A family Christmas

There seem to be a spate of articles in the media this year bemoaning Christmas and painting pictures of warring families. I can’t remember if everyone was this miserable last year. Anyway, I’m quite looking forward to seeing family members and having a bit of time with them – call me a rebel if you will.

We seem to be more fraught in this house this festive season. I don’t remember feeing quite this stressed before. Usually I happily work up to Christmas Eve, around early afternoon, and go home ready to embark on a week of niceness.

There are a number of reasons for this fraught feeling. The first, and I hate to sound pathetic, is knitting. I started a jumper as a present for my mum in early October and I’m still knitting it This is unprecedented. I’ve never taken this long to make anything and I’m starting to hate it. I will finish knitting it this evening when I’ve typed this but it’s taken over my evenings. I’ve had to abandon plans for baking tasty treats and don’t even think about writing much. I MUST FINISH IT. I must get it out of the house.

The real crisis came last Wednesday when I got a phone call on my work night out – S had fallen down the stairs at home and had “done something” to his arm. Turns out he’s broken it, and what started out as being a clean break at A&E has turned into waiting for an operation to have pins and a plate inserted so that he can have a chance at regaining full mobility. His work have been lovely and kind, lucky for them it’s the quietest time of year, but the waiting for the op is getting a bit much. We hoped it would be early Monday, then today, now I’m really hoping it will be tomorrow. I’m pretty certain there’s a limited window before the bones starts to heal so fingers crossed it will be tomorrow.

This would be bad enough but S’s dad fell off a ladder on Sunday and broke his arm in exactly the same place.  Two generations, two matching slings, in just four days. We’re all thankful it wasn’t much more than broken arms – in both cases it could have been much worse. S fell with E, though she landed on him and has so far thought the whole thing is quite funny.

It does mean that I have had to do a few more things than I was expecting, and will have to drive a lot over the break. I’m no longer used to driving much and can’t remember the last time I drove home. It will be three four hour journeys, roads being well.

Today I felt weary at work and had very little to do (mainly because I’m so damn efficient) so came home early hoping to make the most of the extra time, only to find E had been sick at nursery and wasn’t feeling well. Looking at her and remembering her behaviour this morning, I’m pretty certain it’s just exhaustion, but will have to keep her away from nursery tomorrow just to be safe. As it was, I was planning on working from home in the morning and letting her have a lie in, but now I’m going to have to find ways of keeping her entertained and ok. The emergency sticker book stash comes into its own. It’s so horrible to think she may have been wearing herself out just from having to manage with our schedule of work. This last weekend was hectic too – lots of appointments and things to do, places to go – much of which was fun and she was very well behaved, but still. I often forget how little she still is.

Despite the mountainous maternal guilt, everything else is small concerns really. I had lunch with a friend today whose sister lost her house and possessions in the Cumbrian floods. When I think how S could have hurt himself or E last week, it’s a blessing these are our only worries. But I will nevertheless be happier if S can go into hospital tomorrow, if I can get to Christmas Evening with a vague sense that I can relax, and that I remember to take the turkey out the freezer tomorrow morning.

And with that, I shall sign off and get back to my knitting! As always, a massive thank you for reading the blog this year – it’s been a topsy turvy year for regular posts but I always enjoy writing them and find any comments to be helpful and supportive. Here’s to a Merry Christmas and a fruitful 2016.

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