Friday, December 04, 2009

When an Extra Hour Feels Like a Present



Here we are in December, on the final countdown to Christmas. We have started talking about Santa Claus with the girls. Avery in particular seems to have a preliminary grasp on the concept: Santa will bring her surprises. And Avery love her surprises. Right now I am lucky because even a gummy bear vitamin qualifies as a surprise in her book. I know we won’t get away with so little in the near future, but for now, it works, and I will be working the low-key angle, the “here is a Post-it Note!” surprise as long as motherly possible.

I have a love/hate relationship with this time of year. I like the magical/good will qualities that everyone else does, as well as the anticipation. And, of course, the gifts. But, paradoxically, I don’t like how presents become the main focus. I don’t like the commercialism, the buy buy buy mentality that I can easily fall prey to. Like if I don’t own that snowman candle then Christmas just won’t be Christmas. I don’t like battling the throngs at toy stores to hunt down gifts for nieces and nephews that are sure to disappoint them within a week anyway. I’m not a fan of the massive, slow-moving, picture-snapping crowds in New York City, making simple errands a battle of me and my giant stroller vs. the masses. But despite all that, it really is the most wonderful time of the year, as the song says. I am really enjoying it. And I am looking forward to New Year’s Eve. Even though it has been a long time since I have been able to stay awake till midnight, I am a sucker for that turning over a new leaf feeling that a new year brings.

As an early Christmas present to me, the girls are sleeping an hour later than usual. Instead of getting up around 7:30, they now lounge in their beds till 8:30, or later. I have so much time in the morning that I barely know what to do with myself. We still put them to bed by 7:00 every night, and the only thing that has changed is that Avery has become the consummate staller. Ten minutes after their door closes, Avery is calling for us. We go in (I know, I know) and we are greeted with her issue du jour: Current favorites include “I need my kitty” and “My nipples are gone” (she is obsessed with her nipples) and, that old chestnut, “I need water.” Of course, Madeline is up for the duration of Avery’s Need Cycle. So technically, while they are going to bed at 7ish, they aren’t getting to sleep till closer to 8. And that is pushing their wake-up time.

I am counting down the hours until we leave for Massachusetts, as I do every week. The thrill is has not worn off yet. Tomorrow I am running a 5K, which I am hoping won’t be so hard since I run more than that each day on the treadmill. But outdoor running is very different, so I am prepared to be humbled. My brother and his family are also coming up, with a U-hual of things from their basement. Since our furniture hasn’t shipped yet (another few weeks) I am happy for anything we can get! I want to get a Christmas tree and take the girls to see Santa, but that might wait till next weekend.

One Christmas present it looks like we won't be getting: Legalized same-sex marriage in New York. Way to eff that up, New York elected officials. Color me bitter. I didn't go to any protests, and I feel kinda bad about that. But it all just feels so futile. Which, of course, makes me what to beat a hasty retreat, because I generally don't like to undertake anything I can't succeed at. I guess that is one of the things I need to be working on next.

Pictured above: Be honest: is this the artwork of a future serial killer? Or a future Kandinsky? Avery has a very distinctive drawing style. She literally vibrates as she creates these masterpieces! Her style is quite different than Madeline’s, which is the typical toddler giant scribble. Also pictured, Avery in her crib. She likes to sleep with all of her friends, a veritable nest of stuffed animals. And finally: A stack of letters. I send the girls a copy of every Christmas card and birthday invite or holiday card that we mail out. When they are older (or moms, hopefully, themselves) I will give the the whole stack. It’s fun that they are postmarked. I think it will be a wonderful memento for them one day, to be able to go through all of the messages and pictures.

9 comments:

K J and the kids said...

And what an early merry Christmas present that is ! It's like a Calgon commercial at your house at 7:10 am. I can almost hear you exhale.

I can't believe those girls fit in those cribs still. let alone sharing with 1/2 of the worlds stuffed animal population :)

What a FANTASTIC idea with the letters. I really want to steal it. Problem is, I have a hard enough time getting Christmas cards out at all. and usually come up 3 short and have to pick people to not send them to. To come up with 5 more might be impossible.

Talkative mood this morning. Sorry ! :)

Molly said...

that card to the girls thing is a great idea!!! You always think of the best memory makers.

Good luck in the 5k tomorrow! You'll do great, I bet you surprise yourself!

yeah, I was bummed about NY not doing what they should for same sex marriage, really, wtf?

Anonymous said...

That is an awesome idea! I try keep a copy of pictures/invites.... but it never occurred to mail it to them! How fun that will be when they are older!

Hope said...

Good luck with your run! Avery looks like she is about to vault out of the bed.... it might be time to add a toddler bed to the furniture order!

thetwinkle said...

hehehe my nipples are gone. i'm going to be chuckling about that all afternoon now.

calliope said...

love the letters to the girls.
also LOVED that your card was the first mail we officially got at our new address!!! You are always so effing thoughtful..

as for the drawing- it honestly looks more like writing. Maybe she is a story teller.

psapph0 said...

Well... you know... if you DO decide to get a set of toddler beds (as a few people have suggested)... I could come and help you get rid of one of those cribs... :-) They'd fit in perfectly with our impending monkey theme...

The scribbles show some impressive fine motor control for such small fingers. I'm pretty sure I see a 3, c, G, B, a couple of 6s, 1s and 7s. Maybe she is trying to communicate in some form of primitive writing?

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tracer123 said...

Kandinsky, for sure.