Of course it's too early to listen to Christmas music. So we haven't. But I did run a sound check yesterday morning to make sure our Christmas music will play successfully when it IS time, which is Thanksgiving Day midnight - a time when everybody in the world should eagerly be watching the clock for when the bell tolls so they can start the holiday dance party. They should certainly not be standing in lines somewhere, unless it is for a Destiny's Child surprise Christmas concert. Funny you bring that up: we were just listening to Destiny's Child yesterday, as part of our pre-Christmas sound check. I cranked our stereo to eleven loud and Becca and I rocked the floor with our incredible Usher-ish moves and the children watched us blankly, eating their cereal in silent acceptance. Scroogy elves.
The pre-Christmas sound check playlist:
A. 8 Days of Christmas / Destiny's Child
B. Jingle Bells / Frank Sinatra
C. Rudy / the Be Good Tanyas
D. Christmas Reindeer / the Knife
E. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas / She & Him
Yep, sound check worked. Might run another one tonight.
I realise that learning the alternate lyrics to Jingle Bells are some sort of rite of passage as a child. But I was really wanting our children to nail down the original lyrics first. Nope. As we visited family in the hospital, the room swelled with the sound of little voices singing enthusiastically:
"Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg..." etc, etc.
Where do they learn this? Their mother, I'm guessing.
I watched the young boy flailing on the sidewalk, screaming and kicking as his parents tried negotiating with him and reminded myself not to feel smug, but it was too late, so I calmly munched another bite of Pumpkin Praline as we watched the entertainment unfold outside Blue Star Donuts. Sometimes, you offer help and support and kind looks to other parents, and sometimes, it just feels good to enjoy a shared moment of bonding with your own family and silently judge other people with secret smiles passing amongst you. I acknowledge my shallowness and occasional lapses of good character, with no apology.
2b. IT'S OKAY, WE ALL DO IT SOMETIMES.
my son said.
"I peed on my hands. I'm sorry."
- "It's okay,"
I said kindly.
"Let's just wipe your hands on this clean hand towel and it'll get all the germs off."
Or something of the sort.
4. Night Crossing (film).
The 1982 based-on-true events drama about an East German family's attempt to escape over the Berlin Wall in a hot air balloon. Suspenseful, thrilling, surprisingly well-acted, almost as much fun watching now with my own children as it was the last time I saw it...29 years ago. I have got to learn how to build a hot air balloon. Next skill: welding.
For those of you that are wondering: the correct pronunciation of the name of the Captain of the White Witch's Secret Police is "Fenris Ulf."
Not "Fenris FULF." It is correctly pronounced - and written - " Fenris Ulf," though my siblings, wife, and children think it is hilarious to perpetually refer to him by the incorrect name. I am a guardian of Narnian accuracy, and it is infuriating to have people deliberately slaughter and inaccurately represent characters within the universe. Ulf. Not Fulf. Ulf.
No one thinks it's funny. No one besides you, "Family."
Oh yes, last thing: our daughter has discovered air quotes. As in:
- "Oh, thanks for getting that, (both hands held up in air quotes) 'Daddy.' "
Off to sound check some Dean Martin now.
my son asked.
"What does 'boring' mean?"
I answered honestly,
"I don't really know."