Saturday, December 8, 2012

Making Holiday Memories (Dammit)

Like I've said before, we're not a "let's just get through this season" family.  I love the Christmas prep.

But today, we had our first we-are-having-family-fun-and-making-happy-memories-if-it-kills-us event.

Today was the ONE day we had available to get a tree.  Between Adam's travel schedule, and our many, many, weekend events, it was either get a tree this morning, or December 26.  We are in the "real tree" camp.  Both Adam and I grew up with real trees, and we both love the aroma and ambiance a real tree provides.  All the pine scented candles and sprays in the world don't make up for that.

We kept going back and forth on cutting vs. picking out at the nursery.  Every year we say we're going to go to the farm and cut one down, and every year we end up at the nursery.  That may be because every single day we earmark for tree procurement, it rains.  If you are ever hoping for a dreary, rainy, December day, just ask us when we're planning to get the tree.  I guarantee it will rain.

Today was no different.  Cold, gray, and rainy.  So once more, we opted for the nursery.  It's not like this is a real disappointment.  It's a really nice place, AND I had a coupon.

We planned on going after Reagan's morning nap.  Reagan threw a wrench in that plan by refusing to take a morning nap.  Therefore we were a little worried about how she'd handle it.

We shouldn't have worried.  Reagan did perfectly.  She snuggled against me in the Ergo and looked around at all the trees and lights.

Madison on the other hand...

1) Refused to get dressed this morning.
2) Once Mommy forced clothes on her, refused to put on shoes or a coat.
3) Once Mommy forced those on, refused to get in the car.
4) Once Daddy forced her into her car seat, screamed bloody murder for the entire car ride AND the first ten minutes of tree selection.

In the house, as I was attempting to coax clothes on her, she kept telling us she wanted to stay home.  When we told her that Mommy and Daddy and Reagan were going to pick out a Christmas tree, she told us:

"Mommy and Daddy get in car.  And Reagan get in car.  I stay home." 
"But won't it be fun to get a tree?"

Usually she comes around once we start leaving.  Nope.

I told Adam we should just ignore her and she'd come around once we were in the car.  Nope.

Then we figured once she got out and saw all the trees, she'd have fun.  Nope.

Adam carried her across the parking lot while she writhed and squirmed and kicked.  She screamed so loudly that he had to move his head away lest he suffer permanent hearing damage.  This is a little girl who does have her share of two year old tantrums, but they're usually over pretty quickly.  When Reagan cries, she's the first to say "Don't be sad Reagan, be happy!"

Now, in retrospect, there were multiple times along this path that we should have given up and gone home.  Adam could have gone out by himself.  Adam and I are Santa shopping on Wednesday together and we could have tacked on a tree trip.

But that wouldn't be the same and it wasn't what we'd envisioned.  We have kids, kids love Christmas, and we are making this a holiday tradition (dammit).

So we put our screaming, thrashing toddler down in a row of trees, moved away but within our sightline (and earshot.  Although I'm pretty sure most of CT was in earshot), and set about picking out a tree.

Remember how it was raining?  Well, she sat down on the sodden, muddy ground and screamed some more.  People kept glancing at her and avoiding that row of trees (Sorry, Cheshire Nursery.  Hope we didn't hurt your business too badly).  I wonder how many people speculated about what happened to this poor, abandoned child.

Eventually, as we loudly pointed out various tree features to Reagan, Madison whimpered that she was done being sad and was ready for a hug.  We told her to come on over and hugged our muddy, tear streaked, exhausted little girl.

And picked out a tree.

And marveled over the lights.

And made happy holiday memories, dammit.

Then we came home, ate lunch, put the girls down for a nap, and Mommy went out for a nice pedicure and glass of wine.

Ahh, memories.

The winner of What Daddy Did Today has been selected!  Congratulations Jess P!  Be on the lookout for more giveaways!

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