie is 5 and enjoying every minute of it. Katie wants a bike this year, that's it that's all, a bike. I have a feeling this will be the only easy year with her.
The closer we get to the big day the more tension mounts. The kids have tried. The pressure seems to be too much. It is cold outside, well cold for Vegas, the kids don't want to go out as much. The tree is too much of a temptation, must move the ornaments around, crawl behind it or under it. This has been a long year and this is the big moment before its done. We have in-laws to dine with Christmas eve then our home for Christmas day.
Now I must go upstairs and finish folding laundry, figure out how to mop the floors and keep kids off of them. Check and make sure the tree is not crooked again. I hope we make it to the big day without a massive blow up, the tree still standing and my sanity at least somewhat on this side of reality.