Staying Sane: The holiday card that was never sent, and some M&Ms

I was struggling a bit for a topic for this Sunday’s Staying Sane piece. Not that there isn’t something to write about… just the contrary. The end of 2011… a year of new beginnings with 2012, goals, commitments we are all making to make ourselves and our families happier…. yes, there is a lot going through my mind and I have a lot to write about. But in due course.

What I decided to do is focus on some fun and folly. And also me dropping the ball on cards this year.  For friends who receive cards from us faithfully year after year, you will notice, or maybe you have not noticed, that our card this year did not make it out.  We tried.  Honestly we did.   We were lucky to have a calendar put together this year.  In fact, I still have some gifts I need to get together.   So, don’t take it personally.  It’s not you, or your family, we love all of you and we did receive your card, and my how the kids are growing and everyone looks so happy.

OK.   Now that that is done, let’s get back to our card that was never sent out.  Well, we like to put a photo of the kids in it.  And that involves a photo-shoot and stiff garments.   So we need to bribe the kids.   It started with bribery of some animal house crackers before the photo shoot and the promise for more after the shoot. Now, just imagine trying to wrestle FOUR kids under 5.5 yrs old into itchy clothes, some of which make them look like guido mobsters.  And THEN ask them to look happy, look forward, get together, Big Bro you’re doing great, no don’t walk off Twin Husky, come on guys, Red please smile — why are you pouting, try to get together guys, look happy, OK everyone look over here, over HERE, OVER HERE GUYS, I promise we’ll get cookies, why don’t I just go behind the photo drop and you can sit on my lap, etc. And this is what you get:

After about 10 minutes of this, we called off the photo shoot and just hoped that we got something reasonable – didn’t have to be great, just reasonable. I took them all downstairs for their animal crackers. That’s when I came across the M&Ms…. and it hit me. I started to hand them out. The kids started to look energized. Their dark, sullen, tired eyes started to brighten up and they started to look like sweet little picture-book kids with leaps and bounds of energy — even the guidos…..

We turned around and I instructed all kids to get upstairs for Photo Shoot #2, pronto!!!  Now just see if you can envision the sight…. four kids in a parade back up the stairs with me following them with our jug of left-over Halloween candy, searching for more of those little M&M packets as I’m running up the stairs behind them.

And then we saw happy kids. Really. All four of them. And they were interacting. And smiling. And giggling. And acting goofy. And feeding off of each other’s energy. And glowing. And this is what we got:

And during this craziness, we got so many great pictures, with ALL of them looking forward, with ALL of them reasonably close to each other, with ALL of them smiling from ear to ear.   And in the stream of pictures we took, we captured IT:

So, I am going to keep this M&M thing in my back-pocket in the future. For big occasions. For times when I need cooperation with all four of them. And I think I’m going to keep a jar of them for me, out of sight for little hands to grab as their own.

Happy new year everyone – I hope you take 2012 by storm!

– Mama K


  1. Very funny and oh so familiar…

  2. You have beautiful children – great idea to use the M&Ms!
    Happy New Year!

  3. perfect!

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