Tagged reindeer

That Starry Mick: Ten Things The Toddler Said About Christmas

The Toddler had a few things to say on the subject of Christmas (and the subject of Mick). Here are her festive highlights.

1. The approach of Happy Christmas Day
Sitting in the bath a couple of days before Christmas, The Toddler knows exactly what is going on: ‘Only a couple more sleeps. Couple more sleeps until happy Christmas.’

2. That Starry Mick
The Toddler hears It Was on a Starry Night from Grandma. She requests a rendition of her new song from a confused Silly Mummy: ‘That Starry Mick! Sing That Starry Mick!’

3. Father Christmas’ gingers
The Toddler really latches onto the biscuits for Father Christmas aspect of Christmas. This may seem a very minor element of the whole experience to most, but biscuits are very important to The Toddler. Such that any mention of The Toddler seeing Father Christmas is met with: ‘And I give him gingers!’ (When The Toddler actually did see Father Christmas, she gave him a frown. He might have preferred the biscuits.)

4. Eyes on your own biscuits, please, Father Christmas
The Toddler is also quite concerned to ensure that Father Christmas is aware that he is only to eat his own biscuit allocation. A few days before Christmas, abruptly breaking off in the middle of playing, The Toddler announces: ‘Father Christmas can’t eat Daddy’s biscuit. Daddy’s not going to be happy.’

5. Excited, possibly
Silly Mummy reminds The Toddler of plans for Christmas Eve evening: ‘We’re going to go for a walk and look for Father Christmas’ sleigh, aren’t we?’
The Toddler believes the plan meets with her approval, but doesn’t wish to get carried away until she is sure: ‘Okay. I think I might be excited.’

6. The Snowman
Watching The Snowman, The Toddler narrates: ‘Now he’s sad and he melts. He can’t get up.’ However, it appears that her understanding of quite how sad it is that The Snowman can’t get up may have been tempered by frequent watchings, which may have convinced her he just gets up again another day: ‘The Snowman’s melted now. We’ll see him another time.’

7. Goodwill to all men
In the spirit of goodwill to all men, The Toddler masters the art of sharing. Taking a present addressed to both her and The Baby, she announces: ‘This is for me.’
Silly Mummy reminds her: ‘And The Baby.’
The Toddler considers and counters with: ‘And for me.’ The Toddler apparently will share, but is counting herself twice, so she gets double plays.

8. New Year
On New Year’s Eve, Silly Mummy is explaining New Year to The Toddler: ‘And tomorrow it will be the New Year…’
The Toddler interjects, she’s got this: ‘Then I’ll see The Snowman!’ Silly Mummy and The Toddler had just read The Snowman moments before. The Toddler likes to relate all new information to something she already knows about. Particularly if it is something she knows about from two minutes previously, regardless of relevance.

9. Silent Night
The Toddler is in the back of the car singing Silent Night:
‘All is calm
All is calm
All is calm
All is calm…’
Brilliantly, she breaks off to announce that she is singing Silent Night. Yes, ‘silent night’, The Toddler: those are more words of the song. Words you could sing that aren’t ‘all is calm’. No? Sticking with ‘all is calm’? I see.

10. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
The Toddler very nearly mastered the standard ‘merry Christmas and a happy New Year’ greeting. ‘Reading’ a gift tag, she declares, ‘It says happy new Christmas and a Christmas reindeer.’ Indeed.

‘Twas the (Real) Night Before Christmas

santa-31665_1280 Now, I should say that I love Christmas, and I like a bit of magic. But, just to be contrary, I have decided to de-magic* the classic poem The Night Before Christmas.

 
 
The (Real) Night Before Christmas

 
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
The children were shrieking, like they’d seen a mouse.
The stockings weren’t hung by the beds anymore;
The children thought they looked better thrown on the floor.

The children should have been nestled all snug in their beds.
Instead they were manic, as every parent dreads.
And Daddy and I, in utter despair,
Were trying to calm them (we hadn’t a prayer).

Out on the road there arose such a clatter,
The drunks passing by with their yells and loud chatter.
If they’d woken the children, finally sleeping,
They’d have received quite a browbeating.

The drunks finally passed on, into the night;
I noticed there wasn’t a snowfall in sight.
Though ‘magic’ oats by the children had been sprinkled liberally about,
There were no reindeer in view (but there was a fox with a glittery snout).

Now I had to enter the bedroom, stealthy and quick;
Filling up stockings, playing St Nick.
I crept into the room and the children sat up, asking, ‘Who’s there?’
As I ran from the room, I began to quietly swear,

‘Now bugger, now feck, now piss it and shit!
Oh bollocks, oh arses, oh crap and dammit!
To the bathroom to hide: oh what a close call!
Dash away, dash away, dash away all!’

So I was stuck in the bathroom, until all was clear;
While the children were up and now drawing near.
Rather suspicious, they called through the door;
While I pretended to be bathing, splashing and all.

