Two is a magical number. While each stage of Meebs’ development has been my favourite at the time, the toddler phase is pretty amazing. The magic that happens between ages two and three is a privilege to be a part of. Meebs is growing and learning in leaps and bounds, and it’s so much fun that this year Meebs “gets” Christmas. She is fascinated by Santa and the story of Christmas. She is working out all the details, from leaving out cookies and milk, to Santa coming into the house to leave presents, to the reindeer pulling the enchanted sleigh. For me, Christmas has recovered its magic and wonder. And to be honest, this development has made parenting just a little easier this winter.  

I’m a little sad to see Christmas packed away for another year. Aside from the glitter and bling, and the giving and glowing faces, I had come to rely on Santa as my parenting partner. Who knew that I would be able to use the threat of Santa not coming to get Meebs to do as she was asked? On several occasions I even talked to Santa on the telephone and informed it was not necessary for him to pop down our chimney since Meebs was being naughty. Of course, within moments Meebs was back on the nice list and prompting me to call Santa back and tell him. Suddenly brushing her teeth, eating her dinner and getting dressed without pretending to be a tornado weren’t an issue. The few weeks leading up to Christmas morning were blissful, or at least easily managed. It was a much calmer and more effective form of discipline than the time-out or taking a toy away. It was about providing a consequence for misbehaving, and then following through. So for now I must bid farewell to my parenting pal: I am going to miss you, but I will start to call on you next November. So what next? Somehow I don’t think the Easter Bunny will hold the same parenting power, but II suppose it’s worth a try.