Naughty or nice?

You know what it’s like, when the kids are off school and they’re operating on a schedule that looks like this…


So it’s a small miracle that we’re just about ready for Christmas, despite DH being somewhat preoccupied.

DH is usually around loads (you wouldn’t believe how many days off he has the rest of the year), but right now he’s training on the superjumbo – the A380, to use the proper lingo – or the double-decker (with showers) that looks like it should never get off the ground. Exciting, yes, but it means intensive training at ‘airplane school’ all over Christmas. “Timing” doesn’t come close.

Anyway, over the past few days, I’ve discovered that a bit of festive bribery is a wonderful way to nip bad behaviour in the bud.

It’s like having special powers – it’s cut down on time-outs, shouting and outrageous demands – what’s more, I’m hearing parents everywhere uttering the same two words.

Two little words that speak volumes and will be given up tonight in return for a glass of sherry, a mince pie and a carrot:

They are, of course: “Santa’s watching!”

And you can just see their cute little faces drop, their brain synapses firing away as they process this information and its unthinkable consequences. “That means no presents, no presents! Santa will give my brother presents, and not me!”

It’s working a treat! But, with sibling rivalry alive and well in the Circles household, the funny thing is the boys are trying their hardest to grass each other up.

“Mummeeee, he’s being B.A.D,” is practically ringing in my ears and has led the LittleBoy to actually change his name.

“Who are you?,” asked someone of LB yesterday. “The good one,” he replied, quicker than you can say Santa Claus is coming to town.

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