The kid view of holidays

We wade through the remanents of Christmas here at my house - the piles of unwrapped toys that slowly make their way from tree skirt to new resting place, the decorations that will eventually come down, the left-over food in the fridge, the birthday decorations the kids insisted we put up on Christmas Eve. (Including a Thomas the Tank Engine birthday banner because Baby Jesus is a boy so he'll like Thomas.)

And now we prepare for New Year's.

Logan 'got' Santa a few years ago. This year he's asking questions that start my wheels turning fast. "Doesn't Santa get full?"


"He gets cookies at every house. Doesn't he get full?" he asks with one eye partially squinted at me in way that tells me the question is really about him analyzing every itty bitty detail.

"Well, all that hard work makes him very hungry."

"I'm leaving him one cookie. He's going to get fat eating too many at every house."

"Honey, Santa is fat. That's party of his charm."

"Yeah, but I think he needs an apple."

There was the discussion Santa coming to his school: Mommy? Is it the *real* Santa coming to preschool or just a fake one?


And finally, "Why can't I stay up to see Santa on Christmas Eve?"

"Well, Santa is shy," I say with a wink to Dad as we sit in the front seats of the darkened car.

"He wasn't so shy when he talked to me at school," Logan quips back.


Megan caught on to Santa too. She requested a big, fat, squishy red Veggie Tale tomato. Ask her today why she begged Santa for one.

"Because Mommy said no. I tell Santa can bring it."

Mommy said no to a lot of things leading up to Christmas. Apparently Santa hasn't learned that word. (For the record, Grandma bought the tomato and gave it to us to stick it with the rest of the Santa loot.)

Yes, they both "got" Christmas. This year, however, Logan actually 'gets' New Years Eve. He's understood days of the week prior to this. He'd even had an understanding of the months. This year, though, he's got a full appreciation of a year change beyond the realm of his own birthday. To boot, this year he wants to party, baby.

And so we are.

No. The preschooler and the toddler will not welcome the year with the drop of the sparkley ball in Times Square. But they will get party hats, noise makers, confetti and sparkling apple cider in fake champagne glasses before their natural bedtime. I've told Logan to start thinking - during the celebration he's to share one thing that was special during 2006 (his soccer team, he's already decided) and one thing he looks forward to in 2007 (the school bus and Kindergarten.)

It'll be a nice start to a new tradition.


15 years too early

I told Megan that we had to leave to pick Logan up from his youth group program at our church. She was resistant to leaving. She had plans to play Thomas. I made it clear this was not negotiable. She thought about it and then nodded.

“Ok. I’ll drive, you sit in the passenger seat,” she said and headed off to find the car keys.

“Ahh, Meg, you can’t drive,” I said because sometimes you have to state the obvious to a two year old on a mission.

“Why?” she asked.

“Well for starters,” I told her, thinking I had a good angle, “You’re still wearing your diapers.”

You could see the little mental shrug. “Ok. I’m going to use the potty ALL. The. Time.”

For the record when I got her strapped in her car seat and stuck the keys in the ignition myself she cried and cried and cried, “I was going to drive! Bad mommy! I’m going to use the potty all the time and drive!” (And, as a matter of fact, she’s in the bathtub as I type this telling Bruce all about it – I wanted to drive the car and I tell mommy I will use the potty but she still say no!”)

I’m so much in trouble with this one!


4 year old frienship

Today was cuddle-and-story time at preschool. I dropped Meg off at Grandma's and headed over for my date. Logan was quite excited to see me arrive. I was instructed on how to sit (criss-cross-applesauce...or for those that don't have children in a PC world - Indian Style.) Logan snuggled himself onto my lap and leaned back against me.

He turned slightly to look at me and whispered with some measure of excitement, "I asked Mark if I could go to his birthday party and he said yes."

"Oh, ok. Well that's great," I said. I glanced at the row of cubby boxes on the wall but my vantage point wasn't one that allowed a good peak. I assumed I'd find the invite when Logan retrieved his papers at the end of class. I mean surely this came up because the kids were talking about a party - right?

Yet, there was no invite. No sign of any pending party.

We walked out the car - Logan yammering on about this and that. I helped him with his seat belt, climbed into my seat and waited for a pause in his running commentary.

Finally my chance.

"Logan? When is Mark's birthday?"

" I don’t know. I guess he’ll tell me when it is and when I’m supposed to come to his party."


Mushy Mush

If you're easily nauseated by outright parental gushing, a word of caution - proceed at your own risk.

Maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm simply an emotional girl with easily misting eyes; I don't know. Sometimes one of my kids can say something or do something that makes me so proud of them I start to tear up a bit, which is what happened tonight.

