Yes, My Toddler Still Nurses and Other Conversations I Don’t Want to Have Over the Holidays

My husband and I are preparing, both physically and mentally, for the upcoming holiday season. We are physically preparing by decluttering the house to make room for new toys for the kids, and budgeting for gifts and travel. We are mentally preparing by bracing ourselves for the barrage of intrusive parenting questions we will likely face when we arrive home for the holidays.

Everyone has opinions about everyone else’s parenting (my husband and I are no exception), but the holidays tend to embolden people to actually make those opinions heard. I’m not sure why we can’t focus on the good stuff –-like how delicious the roast is, or how cool it is that we live in a society that celebrates holidays designed solely for the purpose of buying each other nice things–-but for some reason, we all tend to bring the worst, most judgmental versions of ourselves to holiday get-togethers.

So let’s just cut right to it, before I even pack my entire family into our sedan and make the chaotic trip. Here are all the things I don’t feel like talking about over the holidays:

Yes, my toddler still breastfeeds. I know. It weirds you out, particularly because he is an extremely verbal two-and-a-half-year-old, and you never breastfed your kids at all, but this keeps us sane. It keeps our house running smoothly. If you have an issue with it, I’d be happy to bring my screaming toddler to you at four in the morning and you can figure out how get him back to sleep. For us, for right now, this is what works.

Nope, he’s not potty trained yet. Good grief, I feel like I JUST potty trained my oldest son. I know he’s in kindergarten so that can’t possibly be accurate, but it still feels true. I need a break from potty training, okay? We’ll get to it when we’re good and ready.

I’m not sure why my five-year-old still calls my husband and me “Dada” and “Mama” but, frankly, I have other things to worry about. I understand that you think this is baby talk, and that our son is way too old to be using these words. His little brother still uses those words, and no one else is uncomfortable about it except for you, and you only have to deal with it for a few days out of the year. I promise, though, that my kids will call us “Mom” and “Dad” by the time they graduate college. I swear.

I’m sorry my screen time limits make family get-togethers difficult, but actually, no, I’m not. Sure, it would be easier for you if I just put on a Daniel Tiger or Thomas & Friends marathon in the other room while we all socialized as adults, but when my kids have too much screen time they turn into goblins and make life miserable. So, suck it up, let my kids play in your living room and be loud for a little bit.

I don’t know if we’ll have more kids. All I know is that I’m tired and I need a drink. Now I’ve got a question for you—where do you keep your wine?

Man, I’m so glad we got that out of the way. Pass the potatoes, please; they’re delicious!