Random Tuesday: Something Is Off Edition

It’s altogether too routine for a Tuesday. I feel like somebody swapped out my Tuesday for a Wednesday or something. I hate when that happens. I have a hard enough time remembering what day of the week it is without feeling like it’s not the day I think it is.

  • We had to get the first oil change on my car yesterday. It was something they automatically do when you get the car: the salesperson just pre-books your first scheduled oil change so you keep up on the regular maintenance. And yesterday was the first one. DO YOU KNOW HOW I KNOW THIS? Because two or three months ago the dealership called to remind me of a maintenance appointment, but I knew it was too early for MY appointment, so I rang them back and confirmed that a) they were calling for BDH’s car and not for mine, and 2) the date of MY car’s appointment, which he looked on computer and told me was April 4. It was, however, scheduled for 6 am. So we switched that to 10 am. And then I put it in my calendar. EXCEPT… I showed up, on time, yesterday, child in tow with diaper bag and snacks and juice and other diversions, for my first scheduled maintenance, only to find out IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE ON MAY 4TH AT 10 AM. So. The STUPID MORON on the phone BACK IN JANUARY, when I CONFIRMED THE DATE AND TIME, gave me the WRONG DATE. And the guy checking me in was all, “DUH, you came a MONTH EARLY.” I wanted to punch somebody RIGHT IN THE JUNK, I tell you truly. Fortunately, it was just an oil change, and they were not busy, so they took my car in anyway. But STILL. Anyway, now I have an appointment for MAY 4, to get my winter tires off. YOU ARE ALL MY WITNESSES.
  • I’m having chicken issues. I am. It’s getting annoying, and a little expensive. See, I buy chicken in bulk — if I am at the grocery store, and there’s a sale on boneless skinless breasts (which is all we eat), I buy a whackload of ’em and then bag up meal-sized portions and freeze them. I have done this for LO, THESE MANY YEARS. With no problem. Except recently, I am finding that when I go to the freezer to get some of this chicken to use for dinner, I take it out and as it thaws, I am beginning to notice it’s gone a bit… white-ish. In patches. Like what I imagine freezer burn would look like, except I don’t really know from freezer burn. It smells okay, but it just looks… NOT RIGHT. Anyway. I took some out this past week and hemmed and hawed about it, and then eventually just chucked it. I’m a coward. It’s not been anywhere except our deep freeze for a month or two, and yet… And there’s a bunch of them in there right now, 3 pounds, and I’m eyeing them suspiciously as well. These are the times when I wish my mom was here so I could go “WHAT IS THIS, O FONT OF MOM KNOWLEDGE?” Except she was SO EXCITED to have a DEEP FREEZER (this was back in the 60s/very early 70s, you understand) I fear she would have been all “NO THERE’S NOTHING WRONG LOOK AT THE MIRACLE OF MODERN TECHNOLOGY YOU HAVE BEFORE YOU”. And then we would all die from eating funky chicken. The end.
  • My kid is talking in her sleep. She does, from time to time. The first time she did it was, like, the first or second night we had her in our care, back in Addis, in the hotel. We’re sleeping, it’s like, 4 am, and all of a sudden she lets out this PEAL OF LAUGHTER. And BDH and I LEAPT from our beds all OMGWTF IS THAT BABY DOING and I just about blew a hamstring because I got one foot tangled in the bedcovers. Anyway. She does not do it often, so it catches us off guard when she does. So, last night, I’m sleeping in bed, minding my own business, and all of a suddenly I hear LA DE DA BLAH DE BLAH SOMETHINGSOMETHING in this pleasant little voice over the baby monitor. I have no fucking clue what she said because, OH YEAH I WAS ASLEEP. But I tell you truly, I went from ZONK to FULL ALERT WHOOP WHOOP WHOOOOOP in about three milliseconds. You KNOW all the crazy shit that goes through your head — well, maybe just MY HEAD — in these situations. I’m all WHO IS SHE TALKING TO WHAT IS WRONG OMG SOMEONE HAS BROKEN IN AND IS IN HER ROOM ABDUCTING MY CHILD. So I get up and rush to the door and listen… And what’s happening? NOTHING, man. She’s sound asleep. So’s BDH, for that matter. He didn’t even KNOW she had been talking. But not me. OH NO. I’m WIDE AWAKE now.
  • Parenting Fail of the Week (Potentially): Every time my kid falls down now, she looks at me and asks “IS IT OKAY?”. The thought process is not “okay, I have fallen down and I feel a slight pain here, so I will tell you I have a problem”. It seems to be more along the lines of “I have fallen down, but you normally just get me to shake it off, even if it hurts so what is the point? AM I HURT? YOU TELL ME, BOSSY MOM LADY.”
  • Parenting Fail of the Week (Definitely): My kid’s had a cold, and she hates having a runny nose. So, she will always ask for a KWEENEX. This is good, right? Except for the fact that A) she will wake in the middle of the night and begin calling for KWEENEX, KWEENEX, so we have to get up out of a sound sleep, go in, find a kleenex and deal with the boogers in the dark, and 2) she has picked up on the fact that we call them “boogers” and so, just to be sure, will stick a finger in her nose TO CHECK before asking… and then announce “BOOGERS”, loudly, in a tone of great gravitas, before quietly asking for a kleenex.
  • Parenting Fail of the Week (Heavyweight Division): It snowed the other night, around dinnertime, after being warm for a couple of days. I stood at the patio doors and bellowed “SNOW! AAAAAAUGGGGHHH!” My husband went to the window in the playroom and pointed and yelled “AAAAAAUGGGGHHH!” So. Guess who has taken to yelling “AAAAAAUGGGGHHH!” at the dinnertable because she thinks it’s funny?