Today is Meg's December sleepover. It's also Bruce's big trek to the perfect barber night. This left Logan and on our own - a date night. He picked the where and the when. I had to supply the wallet. We had dinner out together with plans to come home for a rousing Monopoly match and a good video before bed. We got sidetracked at the mall.

First it was to peek at Santa. Not speak to him, just peek at him. We peeked. Then it was chocolate at the forbidden zone (aka, peanut laden). And then it was the Disney store. I reminded Logan that he had recently spent the generous porition of his helping bucket money on a gift he'd donate through the church school program this weekend. He nodded. I pointed out the Toys for Tots table and asked if he wanted to get someone else a toy this Christmas. He nodded again and clapped.

The Disney store presented lots of nice options and so we rooted through their giant white plush winter animals marked down generously. Logan picked out the winner - a big, soft, cuddly white Heffalump. We paid. He marched back through the ball - both hands on the oversized Disney bag. He was determined to do this himself. When we got to the donation bin, Logan reached inside the bag, removed the prize and placed it gingerly in the bin with a giant smile. The two volunteers exhaled deeply and told him he was sweet. They offered him a candy cane. He took it with a nod and thanked them.

As we walked away he took my hand, clutching his reward tightly in the other hand. "You know what?" he asked me. I responded appropriately - What?

"My favorite part of Christmas is giving gifts to other people," he said with the sort of complete sincerity 4 year olds have yet to figure out how to fake. He went on to explain why he picked the toy he did - it was soft and squishy. Certain to make someone really happy and so therefore perfect for this sort of thing.

I was so proud. I *am* so proud. And I'm just a little teary eyed.


What would she say to John? and other kid stuff

We have the original Little People Nativity.

Of course that's not as antique as it sounds up there in italics. We got ours about 5 years ago when you could only order it from the catalog and the animals were not yet the new "touchy-feely" variety. We have no shepards quaking or drummer boys drumming. Just a few wise men and a new family with a angel to watch over them all.

It's been a favorite toy in our house from it's debut, in large part because it only appears in December each year.

Megan has spent a great deal of time playing with this thing since it came upstairs a few weeks ago. Sometimes she replaces the wise men for Little People kids dressed as Easter Bunnies and (LP styled)Dinosaurs.

We egg her on. After all, the baby did come for all and not just a select few.

Tonight, as we huddled with our collective runny/stuffy noses under quilts and watched the Grinch steal Christmas yet again, Megan dragged out a camel and a handful of wise men.
She'd place each of the two kings she was toting around upon the camel's back and take them for walks. Until she got bored of that. Then she retrieved the poor baby laying in a manger. She pet him with one finger as gently as a two-year old can. Then she tilted her head to one side and said, "Come on. You have to take a bath Baby Jesus."
Luckily the Grinch and Max distracted her before she filled a bowl up with water from the water cooler in the kitchen.
In other holiday goings on, Santa's going to get this mom in trouble. We were shopping for a book at small shop. Megan spied the tomato from the Veggie Tales. Mind you, Megan has never actually SEEN the Veggie Tales unless they've shown a video or two at church that I didn't know about. She just knew this big, red, stuffed tomato was soft and squishy....and something she did not already have.
"Mommy, I want the tomato," she said to me quite sweetly.
"Honey, no. I'm not buying you a stuffed Veggie Tale that you'll play with today and then forget about tomorrow. Besides, it's so close to Christmas and you're going to get so many neat things."
"I want the Veggie!" she wailed.
And I stood firm.
When we got home she was still pouting. I reminded her again about Christmas and the lovely gifts that awaited her. She didn't care. Instead she's launched a new mantra -- one that continues a week later:
"I want tomato but Mommy say no. Santa will bring me Veggie Tale!"

