Gosh, tell me it isn’t so. The holidays (and by “holidays” I mean the single blur of time between Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and New Year) have come and gone and we’re back into the drudgery of every day life — which of course is an absolute joy with a three and a half year old because, well, nothing is really all that drudge-worthy. My boys are both snoring away and I had a choice — stream a movie through my Nexflix app on my phone, research workout regimens, or drink wine and write a blog. Clearly the superior choice rose to the top like a fine organic cream. OK, that was my attempt at some flowery similes and I don’t believe I can pull those off so I’ll keep to the no-nonsense style you’ve come to appreciate over the last few years.
I’m kinda thinking that the only way to catch up is to be brief so I’ll attempt to bullet out all the things I’ve wanted to document for posterity in Twitter-esque prose:
- Thanksgiving was CRAZY. Visited Gigi in Cinci who insisted on having a homemade Thanksgiving dinner. Walker slept through the meal and then threw up as soon as we reached the door of our hotel. Saw snow that night and thew our first snowball from sn-ice (what I call icy-snow) that survived on a car bumper. Friday, Larry got the stomach flu. Saturday, I got the stomach flu somewhere at 30,000 ft between Minneapolis and San Francisco.
- Hanukkah was a big hit with Walker. He LOVED lighting the candles so much that I believe we were up to the 17th day before we finally retired the menorah. However, it gave him enough time to really be confident with the entire prayer. Some days we had a lighting in the morning AND evening. Truly a festival of lights. Oh, and our new favorite book is THE LATKA THAT COULDN’T STOP SCREAMING by Lemony Snicket. Total classic.
I’ll need a lot of bullets for Christmas.
- This was the first time Walker really understood what was going to happen. He was very intrigued by the whole Santa thing and was over-enjoyed with visiting him at the Mall and at his workshop where we got our tree. We read Christmas stories almost exclusively and we almost wore out the digital data on our TiVo for Pixar’s PREP AND LANDING (which is a “must see” if you haven’t).
- As usual, we made our trek to Santa’s Workshop in Half Moon Bay and cut down our tree. Walker enjoyed playing in the “snow” bubbles, seeing Santa and Rudolf, and taking a train ride (where Daddy gave himself a concussion on the roof of the caboose but powered through the rest of the day fueled only by Christmas spirit).
- Mommy found it imperative to make Christmas a “teaching moment” and spent weeks telling Walker that we were going to go shopping for kids who weren’t as fortunate as him. So the day came when we went to the Disney store and bought a bunch of toys and then took them to Fire Station 18 and put them in the big bin. As Walker took each of the 15+ presents out of the bag for OTHER kids and slowly put them in the bin, the firefighters encouraged him by telling him how proud of him they were and how brave he was being. He never complained or questioned or whined. He simply emptied the bag. Larry and I were too proud for words.
- PopPop and Miss Claire came over and helped us trim the tree. It was the modern-day Rockwell (much more Norman than Sam) experience. Larry prepared the tree in the stand and added the lights so our jobs were simply to accessorize the tree. Our tree is as eclectic as our lives including ornaments from when I was a baby to Spider Man and commemorative Fenway Park globes. Walker put all his decorations on the same branch. Luckily, it was a sturdy one. I think our favorite ornaments are the cuttings from Walker’s past three Christmas trees. We’re sentimental saps.
- There was the annual Christmas pageant at Sofiya’s which was, well, FANTASTIC. Walker was in his element. He LOVED performing in front of 30+ adults. He had few solos and even volunteered so frequently Helen had to tell him to give other kids an opportunity. Every day I asked him to recite the snowman poem — “Snowman, where did you go?/ I made you yesterday out of snow./ I built you tall, I built you fat./ I put on eyes, nose and a hat.” Of course, there were gestures that went along with this and Walker liked to see how fast he could complete the poem.