*****

Archives
One Year Ago: Certainties
Two Years Ago: Saturday Smile: Today’s Lesson
Three Years Ago: Friday Fun: Take That, Mother Nature

In Which Useful Things Shall Be Said, But Not By Me

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This week is settling into a quiet rhythm. Stinkerbelle is on the mend in some respects, so we were able to get her out to her gym class this week, but due to the holiday we didn’t have swim class. And even if we did, I would not have taken her because she has two raging ear infections (although unless her doctor had told us last week, we never would have known — kid would not complain if her hair were on fire, I swear to doG.) And until we’re done her meds, she’s not going in the water.

But we’re sticking close to home anyway. I can’t walk for any period of time or participate in any of her classes terribly well until I get this knee on the mend and/or the pain subsides on its own. I even stayed home from work this week because I didn’t want to be driving for an hour there and then back again on next to no sleep. But on the upside, I whacked myself out with heavy duty cold meds in desperation the other night and SHAZAM! I was sleeping at 90 minute stretches for most of the night. Hurray for acetaminophen! So I went out and bought me the strongest, longest lasting, highest dose Tylenol I could find. And last night, I slept for, like, FOUR HOURS at one stretch. OMG BLISS I LOVE YOU TYLENOL LETS BE BESTEST FRIENDS FOREVAH.

And while we are at home, I find I am compelled to bake, but because that requires walking on our tile floor for longish periods of time, I talk myself out of it most days. But BDH is going to be attending a get together this weekend, and decided to have a custom cake made. From a baker who specializes in fancy-schmancy, crazy-rich-flavours, holy-hell-you-can-even-specify-your-icing -type cakes. This woman makes cakes in the shape of castles and big wrapped presents and the Air Canada Centre and scenes from Spongebob Squarepants, for the love of doG. And so this cake he is ordering is going to be spectacular. So, this has been driving me even more to bake, as now I am craving cake like a mofo. Except I know that whatever I make will pale in comparison to the Party Cake Of Infinite Tastiness, and so then I give up and admit defeat.

So here I am sleepless and cakeless. And peevish, it goes without saying.

