Monday, December 04, 2006

Don’t you just love a great weekend? The kind that’s fun, and relaxing, and yet productive enough that you don’t feel like you need to take a day off to catch up on all the crap you still have to do without the aid of house elves and helpful little fairies.

We had a great weekend. M is turning 33 tomorrow. So I threw him a little family birthday party. It’s a very delicate thing, observing the birthday of a December baby. It has to be All. About. The Birthday. So I decorated the table in a rainbow of colors. I wrapped gifts in birthday themed paper. I used balloons as centerpieces. It was hideous. But it wasn’t so much about what it was. It was more about what it wasn’t. There was not a single Christmas decoration on display anywhere in our house.

After dinner we sat around and polished off three bottles of wine (Remind me someday to blog about my utter mortification each and every time we go to the recycling place, with the exception of last time when empty Scotch bottle guy showed up. Thank you empty Scotch bottle guy for being a bigger lush than I am. I only wish that you too were toting a toddler as you disposed of the evidence.)

It was just as my parents were leaving that Sweet Pea decided to share with them her new obsession.

Sweet Pea: “Grampa, you sleep inna big girl bed?”

Grandpa: “Nope, I sleep in a big boy bed.”

SP: “Oh. Hmmm. You a big boy?”

Grandpa: “Yep, I’m a boy.”

SP: “Girls have a gina and boys have a penis.”



Oy. I mean, you know. I want her to be comfortable talking about her body. I want her to use the right words. Blah blah blah. But how come the one word she says absolutely clearly has to be penis? Oh, and shit. Yeah, come to think of it, all of her new favorite subjects and phrases give me a moments pause. “Oh my GOSH!” “Darnit!” And, “Shit!” Again, clear as a bell and in perfect context. Every time.

We put our Christmas tree up yesterday. (No, she didn’t swear at any point in the decorating process. Bad transition, sorry.) We have a fake tree, for hilarious reasons***. So M and I assembled it and put the lights on while she was taking her nap. I think for the first time in Golightly family history, there was no Grinchyness on the part of my husband. He did state several times that there was no way we were going to get all those ornaments on the tree, but he does that every year. So it’s kind of a Christmas tradition at this point. He even helped me hang the garland and wreaths on the outside of the house. And it was COLD. Gold star for M.

When Sweet Pea woke up and came downstairs her whole entire being lit up brighter than the tree. THAT is a good parenting moment right there. She was so excited to put the decorations up, and waited patiently all through dinner and cleanup. Then she helped, carefully hanging about 35 ornaments on 3 branches at the bottom of the tree. After it was done we all had hot chocolate around the tree and M read her a story about a snowman. It could not have been more perfect. Seriously.

So other than my paranoia that daycare is going to call any minute to address the problem with Sweet Pea’s language, this may be the least stressful start of the holiday season that I have ever experienced as an adult. Yeehaw!

~ Clover

***The story of why we have a fake tree is this:

We had been married for 2 months at Christmastime in 1998. We had a brand new house with a lot of nice presents in it, lingering tans from a honeymoon, and that was it. We were poor. There would be no tree. Sob sob, sniff sniff. Oh the tragedy. Someone call Hallmark to make a movie.

Then about 3 days before Christmas we got a check in the mail from our not-for-profit auto insurer. A dividend of $80 – a Christmas miracle! Wait, did that mailman have a long white beard? We immediately went to the tree lot and picked out what appeared to be the nicest tree they had left. It was $10.00. You can imagine what it looked like. (insert Charlie Brown Christmas theme music)

We got the tree home and set it up in the designated spot, where it soon became clear that our tree was frozen in such a way that created an optical illusion. It was not, in fact, a Charlie brown tree. It was a hugeass balsm fir with 20’ branches that were dropping one by one as the tree thawed. I think it actually got taller too. Within about 20 minutes it was that scene from the Griswald family Christmas, but in slow motion. There would be a crackling noise, and then a giant branch would drop down crushing anything in its path. Windows were blown to bits, small animals scurried about, muddy ice and sap dripped all over our new carpet, Cousin Eddie got all nog drunk…It smelled nice though. The tree, not Cousin Eddie.

Alas, my brand new carpet was ruined. And we bought a fake tree the next year. I love my fake tree.

The End.

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