Sleigh Bells Ring... Are You Listening?

Well Christmas is just around the corner. I've been itching to get back to blogging but all the Holiday craziness has drained my writing juices. That's not to say that its been an uneventful time.

This holiday season with all the stress and things to do we've had some crazy moments with our son. One thing we tell him over and over again is "LISTEN!" I think we say it to him 10-20 times a day.  We are always saying things like, "You need to listen Joey! What did we just tell you to do??" "Joey are you listening??" but how often do we are parents do the very things we are constantly berating our kids about?

Like the Time We Were At The Apple Store...

I don't know about you but every year around the holidays I end up making an appointment with the Genius Bar. I had both Joey and Kaitlyn. That day Joey was in preschool all day, with no nap and was having his usual meltdown. He was crying and screaming that his head hurt, was wanting me to hold him. His voice echoed throughout the the place, reverberating off every Macbook's aluminum unibody casing in the store. The skinny guy at the genius bar with scruffy hair and dark rimmed glasses (that looked he just graduated middle school) was trying to explain to me in caveman-like language  why my Macbook crashed. Joey was going so crazy I had to put him in the stroller (hes almost four) and  I held Kaitlyn. This caused Kaitlyn to want to crawl on top of the Genius Bar (hopefully no more bar crawling after that day *fingers crossed*) I tried to get her down which lead her to convulse in rage, screaming at the top of her lungs. So I had two screaming kids on my hands and the skinny genius guy and the whole store for that matter, was looking at my kids in compassion/horror a total "how did it come to this??" look, the way people look at kids in those World Vision commercials. The guy fixed the "problem" whatever it was and I was off running, strolling my overgrown baby (Joey) in the stroller, while carrying a screaming 18 month old.

I was down to survival mode. Food. My kids need food and water.

The whole time my son was screaming his usual "My head hurts, my stomach hurts! I want Angry Birds!! I want Ice Cream in the Apple Store!!" non nonsensical tantrum rants that I've come to tune-out and merely interpret as "TIRED!" or "HUNGRY!!"

Finally, I get to a cafe at the mall, I'm so relieved to see that it's nearly empty, partly because I hoped no one from the Apple Store would be there to watch ACT II of the drama unfold. We order our food and they place it in front of us. I know my son is hungry. I know that is the cause of his tantrum. But he refuses to eat. He just sits there and starts complaining and yelling about the food. He stands up and screams, "MY STOMACH HURRRRTS!!!!!!" I slam my hands down on the table. Look him square in the eye and just as I'm about to explode in rage...

He throws up.

All over the table everywhere! on the seats. It seemed like 3 liters of the stuff on the nice leathery booth we were sitting in. The waiter quickly comes over. They move us to the table over. They proceed to put yellow caution table around the area and they bring in a special cleaning crew to clean it up. Anywho my son is crying at this point. I feel terrible and Kaitlyn who is hungry and was all ready to eat until her brother vomited all over her hopes of a good meal. I was carrying two crying kids to the bathroom. While we washed up I was realizing that the very thing I tell my son to do all the time... I failed to

LISTEN.

He was trying to tell me I he was sick that he wasn't feeling well but often times when he tries to tell me something the only thing I could think about is how he is inconveniencing me and what I am trying to do. Sometimes throughout the day its all about just trying to get things done and trying to make life a little less crazy for myself, in the meantime I realize I rarely listen to what my son is trying to tell me.

After getting washed up, we came back to the cafe and they had food waiting for us. After he ate he was back to his normal happy self. We spent the rest of the day enjoying the mall and listening to Christmas carols and all the silly nonsensical but important things my 3 year old had to say.