Christmas was very slow this year, and involved a lot of sleeping and rest as Aaron and I had flu for 3 weeks. We've literally JUST recovered. To be honest, like the middle pic above, it's all a bit of a blur. What that pic does remind me of, is I intended on getting a snap of each and every one of my special tree baubles but did not even manage that. It was tough, but really the only things that took a backseat were the blog (and photography) and housework. Also, it meant we ate a lot less, as wow, boy does flu effect your appetite. Rose tinted glasses are a wonderful thing, as instead of remembering how ill we were, cough included, and for Aaron, high temperatures, instead what I am remembering is the fact that we cuddled more, while I blogged less. It meant there were tears #MineNotHis on the first day back at school, but it was a special Christmas, probably my last one with Aaron as a "little boy". He might be too old for kisses and cuddles this time next year.
23rd December Aaron's glands looked like he had a golf ball under each ear. I was quite alarmed and even feared it might be mumps, until I reassured myself it was just swollen glands. He'd been so ill, that the final week of school, he had the Monday off sick, that was 15th December. On the Tuesday I dropped him at school at 13:15 as he's always worst first thing and at night, so that I could go and set up the Christmas Bizarre (I'm on the PTA). He'd picked up in the afternoon and I didn't want to shirk my responsibilities. Whilst the other ladies set up all their tables, I helped set up Santa's Grotto. Wednesday and Thursday I think I dropped him at about 10 a.m. So it was a bit of a shock to have to be there by 08:45 on Friday, but we had to be for his nativity. They had two official public performances 16th and 19th, but he'd missed the Tuesday morning one, so there was no way I was going to let him miss the Friday one. I'd even rescheduled a hospital appointment on 19th, to have a mole removed, as I wanted (originally) to go to both nativity performances. As it turned out he missed the Tuesday one, I am so glad I rearranged that appointment - being psychic has its uses, even when you don't even realise till after what it was all about.
In order to make our first early start of the week, that Friday 19th December, we went to bed the night before really early. Can't remember now but it was 1830 or 1930. Yeah, REALLY early!!!! It meant Aaron woke up at about 3 a.m. He watched a video on You Tube, had something to eat and drink, and thankfully went STRAIGHT back to sleep.
I was going to post some nativity pics (of just him obviously) but they are just too too dark, so there is no point. What actually happened though, was we did get up in time, despite our flu, but at 08:23 he sprung it on me that he did not want to cycle (he's cycled EVERY day since he started school in September). I said "Aaron it's too far to walk" and "if we are going to get there in time, we simply won't make it if you walk" to which he said "okay I'll scoot". I agreed (I had no choice) but my heart SANK as I knew scooting would be harder on his legs than cycling, and I didn't think in a million years it would be successful. I also knew it'd mean I'd have to walk, and cycling is easier on my plantar fasciitis (yes it hurts after the cycle, but not during, so it gets me there AND back). I was crushed. I'd got us to bed early, and here, at the 11th hour, my chances of he or I getting to the nativity were being scuppered.
Anyway, our first 500 metres of him scooting he was full of beans, and considering how sick he was, I was hopeful. Turned out he scooted all the way there, and we got to school at 08:43. I was like a marathon runner, who was thrilled to have finished what appeared impossible, so the minute we got to his classroom door I started to cry. Cry at relief. Cry at having made it. Cry at the effort. Cry at the sheer exertion it had taken to get there. The Teacher was very sympathetic but she had a whole class she needed to get in costume, and get to the assembly hall, so she offered me the chance to spend from 08:45 to 09:00 in the staffroom having a coffee. We have our PTA meetings there, so I grabbed the chance, and would you believe, despite drinking my coffee, I cried throughout. I composed myself to walk round to the hall, but then was so proud at the nativity, I cried throughout that too, especially given that Aaron did get up and say his line into the mic. This was his third nativity and at Nursery HE always cried throughout, so I was so proud of what this school had achieved in getting his confidence up. The room was full of love, and it made me cry all the more - in a good way!
I then had to walk home as we didn't bring the bikes, and I cried all the way home too. Thankfully when I got home I busied myself choosing presents for his two Teachers, and writing their cards. Before I knew it, it was time to collect him.
I think, if memory serves me right, we spent that Saturday and Sunday warm and tucked up indoors.
Actually, no! I just checked my photos. On the Saturday we got dressed late afternoon as there was to be a candle procession with Santa that culminated with meeting him in a grotto, where there would be carols, hot chocolate and mince pies. We could not miss that, so off we went despite being sick, and the 3 hours out for that, were all we managed that day, but it was so worthwhile. Aaron wouldn't stay for all of the carols, so I was gutted as we left there 90 minutes before it finished. Long time readers will know I used to go to church every Sunday and used to be in the choir. I miss singing, and so standing, with a crowd, singing Christmas Carols would have been right up my street, but Aaron didn't have the patience for it. He did let me sing about 3 before we left though, and I did manage to grab a mince pie and hot chocolate.
It wasn't particularly mild but as you can see Aaron is only wearing a hoodie and refused to wear a jacket!
Flu also meant I only took 119 photos from 23rd December to 5th Jan, where normally I sometimes take 170 a day, so that shows how sick and out of it I was. Instead of regretting it (I haven't even got a Christmas Day pic of Aaron and I) I don't as it means I can just focus on the wonderful memories and pics we have from December, the advent period, where we DID so so much. Aaron got to meet SIX Santas this year:
- Harrods Santa
- Westfield Stratford City Santa
- Zoo Santa
- Santa with my Sister in Law and nieces/nephew - this one gave THE best presents! But it was this weekend that we each got our flu - ooops!
- School Santa at the Bizarre AND at the last day of school, where he gave a book to each child (us PTA ladies wrapped over 400 books).
- Santa at the Candlelit Lantern Procession as above.
Over the past three weeks I have got through FOUR boxes of Lemsip. Which is mental for me, as I am normally the most unmedicated person you will ever meet. Aaron will be 5 in June and he has NEVER had a course of antibiotics.
Anyway, the Santa I mentioned above was fab. We even had jelly and icecream. The presents were amazing. Aaron got a track with a motorised car and his fav cousin got a bakery stall. Amazing gifts!
I firmly believe that kids make Christmas, and there is NOTHING better than watching your child open their presents on Christmas morning. This is the first year where he has fully 100% understood everything. He even opened two advent calendars (with a 3rd for Daddy) and stuck to one door per day, a real sign that he is growing up. Opening those doors each day gave him SUCH a buzz, I am so glad I was prepared on that score.
Opening the Advent Calendars was a real huge feature of December and really engaged Aaron (and me) in the run up to Christmas. He was therefore always fully aware of how many days there was to go. It was perfect having the pop up one in addition to an ordinary chocolate one (Aaron had Thomas and Daddy had The Simpsons).