This year, Jack knew enough to anticipate Christmas. Everyday, from Halloween onward, he would ask, “Is it Christmas too-day?”. And we would have to say, “No. But it’s the Christmas SEASON.” “The Christmas Season?” “Yes Jack.”
Then yesterday, he asked, “Is it Christmas too-day?” and I said, “It’s the day before Christmas.” Then he said, “It Christmas Eve!” so, some little boy was paying attention to all of the Christmas specials I’ve been forcing him to… I mean sharing with him.
We went to Nana and Grandpa’s last night (first sentence out of his mouth: “Where Great-Gramma?”) and had birthday cake for Baby Jesus. Apparently Jack thought that a real baby would be there. We had to explain that Baby Jesus was a baby 2000+ years ago, and so he was in heaven now, but we celebrated him being born. That didn’t work so well. Nana’s answer: “Baby Jesus wants you to have his cake.” Jack liked that.
He went down relatively easily last night. Max and I, on the other hand, had lots still left to do. I had to finish up the Christmas cards (still don’t have addresses for 2 cousins and 1 friend), Max put the finishing touches on Jack’s kitchen (see photo) and wrapped all the presents. Then, we picked up and tried to make the house presentable.
I woke up this morning to Jack and Max standing over my bed saying, “Mommy, we’re awake.” Turns out that Max slept in Jack’s bed last night. Oops. So, Jack and Mommy and Daddy all went down the stairs. Jack saw his kitchen and smiled widely, “I got a kitchen” he announced happily. Not too loud, just brightly. He kept saying over and over “I got a kitchen”. We had bought two play sets – a dessert set and a baking tools set – which Max wrapped and I placed in the refrigerator and oven respectively. I also put all of his old food in the kitchen. Jack was happy to open the two presents and play with his kitchen. For awhile, he pretended to be Baby Jesus and I was Mary. Then, Max was Baby Jesus and Jack was Joseph and I was Mary. It was very interesting.
I went back to bed for an hour until Nana, Grandpa, and Great-Grandma came over. As soon as they were in the door, I got out of bed and headed downstairs. It took a bit of wrangling to get everyone ready for presents. I had to take a photo of the tree with all the presents underneath it.
So Jack was finally ready when I happened to catch a whiff of him. Yucky diaper. I mention this only because: I changed him from a diaper into his Dora underwear. And he used the toilet like a big boy all day, without getting Dora wet or dirty. Such a big boy!
Jack opened his first non-kitchen present of the day – a small Play-Doh factory package that had 2 cans of Play-Doh and an extruder. We don’t know who it’s from; he came home from school with it. He wanted to open and play with it, and started crying when we tried to get him to open other presents, he started to cry and throw a fit. I handed him a package and got him to unwrap it. It was a pair of dress-up shoes, which delighted Jack, because he could put them on.
Then Grandpa reminded him about the Play-Doh and Jack melted down again. I had to hand Jack a package and say, “Jack, do you see any trains? Should we open some presents and see if we can find some?” So, he opened the package, which turned out to be Sir Handel. Jack picked up another package, and it was another train. After that, he apparently recognized how the trains were wrapped, because he picked out all of the trains from the small mountain in front of him.
We were able to open slightly more than half of Jack’s gifts before he really wanted to stop and play with his trains. Another slight meltdown occurred when Grandpa tried to see Jack’s new trains. Jack didn’t want Grandpa to play with his trains. Again, I had to tell Jack that if he didn’t share at least his old trains with Grandpa, then all of the trains were going in time out. Jack actually said, “You being mean to me!” but he did ultimately let Grandpa play with his trains.
At that point, the adults opened their presents. For the most part, we got what we had asked for. Great-Grandma brought pastries for breakfast, so we ate. Jack had more issues with Grandpa and the trains. Jack got another big set of track, and was trying to connect it all himself. He couldn’t get the two ends to join up, and wouldn’t let Grandpa or Mommy touch it. For the first time, my Dad said something that he used to say to me and get me upset when I was a kid. Oh joy.
That issue was ironed out, but then Jack couldn’t get his huge string of engines, coaches, caboose, and brakevan to go around the track. He couldn’t understand that the train just couldn’t bend that way. Ultimately, Grandpa did configure the track and Jack could get most of his trains in a line around it.
“Dinner” came at 1:00 and it was quite nice. Max cooks, and he does a wonderful job! My mom is very ill (COPD) and was having a hard time breathing. It’s rough to watch my 80+ year old grandmother run around and get down on the ground with Jack, while my not-quite-60 year old mother can’t walk 8 feet without getting winded.
Because Nana was having a hard time, the grandparents left just before 2pm. Our neighbor called and asked if Jack could come over and get his present. I said, “Sure, why not?”. We brought their presents (fudge for the humans and treats for the cats and dogs). Our neighbors got Jack an easel, something I hadn’t asked for for him because I thought it would be too expensive. My neighbor’s aunt got Jack some art supplies – chalk, crayons, markers, and a huge coloring book to pin up to the easel. We stayed long enough to open those presents, plus a bundle of Thomas books that my neighbor gave him. Jack really wanted to read them, so we convinced him to get going so we could read them before nap time.
When we left, Jack was amazed to see that Max was carrying the easel. “We can take it home?” he asked. He started to hurry out. At the screen door, we convinced Jack to say “Ho Ho Merry Christmas”, and he leaned against the screen and toppled out of the house.
Everyone was disappointed that we didn’t have the video camera. It was THAT hilarious. Fortunately, Jack wasn’t hurt and found it amusing too.
We did try to get Jack to nap, but it just didn’t happen. Max did let me nap. As soon as I woke up, Jack opened the last of his presents. He enjoyed the unwrapping, and he was excited by almost all of his gifts. It took one and one-quarter legal pad pages to list them all, so I won’t bore you with them here. The ones that got the most play today:
- an electric piano from Great-Grandma
- seven trains, the wash down, and new track from Mommy & Daddy and Grandma Sandy & Grandpa Clyde
- the aforementioned easel and art supplies from our neighbors
- the kitchen from Mommy & Daddy
- some amazing play food from Auntie Trisha, Uncle Roy, and Jennifer & Katie
- Super Why books from Aidan and his parents in NH
Jack was mostly a good boy today, and he did say the proper thank yous. He had tons of fun playing, coloring, and reading. I’m so happy that he likes most of his gifts, and isn’t so spoiled that he just tosses them aside. We’ve had fun this Christmas, looking at Christmas lights and visiting a live Nativity. Although we don’t “do” Santa, we did see Santa at the Brentwood Christmas Tree lighting.
A funny note to end the post: We were reading one of Jack’s new Thomas books, which featured Emily. Jack noted that we had Thomas, Gordon, and Edward, and I said, “But we don’t have Emily” and he said, “Let’s put her on the Christmas list!”. So, no worries about him thinking he’d get everything, and no worries about him throwing a fit because of what he didn’t get.
And Jack went straight to sleep when I put him down, so overall, a very good day and a lovely Christmas.