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Bloody selfish and horrible teenagers, WWYD? Beware - very long!

(61 Posts)
lilibet Wed 05-Dec-12 16:50:33

This is a lot of writing for a problem that would never have occurred if I had done things differently in the past, but as I can't change how I acted then, here goes ...

I have three dc's who last Christmas were 23, 18 and 15. The youngest two are boys. Since they have been born they have had a stocking hung on their bedroom door and it has become tradition that they pile onto our bed on Christmas morning to open their stockings (yes even at those ages!) and it's a really lovely part of Christmas for me, all five of us and three cats on the bed. They don?t each have their 'own' stocking, we have two snowmen and a reindeer and they each have always wanted the reindeer but I have always tried to rotate it. (Yes I know, you?re looking at their ages again to make sure you've read it right!).

Last Christmas Eve Dh and I had the news that Bil's fiancée, age 31 was terminal; we had met her about a dozen times, the children less than that but it was still an awful shock. That evening the boys 18 and 15 fought like two people possessed over the fucking reindeer stocking. I said that dd should have it but still it went on, they both said that it wasn't her turn, I ended up sobbing, dh was shouting that people were dying and did it really matter and it was all dreadful. We went to bed with dd having the reindeer on her door and duly filled the stockings. During the night ds1, changed all the contents so that he had the fucking reindeer, he thought this was bloody hilarious. In the morning I said that this year the boys would not get stockings.

So what do I do? If they don't have stockings they won't come onto our bed and a lovely bit of Christmas will be gone forever. I am reluctant to get new ones as these have been going for years and were bought by their grandmother who is now dead. If I just get the boys new ones, one of the little buggers will swap it in the night and why should dd suffer, it's probably her last Christmas at home as she is moving to Aus in January.

Fuck - what a lot of typing for such a crap and insignificant problem!!

If you've stuck with it so far - thanks

I'm so sorry Banana utterly heartbreaking.

Just to reinforce what Andi says I'm in my 40s and me and my brother and sister still fight about who is going to have to sit at the place with the fish recipes placemat when we go to my parents' house. It is tradition to us.

And my Mum has bless her has kept that one individual placemat from the set very carefully over the years so we can still keep up our family tradition - started at the age of 6-8 when going to my Granny's for Sunday dinner. We have unfortunately involved our kids and partners too now so there are 14 of us trying desperately to avoid it in the first instance and then off load it during dinner.

We all have a laugh about it now we're older - I'm sure it was irritating when sitting down for dinner in our teen years. we might have cried and sulked about it

We3bunniesOfOrientAre Thu 06-Dec-12 12:59:55

I would tell them that the old stockings are out of circulation, anyone who wants stocking presents can organise themselves to go and buy (and name) their own stockings and put them outside on Christmas Eve, otherwise it will just be a pile of presents with their name on the top.

Your dd will probably buy a suitable alternative, your boys will either go to poundland or just not bother. then sneak the reindeer into your dd's luggage or post it to her next year and she will have one for her and one for her dp when she gets that far They are old enough to sort it out themselves.

Themumsnotroastingonanopenfire Thu 06-Dec-12 11:26:55

I think as a couple of others have said that as all your children are adults or nearly adults you need to resolve this by having a discussion about it. At the moment your own reaction is one of the biggest parts of the problem. They don't know how you feel and you propose to punish them, as you would younger children, without allowing them to deal with the issue in a grown up way and come to a solution. You need to get this out there, explain how the argument made you feel last year and get them to take responsibility for behaving like the grown ups they almost are.

girlywhirly Thu 06-Dec-12 11:24:18

I think you should have the talk that you will not tolerate the behaviour of last year, tell them that they should know that naughty children don't get stockings and you will be monitoring behaviour accordingly. You could use this to your advantage so that if they really want stockings, they will be better behaved and more considerate of others, and also more helpful in the run up to Christmas.

I think you could hand out the empty poundland stockings on Christmas eve, and then swap them over for their filled posh stockings next day. Then if they want to keep the contents they have to be helpful all day.

Sorry about your DD, Banana. This will be a hard Christmas for you.

ethelb Thu 06-Dec-12 11:23:35

Plus, its just the kidn of 'joke' I would have made at the same age. And I didn't have a social filter in 'sad' situations.

ethelb Thu 06-Dec-12 11:18:10

I'm one of three (25 my sisters are 17 and 22) and I'm sorry but I am horrified that you have three children and had two stocking in one design and another in another design. Asking for trouble grin

AndiMac Thu 06-Dec-12 11:11:17

I understand it upsets you, but the kids will probably spend the next decades telling everyone about how they used to fight over the precious reindeer stocking and tell the story with smiles on their faces at the memories. Take comfort in the fact that for them, this is a tradition, not an issue.

I think a whole year is a long time to wait for the consequences of one's actions, even at their age, so I'd still do the stockings, just making certain that DD gets it this year. Fill the stockings at 6am, or move the reindeer one onto DD's bed so there's no chance for the stockings to be rearranged.

Banana1997 Thu 06-Dec-12 10:40:53

Don't give up this lovely tradition. It sounds like Christmas was more fraught for you last year because of the bad news you received which made the situation 10 times worse. My two sisters and I always used to pile on to our parents bed (hungover) on Christmas morning and the memories of this are precious as we lost our Mum when she was only 45, we were only in our teens and twenties. We also lost our DD this May, she was 14 and I would have big regrets if we didn't do our stockings last year. I know they are older now, but cherish the time whilst they are still at home with you xx

sugarandspite Thu 06-Dec-12 10:40:45

I'd buy cheap plain stockings and a pack of fabric paints, on Christmas eve everyone gets to decorate their own new stocking with whatever they fancy - as many reindeers as they want.