So, I am sitting down at lunch with Stinkerbelle, WITH NO CAKE I MIGHT ADD, and we’re having soup. (She’s eating soup these days. Really it’s just whatever soup we are eating, whizzed for a couple of seconds in the blender, but HEY. KID IS EATING ACTUAL FOOD. I do not complain.) Anyway. One of the things we do to keep her distracted and not panicking and fixating on whatever we’re trying to get her to eat, is to put a podcast or TV show on the computer in our kitchen. She watches it, and does not think about what she is eating, and consequently more gets ingested, with less of a palaver, than she normally would in a quiet setting. (I know this is contrary to what nutritionists will tell you is good practice, but nutritionists don’t have to deal with kids with eating issues every fricking day. Plus Stinkerbelle’s OT sanctions it. So there.)

Every day, we let her choose what to watch — mostly because we know who is In Charge in this house. And she LOVESLOVESLOVES Mythbusters. Or, as she calls it, “MeeBeeBees”. So today, she wanted to watch “MeeBeeBees Bananas!” for the eleventybillionth time. It’s about slipping on a banana peel. It brings some comedy. I acquiesced.

We’re eating. And all of a sudden, my kid is hollering things out.

SCIENCE TYPE THINGS.

I’m sitting with a not-quite-three-year old at the table, and she’s bellowing out things like “STATIC FRICTION!!” and “FERRIC NITRATE!!” and “KINETIC!!”

And I begin to wonder… Did I take TOO MUCH medication? Is pain or lack of sleep making me delusional? Possibly I have dozed off over my Tuscan Bean Soup and I’m dreaming this?

Nope. But another possibility came to mind: MY KID WATCHES TOO MUCH MYTHBUSTERS.

Is there any such thing? I don’t know. It IS slightly disturbing when your preschooler has more scientific knowledge than you do. But I’m not going to worry about it too much. She can watch all the Mythbusters she likes, as long as she eats her soup.

And then grows up to be a scientific wonder who makes enough money to keep me in physiotherapy, Tylenol and as much fancy-schmancy cake as I could possibly want.

Impasse

We’re at an impasse here at The House of Peevish this morning, my peeps. We have grocery shopping to do and errands to run, but we are not going anywhere.

For this morning, Stinkerbelle said to me “I go potty”, and went into the bathroom, and pulled down her pants. I took off her diaper. And she sat on the potty.

(And sat. And sat. And faffed. And talked. And sat. And sat some more. Nothing came of it, maybe a fart or something.)

But now, she refuses to put a diaper back on.

OMG PEEPS. SHE’S STARTING TO POTTY TRAIN HERSELF.

I’ve been kinda “meh” about the whole potty training thing. I have been asking her periodically for the last year or so if she wants to use the potty and she adamantly refuses. NO POTTY NO POTTY NO NO NO POTTY. And I am okay with that. I figure she’ll train when she’s good and ready, and I’m not going to stress over it.

She’s always been a kid who knows her own mind and cannot be pushed into doing something. She’s always been the type of kid who won’t do something until she is completely good and ready to do it. Some people have said it’s an indicator of very high intelligence; others say it’s the mark of very high stubbornness. Either way, you can’t push that kid to do anything she does not feel ready to do, no way, no how.

When she was learning to walk, we tried and tried and tried to get her to walk. We made a game of it. We practiced. We cajoled. We begged. But Stinkerbelle would have NONE OF IT. So we waited. Months went by. We despaired that she was delayed. She was all “Whatever”. We waited.

And the one day, she crawled to the middle of the living room, stood up, and walked away.

OH I SEE SO THAT’S HOW IT’S GOING TO BE IS IT.

So we learned that she’ll do things when SHE wants to, and not a minute before. Crawling forward, walking, talking, whatever. She knows when she’s ready. And when she’s ready, she’s REALLY ready.

So with potty training, I took a laissez faire approach. I figured, she’d let me know. And it does no good to push, and it is no good stressing everyone out and making it a stressful, scary thing.

