Christmas Eve Dramas

January 1, 2008

I won’t say that Random Granddaughter’s dinner drama ruined eve of Christmas Eve dinner, but it did put a bit of a damper on the occasion.

The next morning she woke up ebullient and full of enthusiasm. It is remarkable what a night’s sleep will do to recharge the batteries of a three-year-old child. It’s not quite as potent a refresher for a 63-year-old not very grown up, but it helps some.

For breakfast, Grandma served waffles and sausages. She provided a topping made from fresh cranberries for the waffles. RG found the breakfast more to her liking and ate some of everything provided cheerfully enough.

I think it’s reasonable to describe RG as a drama queen. It’s probably appropriate for a three-year-old (of either sex) to be a drama queen, and food is a good theme for great dramatic scenes for young children (and not-so-young children of all ages) as my readers’ comments illustrate.

After breakfast, we went for a walk. RG went happily running ahead of everybody along the private gravel road until she tripped and fell on her face in the gravel. Fortunately her good looks were not seriously damaged, but she did have an opportunity to howl for a while.

It is my family’s habit not to exchange gifts at Christmas, but we are not obsessive about the policy. Although not wrapped or presented as a gift, the barn with the little animals was sort of a Christmas present for Random Granddaughter.

Before they headed home, RG provided some small presents (wrapped and provided by mommies) to Grandma and Grandpa. One of the mommies mentioned there were Christmas gifts for RG under the Christmas tree at home. It became apparent that RG was expecting to open the Christmas presents on Christmas night. She was not happy when informed she would not get to open them until the next morning (Christmas morning).

“I can’t wait,” RG lamented. A mommy told her that waiting made the gift more exciting, and explanation RG greeted with an expression I would describe as More insane stuff adults tell me with a straight face.

RG has not really learned yet to be acquisitive about material items, so I interpreted her frustration as wanting to have the excitement of opening packages rather than the excitement of adding something to her collection of material items.

[When I stopped by her house a few days after Christmas I learned this interpretation is probably true. RG’s favorite presents this year were some Dr. Seuss books provided by another grandma. She also got some new boots from yet another relative that Mommy thought were very fine but did not provoke much excitement on RG’s part. “They were brown,” said Mommy. “If they had been ‘hot pink,’ it would have been another matter.” That perhaps indicates RG is on the right track for her future as a teenager. In any case, Mommy did agree that opening packages was the main source of excitement for Christmas morning.]

Grandma Random is always worried that RG will be bored when she comes to visit us. It occurs to me that on each visit we should provide a brightly colored package for her to open. The package would be empty, of course, but I could provide her with homilies about the destination being more important than the journey, for example.

For a while, I used a little laser light as a toy to amuse Sylvie, my daughter’s little cat. Sylvie would chase the laser light frantically for a minute or so, and try to capture the little red beam with her paw, and then a little light bulb would go on in her head, and she would say to herself in cat language, There’s no there, there, and she would stop chasing the laser light.

I imagine Sylvie and RG could have a pertinent discussion about Grandpa and his crazy ideas about ways to amuse them.