Saturday, December 10, 2011

Thanksgiving, Uncooperative Toilets, and the Moral Dilemma of Legos

Acknowledging that Thanksgiving decor is, like, so two weeks ago, I present you with my fall-themed leaf hangy thingy and then we move on.

When the kids and I embarked on our fall photo shoot I had a tiny seed in my brain planted by some online crafty tutorial I had seen long ago about using the leaves to create some sort of leafy garland to fill the decorating void between Halloween and Christmas. I think I am happy with how this turned out. One thing is for sure, I really hate cutting felt.

(Oh, and by the way, that felt mitten advent calendar that I told you about last time? We are cruising right along with that bad boy one mitten at a time, which I have realized is the true genius behind such an advent calendar because I didn't have to have it all done by December first. It's pretty much the slacker mom's approach to the advent calendar- just my style. After yet another failed attempt at cutting a decent 4, I guilt tripped Brent into using his superior fine motor skills to cut out those damn felt numbers for me. Again, I really hate cutting felt.)

But before we get too far into the Christmas merriment...


We made our second annual Thanksgiving pilgrimage to the beach. Unlike last year when I spent my time drinking late into each night with my long lost cousins and then waking up WAAAY to early with my chipper children, this year was all about the relaxation.

And matching man-buns. And troll dolls.

And training the future baristas of the world.

Drawing, music making, beer drinking.

Blankets, snuggling, and thumbsucking.

Crossword puzzles.

Sunny hikes along the Hobbit Trail.

The vast, open freedom of the beach.

And plenty of couch time.

I am realizing more and more that I have to actually be doing something in order to relax. Counterintuitive? Perhaps. But the need to keep my hands busy these days means that I can get a lot of knitting and sewing and crafting done. I lugged along a sewing machine, a big old pile of that cursed felt, a knitting project, and a basketful of Christmas gifts in progress. This was a good thing, as I quickly discovered that those advent calendar mittens weren't going to cut themselves.

So we all came home from the Thanksgiving weekend refreshed and relaxed and ready to tackle this Christmas holiday thang. And we had somehow, miraculously had the foresight to clean our house from top to bottom before we left and so our return to the homestead was downright peaceful.


A few nights later as I was getting the kids out of the bathtub and the water swirled down the drain, we heard a strange gurgling sound coming from the other bathroom. Brent (my brave cowboy) went to investigate and when he began to shout out some choice swear words with two big-eared little pitchers at his heels, I feared the worst. (You know what I'm talking about. RATS IN THE TOILET!)

This, however, was not a rodent problem. It was a plumbing problem, and a dire one at that. Toilet overflowing, Brent panicking, kids adding to the chaos by shrieking and seizing the opportunity to bounce on our bed, dog interpreting all of this as some sort of extremely exciting moment worthy of jumping up on everyone with the mistaken belief that all of this chaos is somehow leading up to a WALK or maybe even a RIDE IN THE CAR. And me? I was the calm voice of reason. Hard to believe, I know, but I was the one who calmly suggested that we TURN OFF THE WATER!

Turns out there was some sort of blockage (!?) immobilizing both toilets and the bathtub. What to do? We plunged, we consulted the internet, we plunged some more, we called our dads, and then we plunged again. We gave up and decided to call a plumber in the morning.

Except that wouldn't you know, suddenly EVERYBODY had to poop and certain somebodys are not able to understand concepts like THE TOLIET IS BROKEN! DO NOT POOP IN IT! And so there was some... uh... scooping of the toilet bowl and also some... uh... creative approaches to movement of the bowels, which I'll tell you about if you really want to know but suffice it to say you can never have too many extra plastic bags lying around your house. And that parenting is a filthy and disgusting business and even though they are your own kids it really doesn't make dealing with their poop any less unpleasant.

Before calling the plumber the next morning, Brent gave the toilet one last chance to cooperate and wouldn't you know it? Flush. Mystery blockage mysteriously cleared.

And I am simply left to wonder why the universe feels the need to fuck with us like that.

Anyway. I found Jack close to tears the other day and when I asked him what was wrong, he replied, "I don't think Santa will bring me any presents this year. I haven't been very good." Gah. Poor kid. He stressed out about this last year, too. I'm not sure where all of this guilt comes from, but it's very difficult to reassure him with a straight face, especially when he's just been on a time out for calling his brother stupid. Again with this parenting thing.

Another parenting dilemma we have recently encountered is that elusive balance between giving the right Christmas gift and spoiling your children rotten. Jack is a Lego kind of kid and has been coveting the Hogwarts Lego set for many months now. We usually stop to pay homage to it whenever we shop at Fred Meyer and he admires its many features while I wince in physical pain at the $139.99 price tag. It's not the money so much... well, okay it's that too, but it's really more the idea of buying my kid such an expensive gift. I mean, can we really set the bar this high at the age of four? Then again, I've heard that Legos are a worthy investment, and I have to admit that the Hogwarts castle is pretty dope, as far as Lego sets go.

Will an extravagant gift during the preschool years lead to a life of materialistic consumerism? Are Legos the gateway to Wall Street? Will my toilet continue to flush properly? And, will I ever get through those advent calendar mittens?

(PS: Haven't even STARTED the Christmas cards yet.)

Most wonderful time of the year.

No comments:

Post a Comment