Then use the originals for lovely decoration

lljkk Thu 06-Dec-12 10:27:40

I feel your pain but it is hilarious to hear about as an outsider.

YOU get the reindeer stocking for now on, and the offspring can have
Identical pillow cases with names marker penned on to be used as their stockings henceforth.

TheSkiingGardener Thu 06-Dec-12 05:58:15

The stockings are a lovely tradition for you, it sounds like for your children that ARGUING over the stocking is their tradition. Let them fight it out and tell you the decision.

janeyjampot Thu 06-Dec-12 05:27:44

I think in your position I might ask the children to take over the stockings this year - now that everyone's growing up perhaps we'll take turns to be Santa now etc.

handsandknees Thu 06-Dec-12 01:06:30

Nothing helpful to add but agree that it will become a family story over time. I am an only child and struggle with my own dcs' squabbling but DH is one of 4 and has many tales of this kind. I watch with amazement at family occasions where the 4 of them revert back to 10 year olds.

In my own family we've already had a few of this kind of incident and it looks like we have a few more years of it left! The best one was when we lived in Holland where they do the Sinterklaas tradition of a sweet left in your shoe every night for a week. DS was about 4 at the time - he was so excited that he kept getting up in the night to check his shoe. After a few days of this we were all knackered and DH warned him that if he went downstairs in the night again, he wouldn't get a sweet in his shoe. He did go down, so DH put him back to bed and removed the sweet. We then heard DS sneak down again and realising he had no sweet, stole the one from his sister's shoe, took it back to bed and scoffed it, "hiding" the wrapper down the side of his bed. In the morning DH quickly put another one in DD's shoe - the look on DS's face was priceless, but of course he couldn't say anything!

amck5700 Wed 05-Dec-12 23:00:25

the elder is a bit competitive - he always wanted to have competitions that he knew he could win (best drawing etc), mainly cos his brother is younger - younger is not competitive though did have a bit of a chip on his shoulder for a while. Don't get me wrong, they do have the odd spat but nothing serious.....and most of the time they choose to share a bedroom even though they have their own.

The Scout leader says it's the first set of brothers she has had that actually want to be together and that will share a tent quite happily - usually brothers don't want their sibling anywhere near. Think it's probably because they are only 13 months apart and they tend to share friends etc. One just gone to High school and youngest desperate to go and interestingly, the eldest is happy to introduce his brother to his new friends and let him join in on their on line gaming sessions etc.

I hope it lasts and they stay friends as adults.

AngelOne Wed 05-Dec-12 22:51:32

Are they competitive in other ways amck5700 ?

amck5700 Wed 05-Dec-12 22:49:46

I have two boys and they have never fought over stuff like that. We just bought two different things and told them who's was who's. Not quite sure what we have done wrong or right, presume it is just their nature.

Brycie Wed 05-Dec-12 22:45:38


that's all I have to offer

AngelOne Wed 05-Dec-12 22:41:21

We also had 4 hot water bottles, all with a different Mr Men on which we fought over too.

NOTE TO PARENTS: if you plan on having more than one child ALWAYS buy identical EVERYTHING or there will be arguments.

Although it looks like quicklookbusy's DD has ruined that plan as well. Ah well.

QuickLookBusy Wed 05-Dec-12 22:38:21

I bought my DDs the same stockings. However that didn't stop dd1 writing her name on one of them when she was 5. She said she preferred that one, even though they were exactly the same.confused

amck5700 Wed 05-Dec-12 22:36:09

I'd get a cheap pair of football socks and a marker pen and write the boys names on one each and get a nice new stocking for your daughter to use and take to Oz with her for next year. Use the others as decorations round the house or put them away as a memory.

Oblomov Wed 05-Dec-12 22:31:43

Agreed. You clearly don't WANT to stop the stocking tradition, so it just needs to be adapted.

AngelOne Wed 05-Dec-12 22:31:01

Ahhhhh sibling rivalry at it's best grin

I'm one of four. We had 4 stockings with 4 different characters on and like you they didn't belong to anyone in particular, but we ALL like the gingerbread man one best.

My mum tried her best to rotate the gingerbread man stocking so we all had a turn, but bless her she just couldn't remember from one year to the next whos turn it was. We could of course grin

My littlest sister got the gingerbread man 2 years in a row. And she told told us all first thing on xmas morning before the parents were up, that mum had told her she could have gingerbread man stocking again because she loved her best shock Oh my god hell broke out that year grin

We're still the same (we're all in our 30s) grin

MorrisZapp Wed 05-Dec-12 22:26:51

Trappist monastery. Each year, one monk is allowed to say one thing.

The day comes. Chosen monk says 'the soup is too salty'.

One year later it's the next monk's turn. He says 'the soup tastes fine to me'.

A year goes by. The next monk to speak says 'oh can you just stop arguing!'.

I couldn't think how to include a reindeer.

QuickLookBusy Wed 05-Dec-12 22:17:38

I wouldn't drop the tradition this year. They will always remember the year their mum didn't do stockings and they will remind you of it for years to come. Also you sound as if you don't want to end it really.

I would do what Hully said.

motherofluvlies Wed 05-Dec-12 22:08:57

Oh isn't it all part of the tradition!they will tell their children about these you remember the christmas that we......just let it go over your's the pecking order I,m afraid.i,ve just been told that my girl was not allowed to go in their room ,ever and never allowed to touch anything or even breathe she was just grateful to be allowed in the room.She misses them like crazy now they are all gone smile

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