- Christmas Day arrived and Walker was THRILLED to see that Santa had eaten all the food he had left for him. Santa also left him a very sweet note (that was also very well designed) which he will be keeping in his “very important documents” box. Once again, I was terribly proud of him. He DIDN’T OPEN ANY PRESENTS for more than two hours as we waited for PopPop and Miss Claire to arrive. Have I ever mentioned how incredibly grateful I am to have such a patient and understanding young man?
- We now know when we’ve reached present fatigue. Next year, there won’t be as many packages under the tree. PopPop gave Walker a Big Wheel which Daddy diligently pieced together as we opened other gifts. Thankfully the new toy bins and table and chairs were already constructed (which have been the foundation for a much more civilized existence — with toys that are put away, areas to walk, and non-picnic dinners). A nap was had by all. Merry Christmas everyone.
- As a present to Mommy and Daddy, Sofiya was open between the holidays and Walker played with his friends while Mommy and Daddy saw movies and Mommy did errands such as migrate data to a new computer and get a very long massage.
- What would New Year’s Eve be without a birthday party for the Baby New Year? We made a yummy gingerbread cake with vanilla icing (Mommy decided to binge on butter and sugar before dieting in January) and wished the New Year the best of luck for us all. We were one of the very few who braved the rainy and cold zoo on New Year’s Day. Walker looked dashing in his 2011 hat (which turned into mache in the rain) and it was the only time we had a quite lunch in the zoo cafeteria with our choice of tables. (In the photo, he’s having his own bottle of Martinelli’s sparkling cider — WHAT DID YOU THINK HE WAS DRINKING?)
Other topics of interest:
- Our first dentist visit went swimmingly. He got to wear sunglasses in a chair that goes up and down. Dr. David named all his teeth (which were all names of Disney and Pixar characters — I asked him if he paid royalties for that…) Walker never complained, cried or whined. In fact, he had a great time and loved his gift bag. Now I guess I need to go to the dentist.
- I got reading glasses and apparently I look “young” and “hip” when I wear them. Yeah, well, I wouldn’t need them if I wasn’t OLD. Walker likes them so that’s a plus.
- Despite the fact that we all got plaid pajamas for Christmas and Walker likes that we can all look the same, he still insists I wear my red pajamas with the white buttons. Nothing can obscure them so rather than put on a robe, we crank up the heat. PG&E is thankful. PLEASE LL BEAN, re-run your flannel pjs in RED (not PINK or ROSE or MAROON) so I can have clean pjs with a bit more frequency!
- Walker’s at the age he like to pick his nose. I call his index finger the “DeBooginator.” He gives me his boogers when he’s feeling generous or bored.
- He eats anything and everything at school. He will only eat items loaded with salt and preservatives at home. I’ve conducted an experiment — bring leftovers from Sofyia’s home and see if he eats. The answer is a resounding NO! The rationale: “That’s what I eat at school. That’s not what I eat at home.” Ugh. He has a point. Now to see if he’ll try other things Russians don’t cook like falafel and fried rice.
- He loves to draw and he’s starting to create things that really look like what he says they are. The other day he looked at his Batman and drew, well, a Batman. The first drawing was a firetruck. He really likes firetrucks. He’s such a BOY.
- He’s learning about different occupations in school and they were discussing reporters. “What is a reporter?” I ask. “That’s someone who tells you if someone got killed or if there’s a fire next door,” Walker says. Trying to recover what little innocence Walker has left, I explain that reporters also talk about the new hippo at the zoo and when people win big races. I relay the conversation to my father who is an Emmy-award winning reporter. “Walker has a much better grasp of reporting than you do,” is his reply. Depressed, I hang up the phone.
Walker told me tonight that he doesn’t want to be a man. “That’s bad,” he says. He wants to stay a little boy. He wants to remain “Walkerpie.” And then he gave me a great big hug and pursed his yummy soft little lips and gave me a very sweet kiss.
“You will always be my little Walkerpie,” I tell him.
We wish everyone a very, very happy and healthy 2011.