Saturday, December 7, 2013

Special Occasions With The Joneses

I came to the realisation recently that we are pretty bad at celebrating stuff around here.  Mostly its my memory lapses or ignorance of what is customary in this country, sometimes we just mess it up.  A lot of times we have excellent intentions and life gets in the way.  Here are some of this year’s failures for your enjoyment.  Oh and before I begin I must say “SPOILER ALERT” in case your kids are reading this and you are a better parent than I.

I have mostly managed to remember my own children’s birthdays this year and even managed to narrowly miss giving birth on one of them.  Well I did give birth on all of their birthdays but what I mean is that I narrowly missed giving birth to a new kid on an already claimed birthday.  I have to say that particular birthday was pretty amazing considering I had delivered 4 days prior and immediately hosted a party which seemed to go fairly successfully.  In hindsight it was a crazy thing to do but I’m so glad I did because it was such a good day.

I did, however, fail to make, buy or otherwise provide cake for Kaitlyn’s birthday this year.  A number of factors were involved in this gross negligence including Daddy’s business trip over the birthday weekend, a rescheduled birthday celebration accompanied by three year old throwing up and more.  I did make cupcakes a few days after her birthday but we didn’t put a candle in and sing so apparently it doesn’t count even though they were her favourite colour.  James did take the healthy family members bowling as planned but there wasn’t cake.  It has not gone unnoticed by her so I fear I will need to fix this oversight before too long.

What she doesn’t know is that this is not the first time this has happened to her.  On her first birthday we were catching up on Emily’s second birthday (which we had missed because James was in the hospital) and since we thought two cakes would be too much we stuck a candle in a store bought apple pie and then didn’t even eat it.

We probably shouldn’t tell her this.

We joined the ranks, this year, of tooth fairy believers.  Both Emily and Kaitlyn have lost teeth now, in fact Kaitlyn overtook Emily and we have had a total of five teeth lost.  I think.  The first one to go was a grand occasion.  We quickly had to decide how much these teeth were worth and after calculating how many collective teeth all our kids would lose (taking into account that Abigail has an extra one!) we decided to use caution when setting a figure.

That first night we snuck in and replaced the tooth with the money and disposed of the tooth somewhere.  We are so bad at it that we can’t remember what we did with the tooth now.  One day our kids are going to be fossicking through things and think they’ve happened upon a series of skeletal remains.

The second tooth loss didn’t go so smoothly.  We forgot all about it and when the child woke to find the tooth gone but no money in its place James had to think quickly on his feet.  The tooth had fallen down in the night and he pretended that the money had too.  Simultaneously retrieving the tooth from the floor (which had previously been unseen by the child) and “finding” the money.  High fives and back slaps were exchanged at this wool pulling masterpiece.

The third was a repeat as far as our failure but we managed to impress upon the child that perhaps the tooth fairy had been unable to get to the bed to find the tooth because of the mess.  We suggested a do over with some tidying thrown in for good measure and that seemed to do the trick.  We almost forgot again that night though so it was a close one.

The fourth went without a hitch.  Either that or I’m miscounting and there are really only four teeth missing in total.  I’ll have to check next time I see the kids.  The fifth took us by surprise.  We found ourselves to be completely without money that night except for one bill at a considerably inflated value to what we had previously paid.

James didn’t like my idea of using the child’s own pocket money and then replacing it before it was noticed (I never said I had scruples) so this larger note was used.  Since it was a top front tooth this time we inadvertently set a precedent and are fortunate that each child only has two of them (even taking into account Abigail’s extra tooth).

The tooth fairy lives on in our house but it is with deep shame that I have to say I may have revealed her true identity to another local family.  In my defence I didn’t realise the kid was sitting there, he was being altogether too quiet and most likely was so engrossed in his video game that he didn’t notice.  I learned a lesson that day at the soccer field.  I should never talk about teeth and if other people bring it up I should clamp my mouth shut and just smile and nod.

I may have confused matters with regards to Santa too and possibly the Lord Of The Rings.  I always forget about Santa since I didn’t grow up believing in him.  I forget that James did and that its an important tradition for him.  Now in this one I am completely innocent, they caught me off guard and I cannot be blamed.  It wasn’t even anywhere close to Christmas at that point either.

We were driving along and out of the blue one of them asked “Mummy, are elves real?” I immediately answered “of course not”.  Now the conversation prior to this had nothing to do with Christmas or Santa or anything of that nature.  The response was classic “well who makes all the toys for Santa then?” and before I could reply, the answer came from the wise firstborn “he has robots, silly”.  Disaster averted, for now.

Speaking of elves, I came across one of those elf on the shelf toys the other day and I actually jumped, it gave me such a fright.  It is kind of freaky looking and the whole idea of having this thing watching us makes me shudder.  Mind you it is so scary looking that I could imagine having one in each of their rooms might discourage them from getting out of bed after lights out.  I’d probably be tempted to leave it there all year long though.  Yet another reason for my kids to need therapy later in life.

I think this family will happily remain elf on the shelfless.

I’m sure the next few weeks will be interesting.  Last year I wrapped the Santa gifts in the same paper as our gifts.  The girls did comment on it but accepted my explanation that obviously Santa shops at BJs for his wrapping paper too since its such a good deal.  This year Santa is just doing the stockings because I’m sick of him getting all the credit for the cool gifts.  Hopefully it will be harder to mess that up except that Emily already saw me buy something for Kaitlyn’s stocking and she helped me pick something out for James that’s going to go in his.

James had his own Christmas failure the other day when we were driving with all the kids in the back.  I was trying to let him know what a family member had got for Abigail (who sits directly behind the drivers seat).  I showed him a picture rather than say it out loud so as to be discrete.  He immediately exclaimed in an excited voice the name of the toy.  I just looked at him in disbelief.  We had, only moments before, been discussing this very blog post.  You see we are worse than bad at this secretive stuff.

The poor Easter Bunny never did get a foothold in our family.  It was just too much for me to do another secret each year.  The kids still get to do an egg hunt but they know its Daddy putting the eggs out.  They giggle gleefully as we all wait inside while he does it because to imagine Daddy being a bunny is just hilarious.  They get an Easter basket too but they know full well that it is from us and it always includes a chocolate bunny which they happily devour, usually for breakfast that day.  I don't think they are too upset not to be believing in a, quite frankly terrifying, giant bunny rabbit.

I had never in my life known that we were supposed to have a leprechaun either, so that's another one that never happens around here.  I also never knew that regular, not in love people were supposed to celebrate Valentines Day either.  So you can guess how horrible I felt that first year when my child came home from preschool, bag bulging with Valentines from her classmates and I had not supplied her with anything in return.

I look forward to the day when I overhear one of the kids explaining to the others that Santa and the Tooth Fairy aren’t real, its just Mummy and Daddy pretending.  It may not be too far off because I heard Kaitlyn telling Abigail today that her kiki (special blanket) doesn’t really talk and that when she talks to pink elephant she knows he can’t really hear her because he’s just a stuffed animal.


  1. I love the word "fossicking". And your blog.

  2. Awesome Naomi! I lol'ed at "of course not!"... What a perfect response!