I adore this time of year…gathering my boys under the Christmas tree, letting them explore the boxes of ornaments, sitting on the cozy polar bear rug reading Christmas books. All should be peaceful (at least as much as possible with 3 small boys).
However, our 2 year old has a meltdown Every Single Time we mention Baby Jesus. He emits loud, piercing cries of, “NO! I’m the baby!” punctuated by emphatic gestures to himself that I’m worried may injure his eye.
He also starts hyperventilating when we mention putting hay in the crib for the Baby Jesus: “NO! That’s MY bed!”
Ah, 2 year olds (JM refers to the antics of this endearing age as “keeping it real”.) It was kind of cute the first time. Now it’s very loud. No amount of rocking and telling him he’s my baby or any explanation can convince him that we are preparing to celebrate the birthday of Christ in our hearts and that Baby Jesus won’t actually be moving in to take his place in the crib.
Since this is not my first time in 2 year old world, I have followed the sage advice of MaryAlice and given myself permission to do what I gotta do. Which in this case includes placing a temporary moratorium on the phrase “Baby Jesus” and speaking instead of the Christ Child (which I find really lovely) or “when Jesus was born.” The crib may only be referred to as the manger.
Of course I anticipate many 2 year old meltdowns during Advent. But I see no need to create more opportunities. So we will read our books and construct our nativity scenes with the Christ Child in his manger and, God willing, keep the peace in our home and our hearts.