Holiday Memories: Christmas 2012

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I saw in a magazine these little reindeer cork ornaments, where the legs and neck were little sticks that you could just pick up in your yard – twigs, really – and the heads were wine bottle corks. The body was a bigger cork, and the antlers were just more sticks. Then you glue on a red dot as the nose, and you have a great little Christmas decoration.

Looked like about 5 minutes with a glue gun, which you have handy when you have a 2 year old girl (and a wife) so I made them.

It didn’t take long, and they really looked good. I put them out on the hall table.

Where my daughter promptly destroyed them.

“What happened,” I began.

“I’m play with those reindeer,” came the enthusiastic reply.

Now, I should explain here, that I believe I speak a little lazy, and my daughter may pick that up from me, or she may just not fully enunciate since she’s still just two years old. She really said “I’m play wif dose wain-deer,” not yet ably to fully articulate her R’s or L’s. Online, I have read where that can take a few more years, so even though I want her speech better articulated, I know I need to be patient. But there’s no need for you to suffer through the translation, or for me to type it.

I also know that I rarely completely articulate every single word or syllable, especially late in the day or if I’m tired. Who says “It’s. Over. There.”? We say, “Sover dare.” Stuff like that. I have some really bad ones, like “Right there” that come out as “Right dare” if I don’t watch it. You hear them as she repeats them, and you tighten up the diction.

“I’m play with them!”

“Well, these are ornaments, sweetie,” I begin. “Which means we just LOOK at them, we don’t play with them. They will break.” Good luck with that. They look like TOYS. And toys MUST be played with.

They didn’t last five minutes.

She broke them, so I fixed them. No big deal.

Then she broke them again. That was a bit irritating. But I fixed them again. I mean, they were easy to make…

And she broke them again. So I decided to fix them, and take a picture; then she can break them and I’ll just look at the picture to enjoy them.

And each time she broke it, a stern warning was levied, and an honest understanding was reach. But as I say, they were just too tempting for her, and she couldn’t resist.

After about six repairs, they were starting not to look like reindeer anymore, so I fixed them and put them on the fireplace mantle where she couldn’t see them.

There, they remained unbroken for several days, and I could admire my handy work. But it was a lonesome place for them, since they were so cute and all, and she couldn’t even see them up there unless you picked her up and held her there. It just wasn’t any fun that way…

So I stuck ‘em back on the hall table and let her break them again.  I felt, somehow, magnanimous by putting them out where she would get them, play with them, destroy them… and I wouldn’t even think about getting upset. I think, if you make something that looks like a toy, probably you should just relax and let it be a toy. Let the kid be a kid, let the toy be a toy, and let nature take its likely destructive course. If that means the stick reindeer get broken, so be it. Maybe she will learn something. Probably not, but maybe I end up learning something, like how to be a kinder, gentler parent instead of some frustrated yelling maniac. There will be a time for a stern hand; this isn’t it.

– from “The TERRIBLE Two’s”

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International bestselling author Dan Alatorre has 17 titles published in over a dozen languages. From Romance in Poggibonsi to action and adventure in the sci-fi thriller The Navigators, to comedies like Night Of The Colonoscopy: A Horror Story (Sort Of) and the heartwarming and humorous anecdotes about parenting in the popular Savvy Stories series, his knack for surprising audiences and making you laugh or cry - or hang onto the edge of your seat - has been enjoyed by audiences around the world. And you are guaranteed to get a page turner every time. “That’s my style,” Dan says. “Grab you on page one and then send you on a roller coaster ride, regardless of the story or genre.” Readers agree, making his string of #1 bestsellers popular across the globe. He will make you chuckle or shed tears, sometimes on the same page. His novels always contain twists and turns, and his nonfiction will stay in your heart forever. Dan resides in the Tampa area with his wife and daughter. You can find him blogging away almost every day on www.DanAlatorre or watch his hilarious YouTube show every week Writers Off Task With Friends. Dan’s marketing book 25 eBook Marketing Tips You Wish You Knew has been a valuable tool for new authors (it’s free if you subscribe to his newsletter) and his dedication to helping other authors is evident in his helpful blog.

10 thoughts on “Holiday Memories: Christmas 2012

  1. Delightful learning lesson for the dad. And not an easy one. I like how you admit that a ‘fixed’ ornament on a mantle, where a child can’t enjoy it, is a rather lonely thing. Here’s to a fun and happy Christmas with your family!

  2. The fixings never stops. Last year my son decided he wanted all his Lego sets put back together before his Lego birthday party so his friends could break them, I mean, admire them. So I did it. Imagine thirty plus Lego sets, mostly Star Wars, with all the pieces in one gigantic bin. Now imagine mom night after night after kiddo went to bed looking at the instructions for an AT-AT Walker, sorting through the bin for five plus minutes finding the little damn piece attaching it, swilling a drink of wine, repeat.

  3. I remember a similar incident with cake decorating. Something clicked, Mom relaxed, and it was Sprinklegeddeon. FOR MONTHS. But so worth it. (Plus, those cookies, along with the hyped-up kiddos, went to Grandma….)

      1. There are lots of HR types. I’m not the first nor the second. Maybe the fifth.

        I’ll let y’all decide about the username. I like things that can mean a lot of things, even if I make some of the definitions – and words – up. So, it could also mean “likes orange.” Which could be the color, the flavor, or the fruit. And color could mean hue or tone. And this all means it’s not too early for wine.

  4. I have a 5 year old daughter.

    Every dress has glitter.

    Every say is Glittergeddon.

    People are afraid to get into my car any more. They can’t get out unsparkly. Yesterday, the couches got dosed. And the vacuum doesn’t even try to pick that stuff up anymore.

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