She’s not afraid of her potty. When Mom or Dad uses their potty, she’ll sometimes come in and sit down on her potty, too, fully clothed mind you. Maybe she’ll pull her pants up to her knees, or down around her ankles, in solidarity, but she’s never really shown any inclination to want to REALLY use her potty.

Until today. Today was different.

So, after sitting for half an hour, with nothing to show for it besides vapour, she wanted to get up off the potty. But when I said, Okay, fine, let’s put your diaper back on, she was all NO DIAPER.

So something’s going on.

So we got out the Big Girl Panties, some cotton training pants I have been keeping for JUST SUCH AN OCCASION. And we put them on her. I was not about to have her running about the place with nothing on — I know people do that, but it’s freezing cold outside and chilly in here and I’d rather she keep a shirt on and wash a bunch of wet pants than have her catch a chill.

She was not impressed with the Big Girl Panties. But I told her, these are your options: potty, diaper, or BGPs. So she grudgingly went with the Panties.

And so, I waited.

Maybe 5 minutes later, Stinkerbelle started to whine. She grabbed my hand and started pulling me, but I don’t think she knew exactly where. I led her to the bathroom to the potty but that was not what she felt she needed, but she didn’t really know WHAT she wanted me to help her with. She just knew she needed help.

But she could not tell me. I didn’t know, either.

Until a moment later, as she stood playing with her fridge magnets, and a puddle began to form at her feet.

A HA, said the Novice Potty-training Mom. I SEE.

Stinkerbelle was unimpressed with the puddle and the drippy legs and the wet BGPs. So I took her Big Girl Panties off her, and plopped her on the potty, where a little ridiculously tiny pee came out.

So far, she has only understood the whole Poo business. “Poo stink”, she says. But pee? Is kind of a new concept. I told her about pee, and telling me if she has to pee, and all that stuff. And then I took her up to her change table, and cleaned her up.

I asked her if she wanted a diaper on, or Big Girl Panties. She said NO DIAPER. She opted for the Big Girl Panties.

Progress? Maybe.

Anyway, she’s not going anywhere today without pants on. And even if I did put pants on her, she’s not going anywhere without a diaper. She WANTS pants, but I told her “no diaper, no pants”.

So we are at an impasse. We are grounded for the day, as we wait for the next puddle. I figure, for today at least, as long as she is interested in the whole potty deal, we’ll give it a try. Tomorrow she is at the sitters, so if the sitter wants to try the whole potty thing too, then great. And we’ll just take things a day at a time after that, around our regularly scheduled life. Whenever.

I won’t push her. She’ll train when she’s good and ready, and not a minute before. But I can’t help getting a little OMG SQUEE EXCITED at the prospect of maybe not changing more diapers. And, if I am completely honest, a little sad too.

Either way, I have a whole lot of time at home today with a half-naked toddler, a mop, and a carpet cleaner.

Engage

It’s alternately fun and confusing having a newly-talking kid.

Stinkerbelle has gotten over the hump on speaking — she was struggling there for awhile, and then the floodgates opened. In a matter of months, she’s using more words than we even knew that SHE knew, she’s forming sentences of many words, and she’s expressing herself and engaging with everyone as often as she can.

She’s always been a social kid. When we first met her, a five-month-old baby, at the TH, we asked her caregivers if they did anything special when she fussed or cried or needed comfort. We were expecting some gentle words, or maybe a song, or a way to hold her. What we DIDN’T expect was for her caregiver to say, “Oh, we just put her down next to some other kids, and she cheers right up.”

But after 2 1/2 years, we know: IT’S TOTALLY TRUE. Girlfriend LOVES her peeps. So the language barriers coming crashing to the ground are in large part due to being around others.

Where once she listened to conversations and was spoken to, now she wants nothing more to than to ENGAGE! So, randomly throughout the days, she’s trying conversation out, hollering “HULLOOOOO!” and “HI! HULLO! HI! HI!” and “GOOD MORMING!” to whoever, and sometimes whatever, strikes her fancy. She doesn’t quite GET that “hello” is just an opening conversational gambit as yet, so she just throws it out there whenever she wants someone to engage with her. People she knows. Strangers in stores. Friends. Toys. Inanimate objects that are new to her. Doesn’t matter. It’s all conversation to her. She’ll just barge into the middle of an existing conversation and bellow “HELLO!” if the mood strikes her. That’s just how she rolls.

