Sunday, November 21, 2004
Ahhhh, Sunday, a day of rest. Yeah, mmm-hmm. Good news, the kids slept in a bit. The no-nap, frantic balloon-ducky attack action yesterday really floored them. Good thing, because if floored me too. I had not mentioned this before, but I am nursing a damn cold sore. It started up on Friday morning and was in full bloom by the time I got home. Today, it is on the mend. Barely noticeable to me, which says a lot. I guess the spicy-hot soup I had yesterday cauterized it. I am fighting off some kind of calf cramp today. Soup isn't going to do anything for that. Not sure if it is a real cramp or just phantom pain. Whatever, walk if off soldier. When I got around to starting the fire, I made a mental note that I need to bring in more wood since I have managed to empty both racks that bracket the fireplace. For being wet, the stuff sure does burn quickly.
The title of today's expose' (snicker) may be a bit confusing. We actually went out to get the kids Christmas pictures today. Off to the Mall we go. Not the nice mall or the nearly nice mall, but rather, the rundown, refurbished but still crappy mall with the REAL SANTA. This place is primarily geared towards rebellious youth with their cell phones, odd dress modes and cranky looks. A place I would have enjoyed in my youth. The place was overrun by said youth, stalker ex-youth and mobs of parents with children here to see Santa. The whole gamut of the shallow-end gene pool was there too. I noted to my wife that we could probably spot every negative genetic trait in an hour, she told me to shut up and push the stroller. Yes maam. We get a beeper at 1130 that would notify us when our turn was nearing. The kind you get at some of the more interesting restaurants. The vibrating, beeping, flashing wad of plastic about the size of a small Toyota. We did not get beeped till 1300. We had run out of things to do at a half past noon. The kids were getting restless and cranky. This is all leading up to something. Honest. We finally got to see Santa at about 13:30, but it was too late. Alexis had gone over to the cranky side and she did not look back. Jacob ran up to Santa and gave him a big hug before crawling up into his lap. Alexis though, thought that we said Satan and not Santa. She would not sit on his lap, and when we tried to fake it out by having her sit on my knee, but lean waaaayyy back, she would invariably gravitate towards me and fall out of frame. Of course, the tongue came out and we left Jacob's attention span in the dust before we got her to cooperate long enough to get a shot off. Not the best picture in the world, but it will have to do. I don't think I could take another multi-hour tour of duty at the mall just to buy another 40$ in pictures. I let Alexis know that Santa is a good guy (till she figures out he is a fraud) and he was disappointed that she did not want to sit in his lap. She gave me the 'sorry daddy' look and slight nod at the request to be good. That is enough for now, I like the fact that she is mistrustful of hairy old men in strange clothing. The wife suggested that perhaps Big Little Brother Paul could dress up like Santa, but he has lost 50lb so far so that would just not do. Besides, I don't like the prospect of shelling out 150$ for a Santa rental just to have my kids run away screaming in terror. We had pseudo-pizza in the mall before we went home. Alexis filled her diaper, so I got to change her in the men's room that had no changing table. Challenging.
On the way home, Jacob fell asleep and we shuttled him upstairs so he could nap til dinner. He had a busy day. Alexis, however, thwarted our attempts on getting her to settle down and nod off. We put her in the mile wide water bed and gave her warm milk to no avail. I eventually gave up and wandered outside to split wood in the muck and mist. I saw her in the window waving at me with the Mrs a little while later. I would wave and she would wave back. Eventually, she tired of this and disappeared. Later, I learned that she made it to bed. Just put her in the crib and she went down like an aging boxer in the first round. I spent the next few hours polishing off the rest of my unsplit wood. I even managed to knock down some of the stuff I figured for a lost cause. Dripping in sweat, I loaded up the wheel barrow a few times and restocked the wood racks. I've pretty much given up on a few chunks of wood that will not split. I believe the stuff that my Hero Dad does not want will find its way to the curb with a 'Free Firewood' sign tacked to it. That will give it a half-life of a twinky on a fat farm.
The rest of the evening went well. The kids rolled out of bed at 1800 and we went right into dinner. Jacob did his best to resist, but we managed to convince him to eat what was given. Alexis, on the other hand, pretty much put the Black Holes at the center of the universe to shame. They bow to her mastery of making matter disappear. The rest of the evening was spent doing the balloon-duckie redux dance ... in triple time.