Christmas, Winton's birthday, New Year's, Clara's Birthday and Mitch's birthday all fall within a 10 day period which annually overlaps with our 13 hour each way drive to my in-laws in time for their Christmas Eve party followed by an obligatory wider in-law family party on the afternoon of Christmas day (sometimes itself involving several extra hours of driving depending on which wing of the family is hosting).
Even when well, I am ready to poke myself in the eye with a barbeque skewer by January 3rd.
I have been more patient (resigned, fevered) this year, and have tried very hard to be affable and good -natured through it all.
Today, even with pneumonia, I procured flowers for Clara (her birthday today), arranged the outing which will actually celebrate her turning five, and encouraged the children to help make the salad dressing for dinner.
I even consented to carrying Clara upstairs, which she loves, and I hate because a) she is heavy and b) I currently can't breathe. Half way up she started to squirm. At some point she reached her arm behind her so that when I went to put her down I pressed it, inadvertently, into a type of wrestling hold that hurt. "Mommy, you did that on purpose!" Clara screamed at me, red-faced and more than once. Goddamn. No. I didn't. I didn't even want to.
Maybe I should just act like a harpy all the time if I'm going to be accused of intentionally hurting my children, by my children.