Thursday, September 1, 2011

The spirit of gifting

The little guy has recently decided that one of his favorite things to do is to climb up onto the couch while either his mother or myself (or both) is seated thereupon, squeeze himself behind our backs (sometimes going so far as to bury himself between the cushions and the frame) and then loudly demand that we talk about how we don’t know where he is. So my wife and I wonder aloud where oh where he may have gone, and then after a few seconds he jumps out, laughing his fool head off.

Most kids love this game so I wasn’t surprised that he took to it with such gusto. My wife and I now like to come up with elaborate theories of his disappearance every time and banter them back and forth. This past weekend during one such exchange I suggested that maybe he had gone to “the dirt mall” which is what we call the local shopping center when we are feeling snarky (which of course is the vast majority of the time).

I had been assuming that the little guy was never really listening to his mother and me as we discussed his presumed-missing whereabouts, and that he was only counting down in his head until the right moment to “surprise” us, but on the occasion in question he emerged from behind my wife with no squeals at all and said, very seriously, “I want to go to the dirt mall.”

I laughed a little and said we did have some errands to run later in the day but not there. And I asked him why he would even say that, what was at the dirt mall that he wanted to see?

With even more solemnity, as if explaining to me something fundamental that he couldn’t quite believe I had forgotten, he said, “SANTA.”

Rock on.
That kind of blew my mind about three different ways, because yes we took him to the dirt mall to see Santa but that was eight and a half months ago, or about a quarter of his lifetime. Apparently the Main Man from the North Pole made quite an impression on the little guy (as did the phrase “dirt mall”, I guess?) and he is totally ready for his fourth Christmas even before we get to his third birthday.

But said birthday is just around the corner, this coming Sunday in fact, and we’re all looking forward to it. I do have to admit, though, that in the past week or so I’ve been looking around the corner of the house that includes the front living room and extends significantly into part of the dining room on one axis and a scrap of the foyer along another, all of which is basically given over to the little guys various playsets and toys, and I’ve been wondering how much more loot is going to accumulate between the birthday and Christmas to add to that overall mass. I’m fine with kids getting loot a-plenty, honestly, I just find myself contemplating which toys I might reasonably rotate out of the playzone without unleashing the three-year-old fury. I haven’t really reached any decision on that yet. It might be easier just to put one of the couches in storage.

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