The Kids Are Actually Cute

Christmas According to My Two-Year-Old

Posted on Dec 25, 2013 in The Kids Are Actually Cute

Christmas According to My Two-Year-Old 0

“Santa… Reindeer… Jesus!”

This is how Elisabeth explained Christmas to me.  Seems like a pretty sound explanation. At least for a two-year-old.

I have to say, I was pretty psyched for Christmas this year.  This was the first Christmas I’ve celebrated in a long time with a child present who gets Christmas.  Gets the fun, the joy, the celebration.  Well, sort of gets it.  See above.  Not to mention, Elisabeth was featured all over one of Tokyo’s premier department stores in their Christmas ad – on billboards, placards, shopping bags, the works.  I mean, when your daughter is basically the face of Christmas in Japan*, it’s easy to get into the holiday spirit.  See below.

Christmas Baby!

She never looks this angelic.

Anyway.  We tried to impart upon Elisabeth the importance of Jesus on this special day.  And indeed, Elisabeth loves her Fisher Price Nativity Scene (“Jesus’ House,” as she calls it), complete with a light-up manger and flying angel.  However, Jesus didn’t drive around base on a fire truck handing out candy on Christmas Eve; Santa did.  So Santa made the more lasting impression this year.  As did Santa’s lack of sleigh.  “Reindeer?” Elisabeth asked, perplexed, as Santa passed in an open-air vehicle.  She’s been obsessed with reindeer, Rudolph in particular, ever since we let her watch the 1964 Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer film a couple of weeks ago.

“The reindeer are resting for tonight,” I explained.  She bought it.

Later that evening at church, following a prayer in which the pastor touched on the real reason for the season, Elisabeth excitedly exclaimed, “Santa!”  She continued to joyously shout for Santa until I silenced her with a blessed pacifier.  “We’re celebrating Jesus!  Baby Jesus!” I whispered.  “Santa!”  Okay, then.  Not much to argue with there.

Even later that evening, Elisabeth became increasingly concerned about Santa’s milk and cookie situation.  I don’t know where she learned about the milk-and-cookies tradition, but it was sure stuck in her head.  “Santa milk cookies.  Santa milk cookies!” She repeated over and over and over to Damon, shaking her little finger at him and nodding her head in earnest to communicate the importance of leaving Santa milk and cookies.  “I promise I will leave milk and cookies for Santa,” Damon tried to reassure her.  She wasn’t convinced.  “SANTA MILK COOKIES!”  In hindsight, we should have put out the milk and cookies before we put Elisabeth to bed.  Next year.

All this love for Santa was cute, but a bit unexpected, considering how Elisabeth reacted when she actually met the guy.

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Trying to flee from Santa.

Nevertheless, Elisabeth’s feelings for Santa overcame this unfortunate experience, and the first thing she said when she awoke this Christmas morning was, “Santa milk cookies?”

Damon and I took her downstairs, giddy at the thought of how giddy our daughter would be when she saw the brand new toy kitchen Damon Santa had worked on till 1:00AM.

“Ooooh, look at your new kitchen!  Santa must have brought that for you!”

Elisabeth took a cursory glance at the kitchen before running to the table where the cookies and milk had been left.  “Milk cookies,” she said, satisfied that Santa had indeed received his deserved treats.

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Examining the remains of the milk and cookies.

Then we moved on to presents.  This is where we lost Elisabeth.  Though she was enamored of Santa, she certainly didn’t grasp that he brings presents.  As she’s only two, she would open a present, immediately immerse herself in that present, and totally forget that there were several other presents waiting for her under the tree.  Thus, present-opening took approximately all day.  I suppose I should appreciate her leisureliness – it won’t be long before she’s up at 4:00AM ripping through packages in minutes.

Elisabeth did eventually show interest in her kitchen – thank goodness – and busied herself with that for the rest of the day.  In the evening, she asked to watch Rudolph and we obliged, even though it is horribly boring.  Though this was Elisabeth’s second viewing of Rudolph, she was mesmerized.  (She doesn’t watch much television…)  Tonight while putting her to bed, I asked her about her day.  “Did you have a special Christmas day?  What did you do?”

She paused a moment, then her face lit up.  “TV!” she exclaimed.

