My sweetie, who has been suffering a sore throat for a couple of days, gets out of bed, heads to the bathroom, returns. I check the clock – it’s a full half hour after his usual wake time. He returns. I am still snuggled deep under the comforter, eyes closed, savouring the last three minutes of languor. I call to him from my cocoon.
“You staying home today?”
My eyes fly open when Lou Rawls answers. “Oh, yeah, I think so.”
I roll over to face him. “Come over here. I want to make out with a big black man.”
I close my eyes.
Advent Calendars! This one was a lot more work for me than the tots, but their parents will be impressed. They’d better be.
Take bristol board, construction paper, ribbon, stickers, tape, scissors, and 144 teeny prizes.
It wasn’t cutting the calendars, nor even cutting out all one hundred forty-four little pockets, because you can cut a bunch at a time. Folding them was a bit more fiddly, because that has to be done one at a time, five foldes per pocket. My fingers are still sore from all that pressing. Punching holes in the wee doors that will cover the pockets was all right, because again, you can do a bunch per punch.
It was putting them on the calendars. I measure, so they’d be placed evenly. Built a grid for each calendar. Then you stick them to the calendars. All one hundred forty-four of them.
Sticking each and every one of them requires four pieces of tape, two to make the pockets, two to affix to the board. For each of every one hundred and forty-four pickets. 4 x 144 = 576 pieces of tape. Five hundred seventy-six. That’s a LOT of tape. That happened the night before.
And then they all got numbered.
The next morning, the kids got involved, decorating their calendar with stickers.
(And before anyone asks, the cage on the table is not for a child, but for the budgie, Java, who has been suffering from the cold in his usual spot nestled against two exterior walls. He’s on the table temporarily.)
(Because since Arthur can see it, Stephen can, too, right? That’s how it works when you’re three – very Piagetian.)
And even yet, we’re not done. That evening, Emma and I put 144 teeny prizes into 144 teeny pockets, and then tied each of the pockets’ little doors shut with – you guessed it! – 144 pieces of ribbon. Two knots each. My fingers are now knotted, too.
I have SO earned me some decent Christmas presents, let me tell you…