the eighteenth

It is a complete cliche but it happened to me. The spirit of Christmas has returned. Yes, super cheesy, but I am telling the truth.

I remember Christmas as a kid. It had a feeling. A smell. It was my favorite time of year. Then one year it stopped. Christmas time came and nothing. I think I was about 22. It was the worst Christmas ever.But this year was different. The spirit took a little while to get here, but it finally arrived.

She is almost three, so the whole Santa Claus thing is a brand new concept. But by Christmas morning I think she got it. It occurred to me about three days before Christmas, that as a family we could start our own traditions. So cookies, milk and carrots for the rain deer (Ya, ya not a new tradition but...you know). Then The Night Before Christmas Book that auntie Sid sent. It would be perfect. 

I have been a bit of a head case these days (hence the lack of blog posts). My mind and memory are like scrambled eggs. I spent most of Christmas Eve day worrying that I would forget to put out the cookies and read her the story. I felt like I needed to make myself a note. Seriously. I finally broke down and told my sister not to let me forget. The look on her face was priceless. I think she thought I was joking. Nope, 1,100% serious.  Of course she would never remember that I forgot, but the mothers guilt would follow me year after year.

As the light of the day ended, we enjoyed a Christmas Eve dinner with my father (Papy). She got an intro to opening presents as she tore into the gifts Papy brought for her and her brothers. Then before bed the cookies, milk and carrots were out and The Night Before Christmas was read. I kiss on the cheek and off with the lights. As I closed the door, she asked "is Santa coming?"
"Yes, Santa is coming. But he won't come if you are awake." Echoing my mom years ago.

As we helped Santa and the raindeer by drinking the milk and gnawing on the cookies and carrots, I realized that the magic of Christmas was returning.

Before hitting the pillow myself, I put the presents from Santa under the Christmas tree and stuffed a couple of goodies in the stockings. For effect.

She woke us up at around 7:30am by bashing me in the stomach with a book. You should try it sometime. It truly is a lovely way to wake up. I asked her if Santa had come. Kinda like a dog, she cocked her head to one side and in the sing-song voice replied "Santa?"
"Yes, Santa might have come to our house. It's Christmas!"
"Oh." She replied. I could see the wheels in her head turning. Trying to figure out what in the ___ I was talking about.
He ran down stairs ahead of us to turn on the tree and get positioned for a picture. Watch out Ansel Adams! My husband is the pro photog!
As we came down the stairs and over to the tree, she was silent. I was so worried that she would not be thrilled. What if she wasn't thrilled? While it would make for a great story to tell at her wedding, what if she wasn't thrilled and was more interested in the lack of cock 'n balls on the tree? What kind of child have I raised? Have I not taught her better? I mean really. Presents! They are one of the greatest things on earth. Fact.
Anyhow, the look of bewilderment and amazement as she stood in front of the plate with the one lonely, half eaten cookie and an empty glass of milk. "Where did they go?" she said as she looked back at me.
"Santa ate them!" I said with as much glee as one can muster without having consumed a drop of coffee.
"Santa ate them?"
"Yes. Santa was here and he ate the cookies. But he left presents."
My eyes welled up with tears. The magic of Christmas had returned. Right then and there I could feel it in every ounce of my body. It was wonderful. Easily one of the greatest feelings.

And off she went tearing into the wrapping paper. While the few gifts that we were able to afford occupied her for about 13 minutes, it did not matter. The gift of giving her the magic of Christmas is priceless. Those moments will stay with me forever.


the seventeenth

The reflection of the lights twinkle in her eyes as she watches me strategically put the ornaments on the tree. Of course she asks about the cock 'n balls which almost ruins the moment. A couple minutes go by and I realize that things are quiet. She is under the table reading a book (well not really reading because she is barely three, but you know what I mean). So sweet. It was one of those moments you want to stop time.
I start humming We Wish You A Merry Christmas. She yells out to me "No Mommy! No singing!"
"Oh! I am sorry am I interrupting your reading?" I reply.
She responds "I no reading. I pooping. Be quiet!"

Great. Nothing like decorating the tree with cock 'n ball ornaments while she craps her pants under the dining room table. 


the sixteenth

I would like to preface this blog with a warning for my parents and family. This blog post will contain a few expletives that one might consider offensive. Although, in this case it is freaking hilarious.

This is the first year that she is actually "getting" this whole Christmas thing. She loves the Christmas lights, decorations, trees and kitschy lawn ornaments. She encompasses all of these items into one term "Christmas." It is actually quite genius when you think about it.

Anyway on with the story….I finally put together our Christmas tree. Yes, I just said put together. It comes in pieces. Our faux Christmas tree is circa 1970 so you literally have to put each branch in the trunk of the tree. A little wobbly but once she's put together she's mighty purdy. So a glass of wine and I tackled the assembly after the kids went to bed. The glass of wine decided not to put on the lights or the decorations, trashy TV was much more appealing.

She woke up the next morning and much to her surprise, Christmas was in her house. We walked down the stairs and into the living room. The look of complete surprise that Christmas was in her house was priceless. She stood in front of the naked Christmas tree turned her head and in her sing-song angelic voice asked "where're the cock 'n balls?"

This is the point in the story where I must back track and explain the source of her vulgarity.

She loves to play with him. They roughhouse all the time. She pounces and punches and jumps all over him. Unfortunately she also pounces on his, well….twigs and berries if you catch my drift. In an effort to explain to her that papa has a sensitive area, he told her to be careful of his….hold your applause….cock 'n balls. Don't judge me, I was not home that afternoon. When he mentioned to me that he had explained this cock 'n balls term I almost punched him in the cock 'n balls. Are you kidding me? Really? Of all the things to tell her. Husbands…sometimes they just don't get it. Bless his heart.

The first cock 'n balls episode occurred on a quiet Saturday morning. We were on the couch drinking coffee while the beast and the boys played. It was one of those moments where you are in "ah" of how wonderful life can truly be. She had been rifling through the toy box, when out of the corner of her eye she spotted them. She jumped up and trotted over to two handful sized balls. As she picked up the first one she said with such glee "Oh! My cock 'n balls!"

I almost wet myself. First because I was shocked to hear the words come from her lips and secondly because it was so cute. Really, it was adorable. I had hoped that I heard her incorrectly, so I asked her what she had in her hands. She replied "My cock 'n balls!"
Of course he heard it this time and much like a prepubescent teen he giggled. (I giggled too, but don't tell him that). She did not see our laughter as she was too busy packing her cock 'n balls into her purse….like a true woman. She had it by the balls (Hold your applause. I will keep the jokes coming).

The second episode occurred when we were over at my mother-in-law's house admiring their Christmas tree. You probably know where this story is going. She and I were discussing the tree, the lights and the ornaments. Yes, you got it. She pointed to the ball ornaments and said "Look mommy cock 'n balls!"

I guess we should be thankful she hasn't dropped the f-bomb….at least hasn't dropped it yet.