I survived Christmas with a toddler

Whew. Holidays with a very busy toddler is kind of exhausting. And we didn’t even have the length of travel and number of gatherings that some parents deal with every year.

Last year was so different in comparison to this one. She was just a few months old then, content to watch all the chaos from the safety of our arms.

But now, not even a little.

Christmas celebrations with both mine and husband’s immediate family were a breeze. Our daughter had an absolute blast running around with her cousins and was totally comfortable in the houses where we met. She was almost too busy to be bothered with opening gifts, but was thoroughly blessed by her awesome relatives.

Then a couple days later we drove a few hours to visit my mom’s side of the family. I grew up with my cousins and even though our clan is rather massive at this point, we are all very close.
So of course I was thrilled to be a part of the gathering, which included skating, lots of food, singing, and a noise level you have to experience to understand.

I was thankful our youngster wasn’t phased or anxious amidst all the activity … quite the opposite. She was almost too comfortable for my liking. She only sat still long enough for a few bites of food, otherwise she was charging around the house, opening laundry chutes, watching older ones play lego, and deciding she could climb down stairs by herself.

Husband and I had to take turns playing her shadow, trying to avoid faceplants off a ladder or trampling by excited older kids.

It was rather exhausting, honestly. Fun, but wearying.
And of course, it was near impossible convincing her to sleep when there was so much else to do.

It was wonderful to catch up with dear friends and enjoy the holidays with family.

But I’m ever so grateful for all the quiet moments too, like Christmas morning with just our trio. And now, a couple peaceful days to recover before the regular routine begins again.

Cheryl Hazelton
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