Sunday, December 26, 2010

Staring down fences

There was one glitch in the "celebrate Christmas early so the kids will have toys to play with on the real Christmas" plan. Well, okay, there were two glitches. The first was the "you mean Santa isn't even going to stop by AT ALL on Christmas? I really really wish he would come to our house again," moment. I kicked myself for not anticipating this anticlimax. (Woo - first time I've ever used the word 'anticlimax.' Cool, it's even a real word!) Thankfully, there were those hats and mittens that I had forgotten to put out earlier, so Santa made a second little visit after all.

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The other glitch was that my daughter was over the excitement of new toys by the time Christmas finally rolled around. Or, rather, she was done playing with her new toys with boys that were two to four years younger than herself.

By Christmas day, she was over the plague and was ready to interact with someone — anyone — capable of playing Go Fish without gleefully scattering the cards at some point. She was done being inside. She was over the daily "be quiet, the baby's napping" speech.

The solution, the good times, were waiting just outside the sliding glass doors. She happily put on her new clothes and gear. There are neighbors with kids on all three fence fronts; surely someone would be out and ready to discuss the finer details of Christmas loot, she rationalized. However, several minutes after I let her outside, I found her sullenly perched on the chair.

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Staring at the fence.

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The neighbors to the left weren't even home. The neighbors on the right were dealing with their bout with the flu. And the family directly behind us was probably simply being reasonable, avoiding the dreary, drippy, foggy, weakly-lit outside that matched her dreary, drippy, foggy, weakly-lit mood.

Not giving up hope, my daughter attacked the fences with the full force of her pouting stare.

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I tried to talk her into playing out there, but she insisted on simply standing, staring down the fences, for a good twenty minutes. She glared at each section, willing the occupants behind them to come out, and wallowed in her foul mood.

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Nobody was outside.

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Finally, I made her come back in. I couldn't let her stay out there being so sad, when she simply needed to change her perspective a little bit, count her blessings and her new toys, and look inside for enjoyment. It didn't take long for her to cheer up once she did.

And yes, I realized that I need that same advice from time to time.

Next year? I'll remember to plan some indoor activities for the real Christmas day. (How did I not see this coming?)

12 comments:

Jen at Cabin Fever said...

Ha. What a persistent girl she is!

You should have saved your Santa scavenger hunt for Christmas Day. lol

Renee Ann said...

There are many times in my life when I could relate to how she felt--except instead of climbing the "fence" I might have tried to knock it down . . . Glad she found her happy!

Katherine said...

Those pictures tell it all, don't they? I guess I didn't realize that kids can also have post-holiday blues.

Our Crazy Crew said...

We did Christmas early (on the 22nd) because hubby was on shift Christmas. The kids did fine Christmas morning. I was the one unexpectantly a little melancholy, though. It was quickly remedied by baking some pumpkin and banana bread for our friends and playing some new games with the kiddos!

Fire Wife Katie said...

That's a good idea, Jen! I totally should have done that. Renee Ann, I tend to want to knock down the fences, too. :) Katherine and OCC, I think banana bread may be just the cure needed for post-holiday blues.

Banana bread and a scavenger hunt. Sounds like just the right mix for three days after Christmas. :)

SherilinR said...

my daughter is very much like that when she's got an idea that doesn't work out the way she's planned. stubborn even in her sorrow. i love that you took pictures of her & i especially love the one of her climbing up the fence.
=)

FireMom said...

Thanks for sharing it with us. I'll have to remember this when FireDad works on Christmas if we do an early one.

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

How often do we do the same thing? Discontent, unhappy, wallering in self pity. Been there just this week. Even did it at Christmas when my two older kids said it didn't feel like Christmas this year. I just wanted to scream! God sweetly took my hand as I sobbed into my pillow and spoke into my heart once again. It isn't about the gifts, it's about The Gift. We DID focus on Him. That is what was important.

I loved the pictures!

Jen@Scrapingirl said...

Poor thing, she looks so pitiful. :) We also had an early Christmas. This was the first time he ever worked the actual day, in about 5 years. So the kids didn't really like opening early, but I made them. Santa comes early for the firefighters who work on the day. There was no way I was about to put all those legos together by myself. :)

Kristy said...

Oh, poor thing! She'll be alright...

capable of playing Go Fish without gleefully scattering the cards at some point.

I loved that detail!

Dr. Army Wife said...

Just stumbled upon your blog - love it. My husband is also a firefighter.

These photos of your daughter are hilarious. I'm glad she had more fun later in the day!

Katherine said...

Great post! You made me laugh out loud. Or rather, your daughter's sullen stare and mind power did.

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