Damn it.
At least I'm not the only one she's harping on. We took their soon-to-be cousin (pending a family wedding) Christmas shopping yesterday afternoon. Three kids - 9, 4, 2 - and me in the massive chaos that was Target. I know.
As we stood in line waiting to check out, Megan spied a small stuffed elephant with a tag around it's neck - the tag is where you're supposed to put a gift card.
Stuffed? Check.
Cute? Check.
Not already in inventory? Check.
Megan wailed, "Elephant! I want that! Can Santa bring it to me?" (Now, frankly folks, Santa's all done with her shopping and she's not buying another thing no matter how cute the kid is.)
Instead cousin-to-be-G stepped in. She decided to get it for Megan as her Christmas present. "But you have to wait for Christmas," she said to Megan as she put it up on the belt. I didn't bother trying to explain the whole "two-year-olds-lack-patience" problem to the 9-year old.
Megan saw her new toy-in-waiting when we got back to our house. She asked. G said no. Megan flew into full pout mode: “G say no. I can not have my elephant. Bad G.”
To prevent future outbreaks of toddler scolding big kid, the cousin decided to hide the elephant at our house. Logan suggested they hide it where he has Grandma’s gift hidden. G decided to put it near Logan’s laundry basket. Long story not so short – Megan found it tonight. We won’t telling her cousin.
Movie review? Happy Feet - Logan loved it and is now on a real "don't liter" kick. Megan says she liked it but she's judging the total of 20 minutes she sat still (scattered throughout the film, of course.) She will also tell you that when Daddy took her out of the theatre the fourth time he would not let her return again.
"Daddy say no I can not go back in. Bad Daddy not let me see Happy Feets."
Unless you catch on her on happy upswing in moods. Then she'll say "I saw Happy Feets Pang-in in the feeture"
Logan saw his first movie at 29 months old -- The Polar Express. He did not flinch the entire time except when he was clapping wildly in the right places. Megan, on the other hand, clearly *not* ready for the cinema.
Speaking of the boy. . .his teacher is working on a 'good citizens' unit at the moment. They've started a "Good Behavior Chain." Each extraordinary good deed is considered for the day's link. (Being preschool everyone is going to end up with a link sooner or later.) Logan loves this and has instituted his own chain at home -- for him.
When I pick the kids up on my work days, they both have a tendency to talk. Without. Pause. At. All. No. Stopping. Ever. On these days I sometimes have to work at talking over them saying repeatedly, "Logan. Logan. Stop. Talking. Listen. Shhhh....."

Except today I could not talk over him because it made the throat hurt too much. I told him this. He got quite and then started talking again after a pause too short for me to say much more.
"I think when we get home, I need to get your water so your throat might feel better." he said. He's thinking of what we do for him in the morning when he wakes up with a dry mouth/dry sore throat. The water always helps.
As soon as we got in the house he ran for the kitchen, dug out his favorite plastic Diego depicting cup and added water from the water cooler. He handed it to me (with about a sip worth of water in it - haste never equates to full cups.)
The hand off complete he eyed me thoughtfully and said “Ok, do I get a link on my chain for this?”

Cough. Hack. Sneeze.

The girl is sick - her nose runneth and runneth....and runneth.

The boy is getting sick. He coughs at night and occasionally races his sister to the tissue box.

The husband is sick. Sore throat he says. Tired.

The mom is sick. Mack truck ran her over. Lack of sleep compounds the problem. Did I mention the girl spent most of last night either awake and complaining or asleep and complaining?

Send chicken soup. Send much caffeine. Send lovely little videos that mesmerise children for hours. Send Grandma.

Ahh, yes. Grandma is coming. She is taking the children. Mom is going to work. Some how I think work will be more restful. Hey, I'm not new here.


That little big thing

Something fairly little has gotten in my way of blogging this week. It goes like this: I want to write about something in this outlet - I NEED to write it in some outlet - but I can't. That's the little part.

The big part - well what I want to write about is fairly big I guess. It does not impact me directly, per se. But it does impact someone close to me. I'm worried this person is making a mistake -- the sort of mistake that alters the rest of your life. I just can't tell him that. And since I can't tell him that and since I never know who's going to read this blog...well I can't blog about it either.

I've spent a lot of time mulling this. Loads of time biting my tongue and smiling sweetly. I'll keep doing it. And I'll keep wishing I could write about it while not writing about it.


Shameless Plug

So there's this bloggity friend of mine that had a pretty neat idea. First, let me say, that outside of this pretty neat idea, Nicole of Sitting Still is one of those bloggers that make you thankful you took the time to poke around sites beyond your 'inner circle.' Seriously, if it was possible to hold a coffee and/or drinks mom-a-thon across the world wide web, she's the sort of person I'd want to include. I know we'd have a great time.

So anyway, she has this great idea - a political blog. But not just a political blog, mind you, a political blog centering around the voices of an important voting block: The Soccer Mom. Yeah, you know what I'm talking about. That mini-van driving, carpooling, thinking-all-the-same block of voters either side of an election likes to woo. Except we don't all think alike (and some of us don't even have mini-vans.)

This blog, The Soccer Mom Vote, gathers many different voices from this demographic in one place. Each day a different team member waxes poetically (or debates fervently, depending on your view) on the political or social issue of her chosing. And who is that wearing Jersey #2 (and therefore posting on the 2nd of each month)? Why it's me.

First post goes up tomorrow. It's nothing earth shattering. I'm sure neither political party will be quaking in their boots in the aftermath. But it's a start.

If you're blog hopping around, come and say hi. You don't even have to wait until tomorrow. Go say hi to some of the other roster members now. Great stuff showing up there already.