Monday, November 29, 2010

Oy, Christmas tree

Yesterday, Chad spent about twelve hours in the office, which unfortunately has been his Sunday routine as of late. (We are hoping this is a necessary but short-lived phase of life.) I had a long stretch of time to entertain the munchkins on my own, so we decided to knock a few holiday items off the to-do list. One of those items was taking the kids out for the annual shopping trip where we let them each pick out an ornament for the tree. Our first stop was Walmart, and it probably comes as no surprise that the ornaments there were pretty hideous and we did not find what we were looking for. So I took them next to the Hallmark store downtown in the mall. We had a copy of the Hallmark catalogue kicking around the house a few weeks ago and the kids really enjoyed looking through the pages and pages of ornaments, many of which feature characters they are familiar with. We got to the store and Liam spent a studious ten minutes checking out the entire selection and having me tell him which ones were missing from the display (meaning they were sold out, but we could possibly get one from another store). Finally he chose Snoopy sitting on his bedecked doghouse with Woodstock alongside. An excellent, classic choice.

Half an hour later, Mallory was still trying to decide. Liam and I were both trying to steer her toward the numerous ornaments that were right up her alley. They had Jessie. They had Rapunzel. They had the penguins from Madagascar. Tinkerbell, Cinderella, etc. Basically every cartoon character you can name. The first ornament she wanted was an anatomically correct bird, the kind that an ornithologist might appreciate but that might be a bit over the top for a three year old. "Are you sure that's your favourite one?" I asked her. She said no and kept looking. Next, she picked out a replica of Lucille Ball starring in I Love Lucy. I talked her out of that one because she has no idea who Lucy is and I would expect that ornament to be a hit among the senior set but again - not really appropriate for a little girl.Her third choice was a glittery pink Christmas tree covered with black high heeled shoes. The name of it was, "A Girl Can't Have Too Many Shoes." I knew Mallory was attracted to the pink glitter, but I vetoed that one as well.

Number four on the list was an ornament that actually made sense. She found one that was a big iceberg with several penguins sitting on top. She loves penguins, so it was appropriate. BUT. It was battery operated and when you hit a button on it, it lit up and the penguins spun around in circles. As a result, this one ornament cost $47. So I said no to that as well.We finally came home with ornament number five, Shrek, holding a stocking in one hand and holding Puss in Boots in the other hand. We saw a Shrek movie this year - good enough for me to consider it appropriate. Still not cheap, since the Hallmark ornaments tend to start in the $20 range, but much better than the spendy iceberg.So we get home, and the kids are acting crazy. Correction: Liam is acting crazy. Normally he is very good and obedient but for some reason yesterday, he just was not listening. We got out the stocking holders, which are very heavy and have glass in them, and I gave the kids the big talking-to about how we Do Not Touch Them Because If They Fall They Will Break And Also Take A Chunk Out Of The Floor. Thirty seconds later there was a huge crash. I expected it to be Mallory but nope - Liam was the Mr. Sticky Fingers who couldn't let well enough alone and caused it. When Liam does this kind of thing, he gets incredibly upset, and you'd think that would have been enough to dissuade him from being naughty for the rest of the day. Well, Chad came home and the kids were running around excitedly, trying to show off their ornaments. I don't know how many times I told them to be careful with their ornaments because they are not toys, are fragile, are expensive, etc., and the next thing you know, Liam has dropped his and it's in three pieces - Snoopy, the doghouse, and Woodstock's head. Again with the tears. I was at my wit's end at that point. Though to be fair, I did take them to McDonald's for lunch and as I told Chad, that's when the bad behaviour started - I think McDonald's put extra MSG in their food yesterday.

Anyway, a tube of Crazy Glue later and the ornament is almost as good as new. Now to do something about that awful dent in the floor...