And she’s delighted, and sometimes suddenly shy, when someone responds.

She’s also all about expressing her will, too. You can hear her holler at her little friend Libby at her gym class: “Bibby! Come on! Let’s go!” as she tries to play with Libby. She’s forever telling Duncan to “Get down!” from wherever he is. Or she will grab a finger and lead you to what she wants and command “Sit too!” She is delightfully bossy.

Rest assured, however, that she is a benevolent dictator, and if you have complied with her wishes, she’ll come up and pat your hair and say “Oooooh, NIIIIIiiiicccceee.” Or maybe even “pretty hair”. So, that’s nice.

But the most recent, and most dreaded, conversational option for That Baby is NO. She will say no randomly, to show she CAN. Like when I ask her if she wants to go to gym or swimming, something you KNOW she LOVES, she will say no, just because she can. Being contrary is all part of the fun. Most of the time it is random, and you can tell by her tone she is just trying No on for size.

But you know she is serious when her voice drops a couple octaves, right from her diaphragm, and she BELLOWS an agonized and fearful “NOOOOOOOOOO”. Like when Santa called her name, for example. “NOOOOOOO SAAAAANNNNTAAAAAA”. Or, even more recently, when we try to get her to use the potty. “NO POTTY. NO POTTY TIME.”

So, that’s a “no” then. Okay.

(Everything these days is a “time”. Potty time. Snack time. Bath time. Boots time. Bubbles time. Everything has a time.)

And she’s into questions. Sometime after she’s been put to bed, and she’s faffing and futzing about in her bed, over the monitor we’ll hear “Wha happied?” and we know something is wrong in her world. “What happened” is the catchphrase of the week, to let us know that something is Not Right In Her World. Took her shoes off? She’ll come to you holding them saying “Wha happied?” Dropped or spilled something? “Wha happied? Wha happied?” repeated ad infinitum until you do something about her problem.

Although it’s not always easy to understand what she’s saying. Her kitty Duncan is “Gungkum”. “See you later” is “Seeeeyayee”. But, as we’re leaving in the morning and she says “Goobye Gungkum! Seeeeyayee!” you can pretty much translate.

And don’t even get me started on the singing. OH, the SINGING. It is tuneless and phonetic and full of breathy pauses and burps and marching and emphatic gesturing and I love it. I. ABSOLUTELY. LOVE. IT.

I love it. I love it all. I have been waiting for this phase, when we could communicate. And with her delays, we waited a little longer than I anticipated, which was worrysome, and I will admit, a tiny bit disappointing. But the delay always passes, and when the real talking starts, this early fun phase of exploration and development and fun passes so quickly.

I wish I could record every day, everything she says, to remember forever. Her sweet baby voice, her funny conversation, even the bellowing NO. It’s all so dear, and it goes by so fast. I will miss it terribly when she moves from this stage.

Random Tuesday: Christmas is Coming Edition

OH. MY. DOG.

It’s coming, isn’t it. CHRISTMAS. Is COMING. Gaaaaaaah.

I’m not ready.

My random thoughts for today are therefore coated in breathless rushing about and lightly frosted with panic.

