I have decided that Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, with a mere 7 nights separating them, is just a cruel joke for parents of young children. Trying to get over-excited children to bed by any semblance of a decent bedtime is hard enough, let alone when you need to transform yourself first into Santa Claus (Christmas Eve) and a "normal adult" (NYE). As I was lying next to a near-slumbering Blake at about 9:00pm tonight and I heard fireworks start to go off, I could only groan inwardly and despair at how this whole occasion is just not geared toward the sleep-deprived and patience-starved.
Fortunately, the fireworks didn't disturb Blake (any more than Noah's re-emergence after he'd gone to bed for the first time around 7:00....that didn't last and he was back in the living room by 7:30). They are both extremely exhausting at the moment - Noah with his commands ("Blakeeeeey - here go!!!" = Blake, take this toy from me and play with me!..."Daddy - sit down!" = Daddy, sit down and watch me eat my Cheerio's...."Mummmmy!!!" = could mean anything from Where is my toast? to Pick me up! to Mommy, you are just so silly to chase me around trying to get me to wear that diaper!). Blake has actually been pretty good these days but does remind me of a young puppy who just desperately needs entertaining....all - the - time.
Our special NYE dinner was cottage pie for the boys and smoked salmon and creme fraiche - and some champagne and beer - for Matt and me. When Blake and I went to the store at around 3:00 there weren't any blinis left. I decided I would start the year off by being more forgiving to myself and not stress about this absence in my ingredient list - I got a small baguette and grilled small slices - "crost-blini" I'll call it.
The living room was chaos so we had a nice big clean-up...at some point I mentioned that it might be good if Matt and I went on an anger management class, to which Matt replied that we just need "another parent". Thank goodness it is now less than 3 weeks til Granny Karla and Grandpa John arrive for their "extended grandparenting stay" (that's for you, Mom and Dad, lest you think you're coming for a vacation! :)
I have to say that I won't really be too sad to say goodbye to 2011. The surreal plane flight in April seems like a lifetime ago - was it me, or did this year just feel realllly long, in an unexceptional way? Although, in fairness, I spent some wonderful weekends with various sets of truly amazing friends: the Hickory girls in April, the Dartmouth gang in May in Rhode Island, a late-summer October weekend in Herefordshire with my Pushy Mums, and finally our weekend in the Oxfordshire barns a few weeks ago in December with the Sussex bunch. I can wish for more sleep and more free time, but I can't wish for better friends.
And so, I say, "Ni hao, 2012!" Why would I be saying that, you wonder...? Well, because I'm going to learn Mandarin in 2012. I have a great feeling about 2012....the Olympics are coming to London, we'll at least go to Clinton in June, if not hopefully elsewhere to celebrate with Mona and Dr Bob (congratulations...still excited for you, though not written the card yet!). And, oh yes, the babysitters arrive in less than 3 weeks!
Happy New Year! I'm not sure I'll be able to stay up for the next 45 minutes so I'll just say it now - Happy 2012!