Thursday, December 22, 2005

Gut-Spilling Post

Okay, not exactly gut-spilling, perhaps more like "holiday minutiae-spilling." I haven't had much chance to post lately, so all our holiday festivities must come forth in one big outpouring. Else my brain hurts. And we do not want that.

So. We put up our tree last week. By "we" I mean "I picked out the tree, drove it home, put it in the garage, Jeff put it in the stand, and I did the rest." I don't mind this distribution of labor, actually, since for the past two years Jeff was saddled with solo tree-selecting and -carting duties. Sean and Allie were fascinated with decorating the tree for about 45 seconds. After that, they were more interested in setting up elaborate play-tableaux involving various ornaments. Allie, in fact, did not want any ornaments on the tree at all. I had to sneak some on while she wasn't looking.

Although my hopes for trimming the tree were not quite as high as Amy's, I had hoped that it would not have deteriorated so rapidly into a series of increasingly frustrated exhortations from me: "Put that down, please." "No, Allie, we don't need to put pants on the angel." "We don't roll the glass Christmas balls, Sean." "For the love of God, would you PUT THAT DOWN PLEASE!" Imbued with saintly Christmas-related patience I am not.

I guess I'm pleased with the result, although it looks better in person.

Next up: Trip to the mall to visit Santa. We immediately tripped over the fruit of our exceptionally poor time management skills: We arrived at 5:00, exactly the time Santa went on dinner break. To bide our time we had dinner at the mall (something we do about once a year). Not a noteworthily bad experience, I suppose, if you discount the actual food consumed. Then it was time to wait in line for Santa. As the line snaked about the Christmas display, Allie tested every last fiber of forbearance we possessed. I don't think her behavior---climbing, running away, lying down on the floor, running away---was atypical for a 2-year-old; it's just that her parents were drained by that point.

As it turned out, Allie wanted nothing to do with Santa anyway. Sean unhesitatingly ran up to Santa and sat on his lap. (This was his first time seeing Santa -- don't look at me that way; it just never worked out!) He grinned for his photo, explained what he wanted for Christmas, cheerful all the way. (Note: We will pretend that Santa did not hear Sean say he wanted a robot for Christmas. All presents have been purchased, and you just can't make me go back to Toys R Us.) Allie clung to my legs, saying "Don't like Santa. I scary of him."

Proving that she is our child, with full comprehension of the concept of reverse buyer's remorse, she changed her tune as we were waiting for the photo to be printed. The Santa threat apparently diminishing, Allie started screaming "I want to see Santa! I want Santa!" Too late, chickie. Maybe next year.

Which brings us to Sean's holiday sing-along at school on Tuesday. "Sing" might not be the most accurate term in the world given the fact that Sean did not open his mouth. Not once. He did shake the jingle bells, but beyond that his participation consisted of standing against the wall.

Back at his classroom, we gathered up his things, including a bag of holiday crafts. I'd wondered why his backpack had been curiously lacking the usual plethora of preschool works of art! This one is my favorite:

Today we're going to visit Jeff at work and then we're off to see a light display at a department store in the city. Right after Sean goes to the dentist. We're seeing my dentist this time, so perhaps we won't have a repeat of the trauma induced by Sean's first dental visit.

Phew. Gotta run now. There are cookies to be baked this morning and, more important, consumed.