And in the end, that’s what Christmas meant to my 2-year-old.  Santa… Reindeer… And the chance to watch TV.

Merry Christmas!

 

*A slight exaggeration, perhaps.

 

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The First (and Second) Haircut

Posted on Aug 14, 2013 in The Kids Are Actually Cute

The First (and Second) Haircut 3

Elisabeth does not like anyone messing with her hair.  Which is why it always looks terrible.  Every time I go near her with a hairbrush or bow, she screams and runs away.  And frankly, I don’t need to deal with that kind of attitude.  I’m sure I’ve got years and years ahead of me during which Elisabeth and I will disagree about her hairstyles, so why start now? That being said, her hair was starting to get straggly.  Like, greasy straggly.  Like I don’t bathe her.  But I DO bathe her!  I swear!  Lest people think I neglect my daughter’s personal hygiene, I decided the time had come to get her hair cut. I dreaded it.  My ears hurt thinking of the shrieks that would surely fill the salon as I forced Elisabeth into a salon chair.  The cries of, “Nonononono!” as the stylist tortured her with hair clippers.  But it was time… This was around six weeks ago, shortly after I arrived to California.  I had thought about taking Elisabeth to the children’s salon where, as a child, I had gotten my hair cut.  But I Yelped that salon and dang were those reviews bad.  I know you’re probably thinking, “She’s a toddler.  How badly can they screw up her hair?” To answer that, I ask that you direct your attention to the picture below: This is me as at toddler.  To be fair, I was older than Elisabeth is now, and had much more hair.  Also, this was before I ever went to the specialty kids’ salon out here in California.  But I show this to you as an example of When Bad Hair Happens to Good Toddlers.  My mother let someone hack my hair into a veritable bowl cut, and I spent the better part of toddlerhood wandering around looking like a boy dressed in his sister’s pink clothes.  (Except in this picture, when I just look like a boy.  What IS this outfit!?) Anyway, there was no way I was going to subject Elisabeth to a similarly embarrassing fate.  I found a salon that had...

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Cheesus Loves Me

Posted on Jun 30, 2013 in The Kids Are Actually Cute

Cheesus Loves Me 3

Elisabeth loves cheese.  I mean, LOVES cheese.  Breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack time, she looks up at me expectantly and asks, “Cheese? Cheese?” She also loves music.  Girl can get her groove on.  Like many families, we end Elisabeth’s day with a bedtime book and song before putting her to bed. I recently began incorporating “Jesus Loves Me” into her bedtime routine.  After several evenings of singing this classic Sunday School song to her, Elisabeth began asking for it by name.  Sitting in the rocking chair, head nestled into my shoulder, she’d pop out her pacifier just long enough to ask, “Cheese?” The first time she said it, I melted.  That “J” sound must be a hard one to nail.  But she was trying.  And pronouncing “Jesus” cheese is pretty darn cute. After repeatedly asking me for the “Cheese” song, I got to wondering.  Did she actually think I was singing about cheese?  That Cheesus loves her?  Given how much she loves cheese, it’s not a far leap for her to believe that cheese loves her back.  Think about it: “Cheesus loves me this I know/For the Bible tells me so/Little ones to [cheese] belong/They are weak but [cheese] is strong/ Yes Cheesus loves me/Yes Cheesus loves me/Yes Cheesus loves me/The Bible tells me so.” She’s going to be one confused little girl come Sunday School time… Share...

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The Big Birthday

Posted on Nov 21, 2012 in The Kids Are Actually Cute

November 21, 2012.  Elisabeth turns 1.  I turn into a total wreck. I was recently watching an episode of “Parenthood” in which one of the couples sends their daughter to college.  And I lost it.  I can’t believe I have to send Elisabeth to college!  … In 17 years. As I am clearly emotionally incapable of accepting that my baby girl is no longer a baby baby, I will instead link you to her birth story. Sorry, I just gagged.  I hate that term, “birth story”.  But that’s what it is, I guess.  So in honor of Elisabeth’s big day, let’s revisit how she tortured me for the better part of 24 hours. And while you’re reading that, I’m going to go crack open a bottle of champagne to celebrate surviving my first year of motherhood. Share...

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