Thursday, December 16, 2010
Which brings us to the fact that the whole Santa story has many, many holes, and a parent committed to the Santa Experience is often forced to perform fantastic feats of split-second spin control. In the case of two different Santas, I explained that St. Nick can't attend all the holiday events himself, what with the prep work for his BIG DAY, so he sends out elves dressed as Santa who report back to him about what everyone wants for Christmas. Sometimes, of course, he shows up himself, so we have to be on the lookout for the real Santa. And that is why some Santas look real and some look very, very sketchy.
I also had to come up with a reason for Toys for Tots, because, really, shouldn't Santa be getting things for the poor children? Shouldn't that be his number one job? I told Henry that parents send money to Santa every year to pay for the gifts and delivery, and that some families don't have money, so we pick out toys for those kids to help Santa out. And that maybe Santa slips in a few extras for us because we're helping him out. That's logical, right? Although the whole pay-for-play deal does seem to suck the magic right out of it.
Anyway, Henry ran right up to both Santas, sat right down, and asked for Star Wars action figures, Star Wars Legos, and an iPad (I'll have to thank my dad later for bringing such a thing to my house before Christmas). And despite my wide-eyed head shaking at Santa, Mr. Claus's response has led Henry to believe that they have an agreement. No amount of explaining that Santa might have other video game systems up his sleeve can shake Henry from the conviction that he is getting an iPad. And he's not. So that will be fun on Christmas morning.
Amelia took a little longer to warm up to the old man. At the zoo she refused to sit on Santa's lap, and instead stood at the foot of the sleigh and shouted up, "I want video games!" When Santa asked what kind of video game she wanted, she shouted back, "Pink!"
She felt different at the Sunday brunch, when she ran up to chat with Santa three different times, once actually climbing onto Santa in the middle of another kid's meeting. By the third time she didn't have anything left to ask for, so she told Santa about our cats.
I'll post a photo if I ever get around to downloading them from the camera.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Last night Amelia and I read two books: The Little Engine That Could and Good Night San Francisco. Except for my insistence that she sit with me on the rocker and not across the room on her stool, we got along swimmingly.
Shortly after going to bed she threw up. Half-digested spaghetti, carrots, and Kit Kat were in her hair, in her ears, down her pajama top. Simon did the heavy lifting, washing and rewashing her hair as she sobbed, "I throwed up!" But I was there, too. I got the pajamas, blanket, and sheets into the washing machine, I put new sheets on the bed, dried her, dressed her, and sat next to her, stroking her hair, until she fell asleep.
This morning at around 7:30 I heard her saying, "Daddy, I want to get up!" which is funny because I'm almost always the one to get her up in the morning, especially given that Simon has been sleeping on the couch lately (which is a subject for a whole separate, bitter, weepy post).
I went in, as usual, and said, "Good morning! How are you feeling?" in my sunniest voice.
She sat up in bed, furrowed her brow, and yelled, "I want DADDY."
"Daddy's downstairs," I told her, still chipper as I opened her curtains. "We'll see him when we go down for breakfast."
Amelia folded her arms. "I don't like you," she said.
But she couldn't mean that, right? Surely she was expressing dissatisfaction at, well, something else. An ongoing stomach ache. Hunger. Congressional infighting.
"Why don't you like Mommy?" I asked.
She looked down at her dolly, then straight into my eyes, "Because I hate you," she said.
And, you know, what?!? Was it because I told her to stop asking me for water when I'm driving? Because I wouldn't let her sit on her stool during story time? Did she blame me for the problems between Simon and I? Or did I damage our relationship irrevocably when I had to stop breastfeeding after a year due to a new medication? Had we ever really bonded at all?
I started to say that it hurt my feelings when she said that, because it did. But then I thought better of it, and, trying to be the best parent I could, I conjured up a smile and said, "That's OK if you hate me right now. I still love you."
Then I helped her pick out an outfit to wear, and called Simon to come upstairs because, really, I just want her to be happy.
And to love me.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Henry was firmly aboard the Halloween bandwagon, wearing his Boba Fett jetpack to school and folding his arms in bored condescension at severed heads and zombie babies alike, declaring, “That doesn’t scare me one bit.” Amelia, on the other hand, was having none of it. Outside of her lukewarm approval of her bee costume and her genuine happiness about her Hello Kitty jack-o-lantern, her standard response to all things Halloween was, “Too scary for me!”
And then it was time to trick-or-treat. We approached the first house, a large Victorian with gravestones on its front lawn and a smoke machine in full operation on the porch. Simon and I each took one kid’s hand, and walked slowly into the foyer. A large man wearing a Jason mask sat at a table, surrounded by cobwebs and body parts. Amelia stood beside me, wide-eyed and open-mouthed. Jason silently held out a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup. Amelia immediately let go of my hand and ran toward Jason. “Thanks you!” she cried, happily.
She was hooked. For the rest of the night she wriggled out of my grip and ran toward houses that even Henry refused to enter. “That one!” she yelled, holding her Elmo treat basket proudly before her.
As for Henry, a block into trick-or-treating he stopped going into any house with more than a jack-o-lantern for decoration. Two blocks after that he said he was done, and I walked him home (happily, it being Game 4 of the World Series).
Amelia stayed with Grandma for another block or two. She would have gone longer, but it was her bedtime. As she fell asleep that night, she told me, “That scary guy so nice to give me candy.”
So what did my preschoolers learn this Halloween? Ignore your instincts about what looks dangerous! Take candy from strangers! Commit extortion! At least it makes me feel better about the whole Santa charade.
One last thing: A friend sent me this link to a blog post by the mom of a boy who went as Scooby Doo’s Daphne for Halloween and got flak for it by other moms. I hope she feels supported by all the positive comments. Her son looks awesome, too.
Personally, I am a little sad that Henry has moved on from loving princesses to embracing all things Star Wars. I mean, I like the movies and all, but I am so tired of the pretend shooting and light-sabering.
It's so odd to me that boys playing killer is A-OK, and boys wearing mod purple minidresses with kicky pink boots are bullied by grownups.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Friday, October 1, 2010
"That's sweet," I told him when he first brought it up last week, "but you're not really supposed to marry your sister."
Henry glared at me and crossed his arms. "I don't care, I'm going to marry her anyway."
So, you know, fine with me. I'm certainly not going to argue the point with him. By the time he's old enough to marry, the thought of marrying his sister will make his skin crawl. In fact, after watching Simon and I snipe at each other for a few more years, the thought of marrying ANYONE will make his skin crawl. As well it should.
Unfortunately for poor Henry, Amelia does not share his ardor.
"Amelia," Henry said to her yesterday, taking her little face in his hands, "do you want to marry me?"
Amelia pursed her tiny mouth, looked him in the eyes, and gently replied, "No, Haya."
And Henry began to bawl. Just really bawl as though his heart had been shattered.
I held him and stroked his hair and tried to think of something to say to ease the sting of rejection. "You can marry me!" I offered. That's weird, right? But he's a 4-year-old asking his 2-year-old sister to marry him, so we've already veered off the beaten path here.
"I don't want to marry you," Henry growled. "I want to marry Amelia." And the tears began anew.
For the record, that officially makes no one in our family who wants to be married to me.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Friday, June 4, 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
1. Picking Henry up from school Wednesday. I walk in, excited to see him, to see the way he breaks into a smile and a run when he sees me. Instead he scowls and walks right past my open arms. "I want Grandma to pick me up," he grumbles.