Eirinn, wearing a hockey helmet, not playing hockey, me looking…weird, as usual, and Avery, wearing a bike helmet, not riding a bike. The two little ones, along with AH (who was also in the picture, pre-crop)(sorry, AH, but if you wish to stay anonymous, you must be cropped out of all family pictures; it’s not personal, it’s just business) and AH’s sister (who must also remain photographically anonymous to maintain AH’s level of anonymity – this is hard work) went skating on Christmas Eve morning. I remained on the sidelines, taking pictures and not falling on my arse. I haven’t been on a pair of skates since about 10th grade. I used to be kinda, sorta ok, as in I could usually spend an average of 75% of my time on the ice on my feet and I could skate backwards and even do an extremely improper spinny thingy. But that was like *cough* 15 years ago *cough* yesterday. And all that is to say that I completely forget how to skate and I’m not willing to see if skating is like riding a bike, which I also haven’t done since high school and probably forget how to do also.
They skated. I took pictures. It was fun.
Christmas Eve is always such an incredibly hectic day for us. Completely great, but absolute chaos. Add two little kids into the mix, requiring the festivities be wrapped up by an early bedtime and it’s a lot of rushing and running while trying to continue with long-standing traditions. We have dinner at my parents and exchange presents. And there are always so many presents. We didn’t get home until well after the girls’ bedtime, so cookies for Santa was sort of an after-thought. Had to be done, though. You’ve got to pay the man if you expect to receive anything in return. So I threw a couple of Pillsbury cookies (what? he’s not getting any of my good baking) and some carrots for the reindeer and a glass of non-chocolatey milk. And in exchange?
He left this! It looks all tidy and innocent when I look at it here but, believe me, when two little girls have at it, dingo-style, ripping and shredding paper, clawing open packages and boxes filled with tiny, weenie flotsam, flinging every possible piece of flung throughout every square millimetre (that’s Canadian for ‘itty-bitty unit of measurement’) of carpet space in every single room on the main floor of the house, it sure can look like the aftermath of an F6 on the Fujita scale.
This is Conductor Eirinn, playing with what turned out to be the most brilliant purchase ever. Who would have thought two girly girls would enjoy a train set so much? A train set that had only boys on the box? Me, that’s who. They spend hours playing with the ones that are set up in stores at the mall, so I knew they would love one at home. So, I sort of nudged Eirinn in the direction of asking Santa for one. She fell for it went for it and Santa delivered. I even heard Santa got an incredible deal on it.
This is Conductor Avery with Lulu the Creepy A Little Too Real Cat. This cat can sense when you’re near, purrs, and invariably makes you squeal like a child and pee your pants. Or maybe that’s just with me. Either way, there are sensors in her eyes and she meows and licks her paw and rolls on her back for you to rub her tummy and *shudder*. Too Real. Getting this creepy feline was a bit of a fiasco, as well. At the time of purchase, it wasn’t available in Canada, but my Anonymous Sister-In-Law lived in Buffalo. Unfortunately (for the purpose of this transaction, alone), she was moving back to Canada in less than two weeks. Well, you know what beeches? Amazon promised me they would get it to her with three days to spare. Don’t worry, Amazon, I have an excess reserve of sweat I’ve been waiting to use during an occasion such as this. And Amazon didn’t disappoint. In making me sweat. It took three delivery attempts before the Eagle Had Landed. And then there was the whole business of crossing the border with a meowing box (oh, yeah – those sensors are uber-sensitive and sometimes they don’t even need to sense anything to make the stupid cat meow). It was like that scene from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation when Russ thinks the package that Aunt Bethany brought was meowing. And it was.
Anyway. It arrived on time and didn’t cause an international kerfuffle. It also turns out that two days after we ordered it, the price went up by more than 50%. But then again, the very day it arrived at our house, it became available in Canada. Sometimes irony likes to slap you on the butt a little just to see if you’re paying attention.
I have a tiny fascination (not obsession) with Sock Monkeys. Only in that I think they’re ridiculously cute. And when I found them at a local store, in Christmas decoration form, I bought one in every colour. Luckily for my anal retentiveness, the ratio of Sock Monkeys to family members was equal. These will get an honourable place on the Bannister of Flair next year.
And don’t let these two fool you. Sure, they’re all gorgeous and adorable and acting like they’re some sort of sweet pair of apple dumplings, getting along, playing Polly Pockets like good little sisters. They are lying with their entire bodies. They are NOT getting along. They are, most probably, in between fist swings, screaming obscenities to each other, pulling hair, pinching skin. Polly Pockets always starts out just fine; Eirinn usually picks out a couple of dolls and takes off to another part of the room, Avery begins a relentless chant of “Boot-on, boot-on, boot-on.” And then things get ugly in a hurry. Avery decides she wants what Eirinn has, or at least wants to steal what Eirinn has. Eirinn retaliates with violence. And before you know it you’re throwing yourself in the middle of an all-female bout of toddler mixed martial arts and you’re the losing party, sporting a bloody nose and a bruised ego, failing to break up the three-and-one-year-old wrestling match. Polly Pockets are the devil. Or they at least turn my girls into devils. Either way, they were a bad idea.