Saturday, December 24, 2011

Tales from the Beltway

Hello, duckies!  Here I am sitting next to someone else's Christmas tree in someone else's living room.  In a long-sleeved t-shirt.  I KNOW.  Heat!  It's a good time.

We drove along a very interesting road yesterday on our way here. We were on US Route 15, which runs right along the Susquehanna River.  It's a beautiful river with these really awesome old cabins up on pilings on the banks of the river.  But that was only on one side of the road.  The other side was lined with multiple adult entertainment venues (of the triple X variety), motels you couldn't pay me to stay in, and "Indian trading posts."  And let's not forget the meth heads dumpster diving outside those motels.

It was kind of amazing.

Also amazing was the amount of heavy machinery being used on some kind of complicated construction project on the Beltway. The last 20 minutes or so of the trip were spent pointing out cranes and diggers and rollers and other machines.  It was fun.

And now here we are.  There was something called a meat bomb for dinner last night--quite good, despite the alarming name--and monkey bread this morning.  The monkey bread pretty much made my holiday.  And now we have three days of merriment to look forward to.

Merry Christmas Eve, poppets.  May your day be merry and bright.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Don't Mind Me

I just woke up at 3:45 THIS MORNING, so I thought I'd hop on here and say hi!  Because there's nothing that makes you feel ready for a long car trip with a toddler like waking up over an hour before it's necessary, after waking up about four times in the six-hour window of "sleep."


But!  I did have time (LOTS OF TIME) to take a shower, a fact which I'm sure my fellow passengers in the car will appreciate.  My eyes may be bloodshot and have black circles under them visible from outer space, but at least my hair will look good.

Oh, and an aside to my sister in case she's checking in here this morning even though I gave every indication yesterday that I would not be posting for several days: I've come to my senses about the crib and we will be buying a Pack 'n' Play somewhere along the way.  Or possibly somewhere around your house if we don't stop on the way.  Just thought you'd like to know that.

And an aside to everyone else:  I'll tell you about the crib insanity later.  Suffice it to say that sometimes my own  kind of crazy surprises even me.

Okay, now I really AM going.  Peace out, poppets!  And merry Christmas Eve-Eve.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Of Trees and Travel

Someone--an anonymous someone--asked yesterday about our tree.  I wasn't aware there was any interest in our tree.  I shan't be posting a picture of it, because A) I think everyone knows what a Christmas tree looks like, correct?  And B) It's a Toddler Tree.

A Toddler Tree, for those who don't know, is a tree on which the only breakable ornaments are at the very top.  This means that the top two feet of our tree are quite crowded with the shiny, festive, and extremely fragile glass ornaments.  The remaining four feet of tree on the bottom hosts a somewhat sad and sparse collection of crocheted elves and felt things.  It looks kind of odd.  It's certainly necessary, however, as no toddler is to be trusted around breakable ornaments, and Cubby can't be trusted around the tree itself.  He's not even allowed to get close to it, because he likes to smack it with his hand.  He thinks this is fun.  

He is a, ahem, high-spirited child.  I'll be glad when I can take the tree away and remove such a source of constant temptation and tension.

First, though, we shall be removing him from the tree by taking him to my sister's house in the Washington, D.C. area for the actual holiday.  We're leaving early tomorrow morning and returning on my birthday.*

What?  You don't know when my birthday is?  FOR SHAME.  It's the 27th.  Yes, two days after Christmas.  And yes, you should feel sorry for me.  Having a birthday that soon after Christmas is kind of a drag.

But anyway!  Before my birthday celebration in the car, we have some Christmas celebrating to do with my sister's family.  I bet they don't have a Toddler Tree. 

Wish me luck.  And if I don't talk to you before then, Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

* I don't know if I'll be posting anything in those five days, but rest assured, you'll be in my heart if not on my computer screen.  Or something.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Worst

What could be worse than getting ready for bed only to find that there are no sheets on said bed because they were washed and not put on yet?  Getting ready for bed and preparing to put the washed sheets on, only to find they aren't quite dry because a robe belt got wrapped around part of them in the dryer*.

I said a bad word.  Then I put the sheets back in the dryer for twenty more minutes.  Happy Tuesday night.

* I take that back.  The absolute worst would have been if I had done this when I was still schlepping our laundry to a laundromat because there was no dryer at Blackrock.  I guess it can always be worse.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


It seems to be a popular idea in our culture that height is an advantage for men.  I'm sure you've heard the theories and studies about tall men predominating in powerful positions, including the presidency.  But you know when height is a definite disadvantage for males?  When they're not quite two years old but can already reach doorknobs and all the knives on the counter.

Although that's not so much a disadvantage for Cubby as it is for me, I suppose.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Yes, Cubby, There Is a Santa Claus. Maybe.

Parenting stumbling block #1693: Santa Claus.

As a grocery store cashier was cooing over Cubby the other day, she asked if he knew about Santa Claus yet. Though I answered politely enough in the negative, my brain was thinking, "Of COURSE not. He's not even TWO."

But I know there are kids his age who do know about Santa Claus. And I know he's perfectly capable of understanding at least the basic concept. I mean, this is a child who already knows exactly where the meat on his plate comes from*.

The problem, I suppose, is me.  I am unexpectedly kerflummoxed by this.  I don't really know how to explain with any kind of sincerity what sounds, frankly, like a totally ridiculous situation.  Really now.  Fat guy flies around the world in a sled pulled by eight tiny reindeer, sliding down chimneys at every house all over the world on one night a year to deliver presents?  HOW do I say all that with a straight face?

I know we should be all about maintaining our children's innocence and encouraging a belief in magic or whatever, but . . . why?  Why is it important for my son to believe in this?

I feel like an unbelievable Scrooge and cynic for even thinking that.  Though I don't remember it, I'm sure I believed in Santa Claus.  But I had two older siblings.  I bet they were the ones who explained it to me.  Which seems much more normal to me, because presumably they believed in him too.  It wasn't some adult telling bald-faced (though well-intentioned) lies.

A. doesn't remember believing in Santa Claus.  He was living in Saudi Arabia during the prime Santa Claus years, so he was more exposed to Ramadan than all the trappings of Christian holidays.  So we have no personal experience to draw on here.

Anyway, I suppose Cubby will end up learning about Santa Claus one way or another, and I won't be quick to explain to him why it's all a pack of lies.  Because then he'd be That Kid who goes around informing all the other tiny children that Santa Claus isn't real, and then they'd all go home crying to their parents and demanding explanations and their parents will all hate me for not fostering a belief in Santa.

Or something.

 It's not something I thought about much one way or the other until a random question from a cashier at the grocery store.  And now I have to think about it.

Ah, parenting.  Knocks you on your ass on a regular basis.

So what about you, poppets?  If you have/had small children, how did they learn about Santa Claus, if at all?  And for those of you without small children, do you remember believing?

* Mealtime conversation by Cubby goes like this, "Meat? De-ah? (or "sheep?") Dad? Shoo? Saw? (in reference to the meat saw) Cut? Eat?" He's gonna be a big hit at dinner parties, no doubt.