Saturday, November 26, 2011

Hold the wrecking ball

Hannah awakened her dad, and by dint of proximity, me, at 7:13 this morning to request he put up the Christmas tree.  A price was negotiated (Taco Bell for lunch), and the job was contracted.  Hannah was supposed to help arrange the branches on the artificial tree, but there were always at least two reasons she couldn't quite manage.

Hannah: My hands hurt...
     I think it looks good just the way it is...
     (fake yawn) I need a break...
Me: You know what I have to say about two excuses, don't you?
Hannah: What?
Me: They're both nonsense.  Get busy.

Eventually Dave and I got it done. And Hannah commenced to hanging ornaments, with regular repetitions of "You know, I'd like someone to help me..."

Are you kidding?  The irony was lost on her.

I let her choose a new Christmas tree ornament yesterday while we were out.  It's a plastic ballerina with gangly legs and a net tutu.  I specifically instructed her that it is not a toy, and the legs will not, under any circumstances, move so much as a fraction of an inch without breaking, and when she breaks it I will not, under any circumstances, replace it.  I would not let her keep it in her hand while we were in the mall, wouldn't even let her hold the tissue-wrapped package, other than by the handles of the shopping bag.  I knew what was going to happen.  Sure enough, one of the legs was gone before dinner time.  She did not, by the way, tell me. She approached her Dad with a face full of contrition, saying how sorry she was.  He replied that it's not his decoration, so she needn't apologize to him, but he doesn't understand why she can't figure out the difference between Decorations and Toys.  Fast forward to this morning, Hannah was given the box of fabric and wood ornaments, suitable for a one-girl wrecking crew.  Of course, she jumped on the boxes of things wrapped in tissue like there was a prize at the bottom, and I'm sure I told her to cool it at least 25 times.  We then lovingly reminisced about all the past ornaments she's broken: Woody and Jessie that we got at Disney World last year, the paper-m åché angel she broke the wing off. She also proceeded to tear the little red bow off the top of the sterling silver cradle engraved with her name and birth date.  I encouraged her to assume that if it looked like a piece would come off an ornament, it would, don't test it.  We'll see how long she keeps that in mind.

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