How clever it would be if this were all a diversion,
Drawing the children away with this little excursion.
If the real St Nicholas had merrily climbed down the chimney,
And delivered his presents while the children were yelling at me.

Alas, it was not to be:
The presents had to be delivered by me.
So, until the children slept, there must I remain.
How long could this bathing pretense I maintain?

Perhaps Daddy could rescue me from this quagmire,
Leading the children to bed with stories so dire.
Of how they must go to sleep for St Nick to arrive;
For he could not be seen for the magic to thrive.

The children were back in their room, but not yet asleep.
I was free from the bathroom, downstairs I could creep;
Though it may yet be some time until I could return
To deliver the presents, and to my own bed adjourn.

(Perhaps I was not cut out to be St Nick: it’s true my beard is not white.
Indeed, with appropriate tweezing, it’s not even in sight.
And, whilst certainly not washboard flat, my belly
Has yet to shake when I laugh like a bowlful of jelly.)

The children remained wide awake in bed,
While an idea began to enter my head.
Telling the children St Nick could not visit while they observed,
I would take the stockings outside for the big man to fill undisturbed.

As the children listened for the sound of St Nick in the night sky so still,
Downstairs in the living room stockings and sacks I could fill.
Then I rang a bell for the children, sleigh bells just out of sight.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

 

(*My appalling rhymes alone are capable of stripping most of the magic, it has to be said.)

How (Not) to Make Christmas (or Other Occasion) Cards With a Toddler and a Baby*

child-1016955_1280This simple tutorial (*this is not a tutorial*) contains all the instructions you need to create beautiful (*ahem*) handmade Christmas (or any other occasion) cards (*there will be no cards*) with very young children. Unlike most guides, I have included detailed instructions showing exactly what the children should be doing at each stage. This will ensure that there is no confusion as to when the crayons should be chewed, or the pictures torn up, thus allowing you to achieve a perfect result every time.

 
 
What you need:

White cardboard for pictures
Additional white cardboard for mistakes
Coloured cardboard for cards
Crayons in appropriate colours for pictures
Pencil
Pens for writing messages
Scissors
Double sided tape (of course)
Shoes
Coats
Pushchair

 
Note: This project does not require any sanity, so please do not worry if you don’t have any in the house.

 
 
What to do:

1. Draw some Christmas (or other occasion) pictures (such as, Christmas trees, Father Christmas, snowmen, or reindeer) on to pieces of white card. The children will colour these, and you will then cut them out and attach them to your cards to make Christmas scenes, decorated by the children, for your loved ones to treasure.

2. Give the children the pictures with appropriately coloured crayons. At this point, The Toddler should have a tantrum because she wants the crayons she has not been given. Specifically, she wants to colour Father Christmas purple.

3. The Toddler will quickly stop her tantrum upon realising that she can still colour everything inappropriate colours using the crayon choices she has been given. She will set about colouring her tree with the yellow crayon that was intended for the star on top. She doesn’t need it for the star. The star is brown. Because the tree trunk is pink.

4. The Baby should at this point start eating a crayon.

5. By now, The Toddler will have produced a beautiful piece of colouring. On the wrong side of the card. On the side that has the actual picture, there will be approximately two lines of colour.

6. The Baby should be colouring the table cloth red, having thrown her picture on the floor.

7. Resort to holding The Baby’s hand and ‘helping’ her crayon.

8. Take the above step to its logical conclusion by putting The Baby down with some toys away from the art, before returning to ‘helping’ her crayon on your own.

9. Reach a new low as you scribble some blue on to Father Christmas’ jacket and nose, having realised the one year old who has (not) coloured this picture probably wouldn’t neatly colour Father Christmas’ outfit in red.

10. The Toddler will have spent ten minutes carefully colouring her whole picture on white card using a white crayon. She will notice this has not been overly effective, and declare that the crayon is not working.

11. Attempt to hold The Toddler’s hand and ‘help’ her crayon. The Toddler should at this juncture have a meltdown, throw the crayons, and tear up the picture.

12. Draw a new picture on a fresh piece of card.

13. Agree that The Toddler can colour only the wrong side. In white crayon.

14. Relent and allow The Baby to resume participation in the colouring.

15. The Baby should be very excited by her return, and demonstrate this by scrunching up her picture.

16. Return The Baby to the toys.

17. You should by now have one partially coloured yellow and pink Christmas tree; one reindeer coloured entirely in white; one snowman not coloured at all, but with a Jackson Pollock-esque masterpiece on the reverse; and one quite well coloured Father Christmas, scrunched into a little ball. It has gone very well.

18. Fold your pieces of coloured card in half to make your cards.

19. You will now need to cut out your pictures to start making the Christmas scenes.

20. The Toddler should refuse to relinquish the pictures. She has not finished. She is just colouring all of the pictures, top to bottom, in black crayon.

21. At this point, you will all need to put on shoes and coats. Put the children into their pushchair, and walk to your nearest card shop. Buy Christmas cards.

 

(*Well, a two and a half year old toddler, and a one and a third year old toddler, to be more accurate)