  • We’re travelling to NS for the holiday, which means doing baking and gifting earlier than usual, and packing suitcases containing clothing suitable for changeable weather, and packing presents, all while keeping a sick toddler amused. Oh, who am I kidding. All it means is LESS TIME TO PROCRASTINATE.
  • I baked about 24 dozen cookies this year, making gingerbread, icebox cookies, eggnog cookies and chocolate crinkles. It was a down year for baking. Normally we give baking to lots of people — friends, colleagues, our cat clinic, servers at our favourite restaurants — but the combination of less money than in years past and more toddler time has meant we cut back on our baking. Still, I managed to put together a few packages for a friend who yearns for my gingerbread, a couple of coworkers, and our friends at the Cat Clinic. The rest we’ll take home to NS or keep here for ourselves.
  • Also on the subject of cookies: OMG CHOCOLATE CRINKLE COOKIES SO DELICIOUS I COULD JUST PLOTZ. That is all.
  • I am trying to pack well this year. Meaning, for someone like me who always feels the need to PACK ALL THE THINGS, I am trying to really pare it down. That means I am trying to pack all my clothes, plus my CPAP machine, plus my gifts for others, in one suitcase. Honestly, this would not be such a problem if my CPAP didn’t take up HALF THE DAMN SUITCASE. It’s times like this that I really hate that machine.
  • Where am I going to pack my knitting? OMG A HOLIDAY WITHOUT KNITTING OH THE HUMANITY. That is crazy talk and I won’t hear it. Next thing you know you’ll be telling me to leave my laptop at home.
  • We’re having two Christmases this year, one with Grammy and Grandad in NS, and one here at home on New Year’s Day. Okay, three Christmases, counting Ethiopian Christmas. But the second Christmas on New Year’s Day is because we have presents that are too big to transport… I mean, BECAUSE SANTA HAD BIG PRESENTS TO DELIVER AND BROUGHT THEM HERE SO WE WOULDN’T HAVE TO CARRY THEM HOME. Ahem. That’s right. Well, we have to figure something out logistics-wise for the next few years for our travelling Christmas holidays.
  • Both Stinkerbelle and BDH have been sick with a cold/cough these last few days. Having a two year old up coughing all night is hard. You can’t give them anything. But, having rediscovered the wonder of Vick’s rub this week, and also figuring out that a spoon of honey and a spoon of lemon in warm water will soothe a little throat and keep coughs at bay for a little while at least, I think we’re going to be recovered well enough that travelling won’t be too daunting.

Fantasy Island

So, last night, I was getting dinner started. My daughter, who was bored out of her tree, did what any preschooler who is bored like a bored thing that is bored will do — she decided to make her own fun. Most times, this involves a lot of running in circles, hopping, or spinning. So she did all that. A lot.

And then she wandered into the kitchen and decided it was as good a time as any to play in the curtains.

We have issues with curtains here at the House of Peevish. First off, they’re covered in cat fuzz from cats who are spending their days looking out the windows (Duncan), or sitting in the sun (Lucy), or using them as hiding spots (Cinnamon). But secondly, and more importantly, they are one of the first “decorating” projects that BDH and I ever undertook together in our new house. Or anywhere, for that matter. So although there are curtains hanging, they are just barely hanging. Screw anchors in the wall to firmly hold the curtain rod brackets in place are neither firmly in the wall, nor firmly holding anything in place. So our curtains are subject to Major Curtain Fail at any moment. All it would take is a good firm tug, really, and curtain, rod, and brackets will come plummeting to earth.

So we try to keep Stinkerbelle out of the curtains as much as possible, until we redecorate at least.

This is, generally speaking, an impossibility. But we DO try.

Anyway, last evening, she seemed to be futzing less with the curtains than she normally does, so I let her sit in the curtains and look out the patio door. An, after a few minutes, she started pointing and shouting, “Airplane! Airplane! Airplane!”

It was dark, so I didn’t think she’d be able to see an airplane, but I went over to check anyway. She was pointing up into the sky, which was clear but for the moon and one bright star.

I assumed she was pointing at the star, so I took the opportunity to teach her, “No, baby, that’s a STAR. See? There’s the moon, too. The moon. And a star.”

“Oooh,” she said. “Moon. Star. STAAAAARRR.”

She repeated the words a few times, getting used to saying them, connecting the words to the objects. “Moon,” she would say and point. “Moon,” I would repeat. “And a star,” I would say. “Star,” she said.

“Moon.”

“Yes, moon.”

“Star.”

“Yep. That’s a star.”

