I am so conflicted when it's Christmas time. Having young kids makes it truly "the most wonderful time of the year"! But my complicated life of having twins (one with diabetes) makes me anxious. Many challenges spring up at this time of the year. You may be able to relate if you have twins or a child with diabetes or even if you have two kids.
On the twin side, the boys are now six. They share some similar interests but are becoming their own men. I can still buy Legos and Star Wars items and put both names on the tags, but this year their Christmas lists are quite different. You can really see their personalities showing through when they write a Christmas list, can't you? I used to be able to just buy two of everything, but not anymore.
I am anxious to see how Christmas morning will work. For example, one kid asked for a giant elephant. I had no idea what this meant and truly was afraid to ask. So I ("Santa") bought him a big elephant stuffed animal. The other kid didn't ask for a giant anything so I didn't buy him any type of stuffed animal. I wonder if he will complain about it on Christmas morning. We will see.
One idea my friend told me about was to buy the double-sided wrapping paper and wrap Rocco's gifts in one color and Zeke's in the other. I know this is simple but it sounds awesome! I bought the huge roll of double-sided wrapping paper from Costco this year. I hate wrapping gifts, and anything that makes it easier I willdefinitely try.
The second part of Christmas that makes me anxious has to do with the food. My family has become so good about helping me serve "carb friendly foods". That includes the extended family as well. The first Christmas after Rocco's diagnosis, we were only a diabetic family for three months. My mom, aunts and uncles were new to it as well. My father-in-law has had Type 1 diabetes for 30 years, and he was very helpful in counting carbs when we went to his house.
The other Christmas parties we visited that year were a total disaster! The boys were only two. Food was everywhere and sweets were on display! I was tempted myself to over indulge. Imagine a two year old who sees that same sweets table. Not one item had a carb count on it, and my husband and I had no ideahow many carbs were in anything. Now you can hold up any food in front of me and I can guess the amount, give or take a few carbs. By the final party that first year (my mom's), I was exhausted. I just didnt have it in me to work through diabetes and the terrible twos and the holiday season for another minute.
But then I walked into my beautiful mom's house on Christmas day. As I was taking my shoes off and helping my toddlers take off their coats, my mom came to me with a stack of processed food boxes.
"I tried to cook only things with carb counts”, she said. “It may be a processed food Christmas, but at least we can measure how much he eats".
Even as I type this, I still get tears in my eyes. I will remember this sentiment as long as I live. It meant so much to have someone just understands our world and tries to help. I texted her later and told her his "going to sleep" blood sugar number was a perfect 110. She has truly been a godsend ever since. Thank you mom!
As we have gone through additional Christmases, it has gotten easier. We’ve become experts on eye-balling food and knowing carb counts. My father-in-law and I make a contest out of guessing the number. Then we look it up to see who won!
So, even though the thought of Christmas sometimes gives me hives, I still get excited as that most magical day approaches!
What are your Christmas challenges?