Sunday February 2 2014

What depresses families after the long holiday?

The holidays are over. The endorphin rush has halted, and here we are, depleted of serotonin and crashing. And maybe we are even feeling a little depressed about it. We now go back to the normal, everyday grind. No more holiday music. Yeah, it’s hard to make that sudden switch back to the fairy-less world. Here are things in particular that really suck about the post-holiday time.

Detoxing the children from sugar
The holidays have turned my children into sugar junkies. They have gotten a taste. Okay, more than a taste. They have consumed a lot of sugar, in every form. Like, their bodies are made of sugar. They are walking sticks. And they’re roaming around as you are looking for their daily fix. I offered my son a banana and he snarled and then started clawing at the air. Okay, he did not really claw at the air, but he is definitely in withdrawal mode. And it is not pretty.

Saying goodbye to the extended family
Getting the kids used to just having two parents around instead of a small army of relatives and cousins to play with and for whom to perform is rough. For the past week children were entertained and spoilt by their grandparents. They have been playing constantly with cousins and been adored by aunties and uncles. They have been in a state of mania, nonstop fun and amusement. They are like the marshals of the “spoiled children” parade. And now? Yeah, it’s just me and their dad. No hoopla, no fanfare, no overreactions to their played-out tricks. And they are feeling pretty depressed about it.

It is such a weird concept. Hey kids, spend three weeks living in a world with bent rules and a completely altered sense of normalcy, in a state of nonstop merriment that includes Father Christmas, lots of gifts, toys, fun, and games and severe indulgence all around. And then, after almost a month of that, switch gears and go back to early mornings, inordinate amounts of homework, basketball, football, and choir practices, and days filled with school like it is nothing. It is facing the parents’ music again!

Holiday weight gain
Children ate inordinate amounts of sugar and fat in various forms. Toffee, caramel corn, sausage roll, cheesecake, ice cream ... it all got in my belly. And, it has made the belly its home. As a parent, you are going to be working for the next three months to get it to leave.

No more shopping hours
Being able to go to the mall after the baby was down for the night to shop was sweet. Truth be told, there was little holiday shopping done during those times. I was stoked to just go have some me-time, which translates into spending an embarrassing amount of time at the calendar kiosk flipping through cute photos while casually eating a chapati.
Yeah, it is always sad.