“STAAAAAAAR.”

“Yes. Star.”

I left her at the window, repeating “moon” and “star” quietly to herself. I went back to getting supper.

And then, with great excitement, she started shouting. “AIRPLANE! AIRPLANE! PLANE! PLANE!”

On the off chance it WAS a plane, I walked over to check. It wasn’t, of course. It was the same star. The same moon.

“Star,” I corrected her.

“Star,” she repeated. “Star. Star. Staaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrr.”

I went back to cooking.

“AIRPLANE! AIRPLANE! AIRPLANE!”

“Okay, Tattoo,” I said. “It’s a plane. Welcome to Fantasy Island.”

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like…

Oh, wait. Nope. It’s still a mess here. Just slightly better lit and with some sparkly bits.

We put on Christmas music. We broke out some of the Christmas decorations over the weekend to try and muster up some holiday spirit. And we put up the Christmas tree, which is always an adventure with a small child.

This involved shoving a lot of the other mess out of the way to make way for the new mess, so clearly, we did not have a solid plan going in. But we used some of the mess to corral That Baby during the bits with the lights and the stepladder, and in the end the tree is up and looking quite nice.

We have some issues, though. First, the tree is somewhat bent from a certain big dumb cat who insists on climbing it, year after year. And the tree skirt is always all over the room from a certain other slightly-less-big dumb cat who uses it as her own personal sleeping bag.

But we decorated it well, so the gaps and wonky branches are hidden — for now. It’s a matter of time before there’s a cat swinging from the bending, twisting branches and ornaments come crashing to the floor. But if the cats don’t trash it, the preschooler will.

This is the first year she’s actually been, you know, CONSCIOUS at Christmas time, as opposed to a cooing, babylike mound of somewhat mobile humanity known as a toddler. So she was all about the OMGWTF LET ME HELP OR I WILL DIE participation.

Our first issue was the lights. She was all OOOOOOHHHHH PRETTY which is fine, but we had to deter her from trying to pick them up and carry them around and stuff. The lights are older than dirt. They might get hot. I dunno.

Also? Since we’ve had a few birthdays recently she’s become fond of blowing out candles, so she spent a good half hour trying to blow out the lights while we were getting strings ready to go.

We have also observed that a preschooler’s idea of decorating is somewhat different to an adult’s, just so you know. In Stinkerbelle’s case, it involved running to Daddy, who was unwrapping ornaments, and under the direction, “Now, take this to Mommy”, she would run over to the tree and plonk whatever decoration it was on a branch. Then back to Daddy. Then back to the tree. PLONK, on the same branch. Then back to Daddy. Left to her own devices, one branch would be VERY well decorated on an otherwise empty tree. But we got that sorted.

Living with cats, and now a small child, we have installed an Early Warning System on our tree. All the lowest branches are hung with bells. This way, if anyone is screwing around in any way with anything on, under, or around the tree, a bell will jingle, and we know to look and deal.

WELL now. Bells are apparently AWESOME to an excitable Stinkerbelle, who has intermittently trotted over to the tree since having it put up, and WAILED ON THE BELLS. She’s smacking them, and yanging on them, and smacking them some more, and the tree is waving to and fro like it’s caught in a monsoon.

So that’s been fun.

We also have a Santa hat, which is to be worn on Christmas morning by the “elf” who distributes the presents from under the tree. Except now, it’s “HATTY HATTY HATTY!” as soon as she sees it, and she has to have the hat on. Which she then pulls down as far as she can over her ears and face, and then starts flailing about like Iggy Pop doing a bizarre holiday slam dance, in an effort to see the pom-pom on the top waggling about.

Not to mention, I spend a couple hours picking fuzz out of her puffs afterwards.

But it’s a start, right? I have many presents bought. I even made the first of my Christmas cookies today. Well, the dough, anyway. Let’s not get carried away.

So, let’s just say it’s beginning to look a lot like it might be beginning to look somewhat like something kind of nearing Christmas, and leave it at that.