Where’s Frosty’s Face?

27 12 2010

This was the first Christmas in many, many years that we had NO plans.  It was just us and the kids.  This was my choice, sort of.

In the past we have traveled from the west coast to the mid-west usually every-other-year.  On alternating years we would celebrate the holiday with friends in Oregon.

Right up until a few weeks ago we were assuming we would go to my parents for Christmas.  It is a 13-hour drive, much of which is up the east side of Lake Michigan (think “Lake Effect” snow by the foot). But it was just what we both planned to do.  After all, what is Christmas without family and friends and a crowded dinner table, right?

We went to my sister’s for T-day (my Mom and Dad were there as well).  Then my Mom came back to Missouri with us for the following week.  Then she drove back with the kids and I to Chicago where I proceeded to stay for the next week to take care of my sister’s boys.  By then it was December 11th, and I made the executive decision that we would be staying home for the foreseeable future.  Home, where routine reigns and toddlers sleep in the appropriate beds at the appropriate times.

With no friends (or family) in town it was hard to anticipate how things would play out.  Would we both end up depressed because, really, who spends the holidays alone?  Turns out WE are a family, duh, seems like I might realise this by now.  And if alone means two adults, two toddlers, one parrot, one dog and three cats, well alone is quite a crowd and certainly does not equal lonely.

Of course it helped that Mother Nature tried to make it a special weekend as well.  Thursday night brought four inches of snow to our part of the country.  We went to bed with green grass and brown trees and woke up in a world of white.  That much snow makes you slow down, whether you want to or not.

SAG needed to get some work done Friday so I took the kids out of the house and we ran errands most of the morning.  Then I put all their new snow clothes on and we headed outside.  Poor Little Dude couldn’t really keep his balance with all the ridiculous layers, but as always he was a gamer.  He would just tip over, get stuck, we would pick him up and he would keep trying.

In the late afternoon it was time for SAG to assume Daddy duty as I had promised to cook our Christmas Eve meal (like a white elephant Christmas gift – you just don’t know what you are going to get.)  He bundled the kids back up and headed outside.  Little Dude decided fairly quickly that he had had enough and decided to join me inside.  It is just fine with me if Mr. Independence wants to spend a little time acting like a Mama’s boy, I will lap up every second of it.

Little Dude was following me around “helping” with laundry and food prep.  Our Christmas tree lights were reflected in the dining room window.  Beyond the lights I could hear and see PJ and SAG sledding on the small hill in our side yard.  It was enough like a 1950’s holiday special to make you tear up (or puke if holiday hokiness isn’t your thing.)

I popped Little Dude in the Pack-N-Play trying to avoid any emergency room visits, and tried to focus on my Creole Stew (sounds better than it tasted – although that might not be the case with a different chef at the stove.)  I noticed it was getting dark.  Then I noticed it was dark.  Then I noticed again how dark it had been and for how long.  I couldn’t imagine what SAG and PJ were doing.  Once I logically eliminated the possibility of them both being simultaneously run over by a car,right outside our door, in complete silence, I got back to cooking.  I am the type of cook who needs to concentrate if there is any hope at all.

Eventually I heard rustling followed by PJ’s voice outside the kitchen door.  I opened the door to hear her ask, “Where’s Frosty’s Face, Mommy?”

They had made a snowman and needed a face.  Fortunately the stuffed peppers SAG was making for Christmas dinner called for real carrots, so we had some on hand.  I decided peanut butter filled pretzels would make the right size eyes.  Then I went in search of a hat.

Frosty may be stuck in Missouri just like the rest of our family, but clearly he is a University of Oregon fan.  Go Ducks.




3 responses

28 12 2010

Love your writing. Keep it up! My kids miss your kids and watch the santa hat ring around the rosy video all the time. Of course the Little Dude wipe out is sill quite popular too. I think it’s a little mean, but then again they were raised in the era of America’s Funniest Videos. ug

28 12 2010

Very nice Frosty indeed! I love Christmas at home, we did it, too.

28 12 2010

I’m jealous of your Christmas at home. I think that’s our goal for next year. And if we’re taking orders, Trent would really like some snow. And maybe a sunny disposition for Julio. I guess we better start writing to Santa now for next year.

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