Christmas Is Coming And There Is Nothing You Or I Can Do To Stop It
Well, I say not much, but I guess there have been some fairly important milestones for other people around here. Garnet has learned to talk. He seems to have downloaded English into his head overnight, which I know is impossible because our internet connection can’t even download an episode of House of Cards without taking six hours and crashing the computer and generally carrying on like a pork chop. So he must have learnt it some other way. I suspect his sister is involved. ‘It’s May Blossom’s fault!’ he says, when anything goes wrong, regardless of whether she who loves to blame is anywhere near him at the time. ‘Wow! Dat ‘mazing/cute/booful!’ is a standard reaction to flowers, rainbows or pizza.
May Blossom herself has gone and turned four. She is deeply obsessed with Transvision Vamp, an English band from the 1980s, and nothing makes me happier than hearing her analysis of the lyrics of ‘I Want Your Love’. (‘Gosh, she really does want that man’s love quite a lot, doesn’t she?’)
We’re gearing up with great excitement for the arrival of two blokes: the floor sander and Santa Claus. The floor sander is going to deliver us from the evil that is beige carpet in the dining room, and Santa Claus will be delivering dirty rocks to whoever who keeps taking the fucking ornaments off the tree and depositing them around the house. Santa also frowns on the repeated switching on and off of parents’ bedside lamps, and the hauling/tackling of perfectly-capable-of-walking boys by their older sisters. People splashing water all over the bathroom floor makes him do his nut.
Christmas shopping is going well, if you consider it an achievement that I have bought lots of presents for two babies who aren’t even born yet, and almost nothing for anyone who is. We still have to get through Garnet’s second birthday before Christmas, and he vacillates daily between having an elephant or rainbow lorikeets on his cake. Bless him, he thinks he is having a cake. Doesn’t he know that a second child born just before Christmas gets two candles in a piece of peanut butter toast for his birthday party? He’s starting to show quite a lot of interest in Thomas the Tank Engine, although I think they are actually quite close mates because he refers to him as Tom the Train. I bought him a small Tom the Train for his birthday but he’s already found it so I’ve just let him have it. Thus I have discovered I made the rookie error of buying the $10 metal tank engine, rather than the $22 wooden one. Apparently the metal ones are a bit smaller and don’t fit on the train tracks. Garnet calls his new train Baby Tom and has decided that the only other train we have, a proper wooden version of James the Tank Engine (a gift, obviously, from someone more generous to my children than me) is Baby Tom’s mother. So it doesn’t seem to matter that Baby Tom doesn’t fit on the tracks because he and Mummy James are mostly pushed around the house in a doll’s stroller.
May Blossom’s Christmas list is as follows: a yoyo; more Roald Dahl books; a tiara. What she really wants is a Barbie, but we are locked in mortal combat over whether or not she can have one. ‘Mummy,’ she asked me the other night, in front of all the family, ‘why do you always say Barbie is rubbish?” I spent twenty minutes explaining sexism, the beauty myth, the patriarchy, the Destroy the Joint movement and why it is inherently weird and wrong that Barbie has high-heel-shaped feet. She listened politely, but behind her eyes I could see she was thinking ‘I DON’T GIVE A SHIT. SHE IS SO PRETTY.’ The next day my mum sent me this article, which was cheering, but I’m still undecided. Maybe when she is five. Or maybe I’ll give her one when she gets married.
More blogging to come before Christmas, I hope, since this afternoon I am going all festive and Pinteresty and forcing the children to help me make over-ambitious Christmas cards for all our friends, and you’ll no doubt want to know how we get on and see the results. There will inevitably be tears, shouting and glue everywhere, and none of our friends will end up getting cards, just like they never have in years gone by. I am a stickler for tradition.