It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Santa Claus is *hic* coming to town

Santa-Beer1“Daddy says Santa likes beer.” Poppy has been discussing Santa — again — this time with an eye to the treats they’ll be putting out for the merry old glutton on Christmas Eve.

“I’d say Daddy’s right. Every Santa I’ve ever known has liked beer.” Oops. I just said ‘Santa’ in the plural. Happily, she’s on to her next thought and doesn’t notice.

“But the Santa at the mall said Santa likes chocolate milk.”

“Hm. I think he wasn’t the real Santa, then.”

“No! He was the real Santa.”

“Maybe not, you know. There’s only one Santa, and there are lots and lots of malls. Besides, he’s busy at the North Pole making presents. Most of the Santas you see at the malls are helpers. So I think this was a helper, and he made a mistake.”

“Noooo. He was the real Santa!”

“Well, I know how you can find out for sure if he was real.”

“Oh! How?!”

“You can leave Santa chocolate milk AND a beer, and see which one he drinks.”

Poppy’s mother enters at exactly this juncture in the proceedings. I get a quizzical look. I give her the backstory. Mom is all over that. Because, it seems, Mom also has a backstory.

“That’s an excellent idea, Poppy! Because you know what? I really don’t think that was the real Santa at the mall. You know how, when you told him you wanted a scooter for Christmas, he told you that was no good, because you can’t go outside with a scooter in the winter? And then he told you maybe you really wanted a Disney Princess doll?”

My jaw drops. I make wide-eyed contact with mom. Seriously?? He said that?? Mom nods, her lip curled. What an ass, huh? The conversations you learn to have without a single word spoken.

And what? Is this Santa on commission from Disney?

“Oh my goodness, Poppy!” I am the very picture of puzzled astonishment. “That couldn’t be the real Santa. The real Santa would know that you love scooters, and you don’t care about Disney princesses. What a silly Santa he was!”

Mom and I laugh in what is probably a disgustingly smug and patronizing way as we work in tandem to deprogram the sweet tot. Rotten, commercially depraved, corporate minion sexist silly fake-Santa, pushing Disney princess on an innocent tot!!

Poppy, however, remains unconvinced. “Yes, it was the real Santa!”

Mom grabs the lifeline I’ve unwittingly tossed her.

“Well, I know how to find out. We’ll do what Mary said: We’ll put out some beer, and some chocolate milk, and we’ll see what Santa drinks. If he drinks the beer, that Santa at the mall was not the real Santa.”

Poppy nods. “It’s a ‘speriment!”

Mom and I glow in the brilliance of this genius child.

“Yes, it’s an experiment,” I agree.

As mom shepherds Poppy out the door, she whispers over her shoulder. “Tells my kid she doesn’t want a scooter. Where does he get off?” She snorts. “Santa’s going to drink an entire damned six-pack. Just to prove the point.”

December 20, 2013 Posted by | Christmas, Mischief, parents, Poppy | , , | 6 Comments

Just doing my job

It’s a half-hour to lunch time. The meal is ready, prepared yesterday evening and needing only to be re-heated before being served. The children are playing quietly (really!) in the kitchen, Duplo scattered from one end of the room to the other. Rory, Grace and Jazz build towers. Poppy gnaws on a block, meditatively. Daniel fills a large coffee tin with blocks, then dumps it out. Over and over. The children are happily occupied, all in the same room, and I … am at loose ends.

What to do?

Well, according to Flylady, I need to clean my fridge today. Though a full half-hour is more than enough time for the task, I doubt the peace will last long enough to allow me the whole fridge. However, I’ll bet I can manage one of the shelves in the door before all hell breaks loose they require more active supervision.

An open fridge, however, means FOOD, so I am soon surrounded by “help”. Poppy and Daniel remain oblivious, but Rory decides he will hold the door open for me. Grace, the original Echo Girl, thinks that’s a great idea, so she holds it too!!! That door? It’s not going ANYWHERE.

(Jazz? Jazz is NOT a food girl. She is still building the World’s Longest Duplo Snake, a project far, far more interesting than the possibility of (ugh, boring, you’re not going to make me eat that are you???) food.)

Within a minute, a miscellany of pots, jars and bottles sits on the floor as I wipe the shelf with a damp cloth. Less than a minute after that, I’m putting stuff back. (See? NO TIME AT ALL.) The children comment on each item as it’s returned. Jam — “I yike booberry jam!”– marmalade — “Dat is yukky, but my daddy yikes it.” — salad dressing — oops, that’s expired! “Can you throw this bottle in the blue box, please, Grace?”

While Grace toddles across the kitchen, Rory peruses the contents of the next shelf up.

“I have that at my fridge!” he says, tapping a can. A can of Bud Light. A can which has sat on that same shelf since Halloween. Since the daycare Halloween party, to be accurate, when it was brought to my house by … Rory’s father. Brought, and sat, unloved, unwanted, ignored. For over two months. (By all members of our household, even the 18-year-old, an age at which one is more driven by opportunism than taste, at least in matters alcoholic.)

“You have that at your house?”
“Yes. That is my daddy’s beer. He yikes a drink it.”

I grin. “Your daddy is a lightweight. You can tell him I said that.” (I know this is safe, because I already did tell him that. At the Halloween party. This, I must make clear, is totally, absolutely, completely, unequivocally the pot calling the kettle black. I enjoy my single glass of wine at the end of a day because, to all intents and purposes, that is my limit. Sad, I know.)

“Yite-yite?”

“Lightweight.”

“Yite-wait.’

“That’s right!”

Because what’s a good caregiver for, if not to expand their wee vocabularies?

January 11, 2012 Posted by | food, Mischief, parents, Rory | , , , | 6 Comments