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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

What My Man Won't Do For Me. (Alternate Title: "I Would Do Anything for Love, But I Won't Do That.")

I'm a huge fan of Christmas and I'll readily admit that I might go a tiny bit overboard, occasionally. Christmas was a big deal in our family when I was growing up and I looked forward to it all year, starting December twenty-sixth. The first Christmas we had together with a baby, my husband learned some things about me. Given our extremely limited financial means at the time, I had planned on doing next to nothing for little O. He was only seven months old and wouldn't have a clue. Well, my Grandmother schooled me on that one. I told her my plan (or lack of plan), thinking she would praise me for my practicality. Nope. She let me know that his first Christmas could not be ignored, because O. would want to see pictures of it when he was older. If I couldn't produce those pictures, the whole Santa thing would be destroyed. I thanked Grandmother for her wisdom and made sure Santa would arrive. That year, O. got a handed down, repainted high chair, some new cloth diapers and a few little toys that would look good in pictures.

As you may know, Santa doesn't just leave toys in a pile, he creates an artful display. If there's more than one child, he puts each child's loot in the same place each year, so they'll know who gets what. The eve of Baby O's first Christmas, I nursed him to sleep and went downstairs to do my job, leaving my husband in charge of the sleeping baby. I didn't want him to see what I was doing, because someone had to be surprised. After an hour or so, the baby woke up and A. called for me to come get him, which I would not do. I was very busy. I still needed to chew up carrots and spit them out along the front walk and down the street, for our video the next morning. Everyone knows that Santa's reindeer are messy eaters. At one point, I remember A. asking me, his seemingly (sort of) normal wife, "Who are you? What have you done with my wife?"

As is our custom, he's since come around to my way, more or less. The thing about Christmas Eve is, cue the violins here, it's my husband's birthday, so we have a little party for him involving takeout Chinese, a fair amount of drinking and a dramatic reading of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas by my Dad. The end result is that Santa is sometimes a little bit tipsy when the time comes for him to do his job.

A few years ago, after a particularly rowdy birthday party, I decided to take it up a notch. As I was unwrapping, putting together and arranging toys, I had an idea, brilliant if you ask me. Before I go on, you should understand that A. understands the fun of Christmas now and he's always done what I asked, including building a castle out of about two hundred blocks and putting together a puppet theater without making any noise. When I was pregnant, he even did the carrot chewing and spitting for me, all the way down the street. But that year, I had an even better idea. Reindeer poop. Yup, poop. I envisioned a big pile of poop on the front lawn and how my children's little faces would light up in wonder when they saw it.

"Look kids! What could this be? Wow! It must be REINDEER POOP! [chuckle chuckle] Those crazy reindeer!"

They would remember it fondly for years to come. It would be a new tradition, one that they would treasure and carry on when they had children of their own. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

I begged A. to make like a reindeer and... he said no. Absolutely not. I begged some more. I leapt around the room drunkenly in my pajamas, acting out the children's surprise and glee, hoping he would share my vision. I accused him of not loving me because he wouldn't do something so simple that would make me so happy. He wouldn't budge. For the first time in our marriage, it looked like I would lose.

I hate to lose. I kept on and on, pleading. I accused him of trying to ruin Christmas for EVERYONE. I called him a Grinch. I told him he was the most selfish husband ever. All I was asking for was one big... You know, now that I think about it, I was being a little bit obnoxious, but it's hard to back down once you've been so adamant about something.

Lucky for me, my husband knows me well and he knows that I have a big fear of getting in trouble. He managed to talk me down off the ledge (I think I had progressed to trying to make him go buy me some prune juice). This is what he said:

"You know what would ruin Christmas for the kids? Waking up Christmas morning to find Dad gone, because he spent the night in jail after getting arrested for %&*ing on the sidewalk and Mommy was too drunk to drive down there and bail him out."

Huh. When he put it that way, it made sense. He was working as a prosecutor for the county at the time, too, so that would have been pretty embarrassing.

All is not lost, though. One of my brilliant friends, who shares my advanced sense of humor, suggested that I make reindeer piles out of microwave-softened Tootsie Rolls and shredded coconut. This would be even better because, when we "found" it, I could pick some up, pop it in my mouth and, while the kids screamed in horror, happily announce,

"Don't worry, kids! It's reindeer poop; it's magic! It tastes awesome! I swear!"

I keep forgetting to get the Tootsie Rolls and coconut, though. Maybe this year!

Namasté, y'all!


Don Mills Diva said...

Reindeer poop from tootsie rolls? I love it. I can't wait to try that on my son.

Anonymous said...

My kids and I made these cookies I saw in someone's mix a box of devil's food cake and a can of pumpkin together with a bit of pumpkin pie spice. Only we found out that if you let the five-year-old mix them up, and he doesn't do such a great job, the cookies come out looking just like little patties of poop. We nicknamed them "reindeer poop cookies" and I was thinking they could be a Christmas tradition.

Lizzie said...

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to pass on the chewed up carrots tradition to the children at that house where I spent last Christmas. I might have introduced the poop idea this year, so it's probably good I'm not going back. Heh.

Tracee said...

That is just hilarious. And, we have the same tradition at our house...the one where the husband comes around to your way...I like the pumpkin poop patties, LOL!

Kathy said...

if you don't do the tootsie roll and coconut i'll never read your blog again! that is PRICELESS!!! :)