Twas a few days before Christmas, and all through the house
The children were running, their usual carouse.
The furniture and floors had been cleaned up with care;
In hopes that somehow no messes they’d bear.

Ornaments were nestled into the tree and spread
In hopes that the children carefully would tread.
The weather to us was a little cold snap
Meaning rain on the window barely did tap.

Then in the living room there arose so much chatter
I left my computer to see what was the matter.
Much as the children might want me to dash
I knew it was just another childhood clash.

The lights on the tree quickly did show
The contested toy that someone did throw.
The mess no surprise that it should appear;
Though my hope for otherwise had been so sincere.

Holiday tempers can flare so very quick
The tension between them soon grew quite thick.
More rapid than usual, the quarrels they came;
With tugging and shouting and calling a name.

“That’s my toy!” “She hit me!” “Well I had it first!”
“No, I did!” “I’m telling!” They stopped with my outburst:
“Out to the back yard, and go have a ball;
Now go and play, go and play, go and play all!”

One look at the rain and outside they did fly;
Thinking of puddles and making mud pie.
So out of the door the children they flew
Barely heeding my insistence on the wearing of shoes.

It would take but a moment, I knew without proof;
That such a decision some would call a goof.
As I opened the window to listen for sound;
They raced all around the cold, muddy ground.

In mud they’d soon be covered from their heads to their foot;
The only question was how long they’d stay put.
The play in the mud was right on its track;
But all too soon they came in, wanting a snack.

Their wishes for food were oh so contrary;
Frozen treats or hot chocolate, and all they could carry.
Their sweet little eyes from play were aglow,
But they insisted their tummies more food they did owe.

Quickly I noted the chattering teeth,
As well as the mud on their shoes just beneath.
A quick decision, the mud or the belly?
Hoping the mud wasn’t sticky as jelly.

So I said, “Come in and clean up yourself”
While I looked for quick snacks up on the shelf.
Muddy feet on clean floors quickly did tread;
But now it was time to get the kids fed.

Not long in their bedrooms the children did lurk;
Eager to see the result of Mom’s work.
Pleased they did seem with the food that I chose;
With snack time they wanted to watch favorite shows.

Playtime wasn’t long enough; they quickly did bristle;
It’s amazing what foods can be used like a missile.
But I heard them exclaim, right before the next fight,
“Mommy, I’m sure ready for Christmas tonight!”