A Whirlwind Of Festive-ness
So, we had a 4 day weekend. I started my weekend a little early by taking the afternoons off on Thursday and Friday to spend some time with my folks. Val took to them like stink on poop, telling them all about the snowman ('noman!') and the bird on her shirt right away. Usually, when she sees people she doesn't really know, she takes her sweet time in warming up to talking, so this was kinda huge.
Saturday, Andrea and I played in the 3 on 3 tourney while my parents hung out with Val. They overcame their learning curve about carseat usage and I think they all had a good time together. I had a great time playing hockey with Andrea (and a couple other friends too!), our little team tied for 3rd out of 4 teams. Yes, I understand that means we tied for last but that's not the point at all.
We had a fabulous time and got a shitload of exercise. Andrea, Val and I all collapsed in a heap at the end of the day. The grownups were starving but almost too tired and sore to shovel the food to our mouths. Fun, fun fun.
Sunday, we showed Val Christmas in the park. She was thwarted by her short-ness when it came to getting on the carnie rides, so it was just two rounds on the carousel for us. For the record, she rode a bunny, then a horse and said 'wheeeeeee' both times, while attempting to wave at Andrea and my parents each time we passed them.
My folks headed down to Santa Cruz to spend some quality time with my bro and his new gf, so we grabbed KFC and had dinner with Isaiah and his peeps. Note to self: you can actually grab takeout pho for less money and more tastiness than KFC. Please remember this next time. Thank you.
At this point, it was nice for Val to have a playdate with someone closer to her own age. She so did not want to leave, but we had to get ready for Christmas, so off we went.
Monday while she napped, we furiously cleaned the house and put up our fabulous pre-lit Christmas tree. She was in our bed, so we figured opening the door to the bathroom, the door from the bathroom to her room and the door from her room to the living room was enough, that we'd hear her or she'd appear in the living room via that path (a path she's taken many many times).
But no. She woke up, got out of bed and went to the door from our room to the kitchen.
Which she can't open, so she stood there crying big old real tears until we heard her and came running.
I'm sure she's forgotten this incident already, but I haven't. I'm so sorry, my sweet girl. That wasn't a very nice way to wake up.
After the Awful Nap Incident, we all headed over the hill to spend Christmas Eve with my bro's new gf and her family. Though they are all really nice, it felt rather awkward to be there since, well, they're not my family and it's the holidays.
They were really into playing Scattergories, which is admittedly a great game when you're not chasing down an overstimulated toddler. So it went like this: Andrea was social with the peeps, played the game with them. My parents visited with the gf's parents. And I hung out with Val in a small living room that wasn't quite child-proofed.
I can assure you that only lasted so long. Even with turning on videos, she lost interest and very much wanted to join the game-playing group. Hell, I did too. But when one of the other grownups told Val to back off, that was it for me.
I have discovered that when someone other than Andrea, myself, Soosan, or Isaiah's family tries in any way to discipline Val, that is when I am ready to remove her from the situation. Because it means that 1. someone who doesn't really know Val is attempting to tell her what to do and more importantly, it means that 2. she's bored out of her life. And as a side note to those adults, would it really be so hard to put down whatever you're doing and TALK to Val for the 10-30 seconds she's asking for? Would it really?
I absolutely believe that as parents, it is our responsibility to provide enough things for Val to do when we go somewhere. However, I'm starting to get that all the portable toys and snacks in the world, in the end, provide a finite amount of time in which she can remain entertained, especially when adults are doing something that seems more interesting than even her beloved coloring.
So I think it's only fair that we pull the plug at that point and take Val back to more familiar (i.e. child-friendly) surroundings. So we did.
Christmas day, we headed up to Soosan's for what ended up feeling like a drive-by holiday since we had to get back home and clean some more. Hey kids, here are some gifts, some hugs and kisses! Later!
We managed to sufficiently
hide all the extra junk that plagues us clean the house for our small flurry of guests and have things in the oven making nice smells when they all arrived. We laid out a little spread on my Grandma's Breakfast Table and I even unpacked the set of dishes I'd gotten from Grandma's house. They'd sat in a box for over a year because I just wasn't ready to see them.
But I was ready, so I took a deep breath and unwrapped. I don't think I breathed again until after it was all done. I just didn't think about the last time I'd seen these dishes lined up in Grandma's white metal kitchen cabinet. I didn't think about all the times I'd eaten off those dishes, how many times my grandparents had cleaned and dried them, how many sets of cheese and crackers had been served on them. I just unwrapped, knowing the weight of the dishes in my hand was but a fraction of the weight in my heart.
With love and care, I washed them and put them away. Yesterday, we served snacks to my family on them and I tried not to think about how sad it is that Grandma's things are scattered to the winds (well, around the family) instead of being together in her house on Suffolk Rd.
More later, off to lunch with the folks.