The other day my wife and I were talking about Christmas with the little guy, specifically discussing Christmas dinner. Somehow, in the lead-up to Thanksgiving, the little guy learned the word “feast” and decided he loved the sound of it (which I mean in every sense, from “that sounds like a concept I can get behind” to enjoying the very mouthfeel of it as he repeated it over and over and over again) and after coming down from Turkey Day he asked when the next feast would be. We told him that Christmas was the next major holiday and while we wouldn’t be putting together anything as elaborate as Thanksgiving dinner, we’d still have something special for our evening family meal. And in point of fact, we went on to explain, since we weren’t going anywhere for Christmas and we weren’t having any guests over on that day either, the possibilities were wide open for a dinner for three (since our little girl, family member number four, will still be highchaired and restricted mainly to liquefied legumes). Of course my wife and I then immediately shifted into the “talking over the little guy’s head” vocal register and said to one another “So, steak, right?” but that took no time at all and, just for fun, we asked the little guy what he would want for Christmas dinner if we could have anything at all in the whole world.
He thought about it for a moment or two and took a deep breath in order to give his answer all the power it deserved, then shouted “HOT DOGS!!!” Which is a marvelous answer, to be sure. (I really do like hot dogs, though. He is a boy after my own heart/stomach.)
Sadly, the little guy may end up disappointed in the actual fare but he is at the optimal age now for Christmas to be an exciting time of the year, so his mere presence makes it more fun for all of us. This Monday he and I stayed up a half hour past his bedtime to watch the animated How the Grinch Stole Christmas on ABC. He loves the story and I will read it to him any time he asks for it, year-round, but of course the cartoon expands it quite a bit with songs and extra comic business for Max (the best part by far in my estimation) so of course to a three-year-old it’s totally enthralling. We’ve got two Advent calendars in the house, too; one a felt/Velcro Nativity scene which the little guy can add to every morning and another a cardboard candy-window Santa portrait for bedtime. Religious and secular holiday associations – check and check!
Of course the little guy won’t have a chance to use either one for the next few days as the four of us are headed down to Williamsburg today for a conference my wife is attending over the weekend. I would say that I’m worried that the new toys we bought the little guy to help encourage (read: bribe) his best behavior during the trip would take away from the luster of the loot that will pile up on Christmas itself, but this is my son we’re talking about here. Instead what I am legitimately worried about is the fact that the little guy woke up this morning with an ear infection and needs to get on antibiotics immediately, and his sister has finally had a couple of new teeth breakthrough in the past day or so but there are more on the way, and all four of us are sharing a single non-suite room for the next three nights. It will no doubt be an adventure! The updates next week when regular blogging resumes should be a hoot.