Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas: A Time For Blood and Tears

I picked up Colt last Thursday and our drive home started off with a complete fabrication of a story on his part. He said, "I saw Fenton's Christmas tree." Seriously, kid? You haven't seen Fenton since last weekend (The Bouncy House Party Disaster of 2012) and I know for sure you haven't been to his house. But, the story went on: "It has yellow balls and green balls and red balls. Lots of red balls. And they're glass mommy. Glass balls. And candy canes. Yeah. I saw those things on Fenton's tree." Hmm. So, I played along ('tis the season, right?) "Well, honey, what do you think about taking Daddy and getting a tree tonight? Won't that be fun?", there I was: unhitching the horse trailer in the rain and dark so the two of them could go pick out a Christmas tree while I stayed home and cooked dinner. In retrospect, this was personally beneficial situation, right?

Now, I'm not going to say I'm Grinch-y, but Todd and I usually skip Christmas. Spend it somewhere warm, ya know? Like Mexico. Or Belize. So, this bit of Christmas-y fever caught me a little off guard too.

Anyway, I heard them drive in (in the rain and dark), then I heard the tailgate go down, then I heard the distinct sound of a toddler's blood curdling cry. Colt staggers inside, blood gushing from his forehead, running down his face into his mouth and all over his shirt and blanket. Lest I say tailgates are the appropriate height to make that type of puncture wound. I stopped the crying, stopped the bleeding and slapped a Sponge Bob sticker right on his forehead and off we went to decorate the tree.
Now, Colt was very excited. Very, very excited to decorate the tree. I showed him the basics: glass ball (the expendable ones, not my the nice ones my mom handed me down from childhood Christmases), metal ball hooky-thing to hang ornament, tree - and off he went! At a snail's pace. The focus this boy had...slowly, very slowly, walking towards the tree, measuring each step as not to trip, staring at the ball, picking his spot, hanging the ornament on a branch - and then CRASH! the ball slipped off the branch, hit the floor and broke into a million pieces. A t o m i c   M e l t d o w n. Utter disappointment. Tears. Wailing. Screaming. Ah.
Twenty minutes later, after I'd cleaned it up and explained there were 100 more balls where that one came from, we set off decorating the tree. I took the breakable ornaments and the hard to reach places on the tree (like everything over 3 feet up the tree). And, as I neared the end of the ornaments and the back of the tree, I stepped back to admire our creation. And it was then I saw Colt, very carefully, removing ALL the ornaments from the front of the tree and putting them back in the box. Seriously? What is this?
"Oh, honey, what are you doing? We need to put the ornaments on the tree. We're decorating it. It's fun. Like this." (Almost sounds like I'm trying to convince myself, right?)

Then, with a completely straight face and an adamant tone he said to me, "Mommy. We are done with this activity and we need to clean up our tools." And I almost lost it. We've been focusing on this very thing for the last long, how do you explain to a 3 year old that we're keeping this holy hell of a mess up in our front room for another 3 weeks?! I was stymied. Then, he said, "Mom. Really. We're done with this Christmas tree and we need to clean it up. And take it back outside."

As of today, the tree remains in our front room. Fully decorated and the lights turned on at his request. He still has no idea what's going on, but at least he thinks the lights are pretty. Although, they probably have Christmas lights in the Caribbean too, right?


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