It’s a well known fact that I have LOVED Christmas my entire life! When my baby sister was in grade school she wrote a school poem about me entitled, “Christmas Freak”. (Yes, even then she had a biting sense of humor.) I love the cold weather, the lights & decorations, the music (I’m listening to it as I write this), the cards, selecting presents for people & wrapping them creatively, making holiday cookies & crafts and the general feeling of goodwill among people during this time. It’s just the most wonderful time of the year…made even more magical by our daughter!
It’s always been amazing to watch her little mind develop, but this holiday just puts her into overdrive. There are lights and colors and new tastes, sounds and textures! An everyday trip to Target is an adventure when she spots the holiday aisles from across the store. She tells me “keep going mommy” until I reach the sparkly trees. When we decorated our own tree, she couldn’t wait to hang ornaments and then examine each one carefully. Don’t get me wrong, her excitement lasted for about three ornaments…three longer than my husband’s…but she had fun in the moment! Now she has her favorites that she visits daily, and each morning as we walk downstairs she says, “Lights on!”
We’ve painted paper plate wreaths, made a handprint Christmas tree, cut Play-Doh shapes with cookie cutters, glued puff balls on foam shapes, decorated her own tiny tree in her play room and made daily “peanut butter guys” with our gingerbread man cookie cutter. Every morning she tries to stand higher on her tippy toes than she did the day before to put a new felt ornament on her Advent calendar. I’m loving it!!! She’s learning new concepts and I get to indulge my passion for the season.
One concept she’s got down quite well is a fear of strangers….particularly those in big red suits with long white beards. She loves the guy from afar, can’t wait to yell his name at every opportunity, gets excited when we read about him in books, but the moment we get up close, all bets are off! Last year’s Santa picture attempt was so traumatic I won’t even show you. This year we tested the waters at a local party, and in mom’s arms, with fun auntie making faces behind the camera, it wasn’t so bad.
We’re still not going near the mall Santa, but this was progress. And progress is what it’s all about with a toddler. It’s also what it’s all about with a first time mom…like the lesson that you don’t take your 11 month old to visit Santa and expect her to smile for the camera. Parker and I are navigating these waters together and everyday is an adventure. I agree that her puff ball penguins should have eyes on their tails and she agrees that our craft time together is more important than me cleaning the house….besides it develops her fine motor skills as she picks up and hands dust bunnies to me J