—by Barb on January 1, 2012—
My first (and possibly only) blog for 2012. Scott's brother and family used to come up over New Years to celebrate a belated Christmas and New Years' Eve. It became tradition for us to meet at our house, eat LOTS of appetizers, play games, and welcome in the new year together. They have not come up for the last few years, but my immediate family has kept up the tradition of appetizers, games, etc.
This year, for a couple of reasons (1. I'm tired; 2. 2011 has been a challenging year whose end I appreciate but didn't particularly want to celebrate; 3. we have church in the morning; 4. did I mention I'm tired?) I informed the kids that we could do appetizers, but we weren't going to stay up until midnight. The news was met three different ways by kids with three different personalities: Nathan said okay, Abby didn't seem to care because she doesn't realize we're breaking tradition, and Anna informed us she was going to lead a revolution. Scott and I decided to call her George (as in Washington) and give her a blank flag that she could design since all revolutionaries need a banner with which to march under. Nathan declared he was neutral, but Abby decided to join the ranks and immediately came up with an anthem for her and Anna. As she marched through the house, singing "We are revolting! We are revolting!" we decided that maybe Anna should lead a rebellion instead.
In order to prevent any possible violence, I explained to Abby (who wisely passed the information onto Anna) that they may want to try using diplomacy and logic rather than warfare. At 5:30 Anna came up to me to begin her "revolt." I suggested it be called a rebellion, she countered with compromise, and we finally agreed on negotiation. She then calmly and logically gave her arguments, I stated mine, and she responded with, "What if we all take naps right now?" I agreed to let anyone who took a nap to stay up until midnight. The next thing I knew all three kids marched up to their beds, and I got to lay down on the sofa. Again, their three personalities came out: Abby stayed in bed for half an hour (probably watching the clock) then went back to bed when I asked to "nap" for another 30 minutes. Nathan stayed in bed for about 30 minutes then asked if he could play wii. I, in a half sleep from my nap, agreed to it. Anna didn't get out of bed until Scott woke her up at 7:00.
We enjoyed our appetizers, watched a movie instead of playing games (I had no idea what a good film Secretariat was!), and almost missed the countdown to welcome in 2012. I'm glad Anna chose a peaceful, logical way to resolve her issue. The only logic missing to the night was Scott's. His reply, if Anna had asked him if they could stay up until midnight would have been, "You can stay up tonight as long as you're not cranky tomorrow."