Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Oliver got a ridiculous amount of toys this year. He is pretty happy.

Merry (belated) Christmas, everyone.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The definition of sleeping in has changed slightly.

This morning, like most mornings, Jared and I set Oliver up with his choice of breakfast and went back to sleep for a little bit. A few minutes later, Oliver came into our room and spied the big box of a Christmas present too large to wrap. He set to work on opening it.

By employing sneaky parent technique #7 (pretending to be asleep) I was able to watch his attempts.

He'd knock the box over and shout, "YIKES!" as he was almost crushed by a box bigger than he is. Each tiny piece of cardboard paper he could rip off was instantly labeled "trash" and he had to go throw it away before he could rip another piece off. I think I got to lie in bed for another half an hour while he peeled the outer layer of paper off the cardboard, muttering to himself. He frequently encouraged himself saying, "Oh, good job!" or  "It's working! Yes!"

Finally, I peeked out of my half-open eyes and saw him trying to gnaw open a corner of the box. Like a dog. He spit out little pieces of cardboard. "Yuck. No no no."

Then I laughed, and he knew I was watching him.

"Oh, hi Mom! Open this box! ITS FOR ME!!!!"

Monday, December 12, 2011

Oliver's friends.

We got a catalog in the mail today from the city. It listed all of the winter activities and classes going on, and I thought it would be a good way for Oliver and I to make friends. I spoke to him about it this evening.

Me: Would you like to take a class? And meet friends?
Oliver: Uh huh. Good idea.
Me: What kind of class? A dancing class?
Oliver: Uh huh.
Me: A music class?
Oliver: Oh, music! Uh huh.
Me: A swimming class?
Me: That sounds like fun, doesn't it? We will meet friends and you can learn how to swim.
Oliver: Oh! My friends! (opening up catalog, pointing to picture of children in pool)  These my friends! In the pool!  My friends. I like them.
Me: But you don't know those people. Maybe they would be your friends, though.
Oliver: No. They my friends. They come over.

Five minutes later...

Oliver: Mom, open door!
Me: Why? What door?
Oliver: Open door for my friends!
Me: Your friends are coming over?
Oliver: Yes! Play with my toys. Open door!
Me: Oliver, we didn't meet any friends yet. There isn't anybody here. No one is coming over.
Oliver, crying: No, Mom! No! I NO HAVE FRIENDS!

Doing things again. Shoot.

I took a break from doing stuff and that was nice. The house has been a bit messy and laundry is a little behind but it was nice to do nothing. Yesterday, I ended my streak of doing nothing by doing something - namely a lot of laundry, fixing the garage door, securing a doorknob, etc.

You guys, I have never spent so much time in Home Depot. I didn't "get" that store until now.

I almost forgot about Christmas shopping, so I've had to start that now. I was beginning to make lists in preparation for our Christmas trip, but Oliver is not helpful.

The first list I made was scribbled on. The second list somehow ended up in the dog's water bowl. The third was crumpled and thrown away. I went to grab a suitcase to start packing some things up, and Oliver locked me in the garage. Again. He thought that was quite funny.

It's like he does not even want us to go. All of these weeks he's been asking for cousin Margaret and Uncle Matt and presents, and now, suddenly? Nothing. I can ask him if he wants to go on the plane to Florida and he says, "No. That's okay. No thank you. I stay home. New house."

I really really hope he changes his mind. There is nothing worse than convincing him to change his mind once he's gotten it made up.

For instance:

"Stand by the Christmas tree and smile!"
"Yes, smile just like that but do it by the Christmas tree. Not in a cardboard box."

" ...  Nevermind."

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmastime, revisited.

I recently wrote about how hard Christmastime usually is for me, and how I wanted to try and change my feelings towards it. Last night, as I was driving home with Oliver looking at the Christmas lights I realized how much of a non-issue this is becoming.  The worst part was laying it out in the open and admitting that I was a grinch, admitting that I wanted to change parts of myself to make things better for Oliver.

Admitting that things are wrong with me is very hard for me to do.

But now that I've done it? So far, the hardest part of trying to change has been admitting that I had parts of me to work on. Like so many of my problems, starting the battle is harder than actually fighting it. I'm actually looking forward to Christmas this year. I don't want to smirk at people who are out wearing Santa hats. I've been making detours through neighborhoods so that Oliver can look a the lights. I am going to make this Christmas my best Christmas ever.

To be honest, Oliver is making this so easy for me. He shouts "Look, CHRISTMAS TREE!" for any sort of tree with some semblance of Christmas decorations on it. In the car he asks to turn on the Christmas songs and commands to all passengers, "Everybody, dance!" His first choices on TV are the old claymation Christmas specials with Rudolf and Frosty. This morning when he got up, he asked me if Santa is coming to our house. It made me want to cry, because I forgot how much kids can believe and hope for things without fear of being wrong or silly.

How could I not feel some of his excitement? How could I harbor anything to hinder that joy?

My parents offered to watch Oliver tonight so that Jared and I could get some alone time and go out on a date. But once Oliver left, I turned on the computer and found his half-watched Christmas movie. It made me start to think about him, to think about our drive home last night in the dark with the Christmas music on, and I made a little change of plans.

Tonight we are going to go get one of those silly fake Christmas tree and light it up. We'll have it assembled, skirted, and waiting for him to adorn with ornaments and top with a star. I just know he'll love it. And if he enjoys it and it makes our family happy, it's worth the money spent.

I want him to come home tomorrow, spy the tree waiting for him in the living room, and shout just like he always does, "Look, Christmas tree!"