All I Want for Christmas

"So I've been thinking about what to ask Santa Claus for," says Panda as I'm washing her hair. "Let's hear it."

"Well, I want a Calico Critters house," is her opening bid ($99). "And a bedroom set for Julie."  Julie being Julie Allbright, her American Girl doll ($118).  "And some pajamas for her ($22) and the matching ones for me." ($40)  "Oh, and I really want an iPod!" (Whew, done deal, she's getting mine when Santa Hubby brings me an iPhone)

"What else?" I ask.

"Well, I have some questions. Y'know. Things I want to know..."

"Like?" I prompt

"Well, just if he could tell me if Heaven is real. And what it's like. And if I get to be a mermaid. But mostly what it's like and if I'll go there because then if I know, I won't be so scared."

"Ah," says I, "those are excellent questions." I'm just trying to actively listen, not take over the conversation and see where she's going with this.

"Oh, and if he can tell me what happened to Mr. Bierman, I really want to know."  This is my great-grandfather who abandoned the family and was ne'er heard from again so that branch of the family tree just ends cold. Panda is very bothered by this.

"So do I," I said, "I don't know why I never thought of asking Santa, I wonder if he knows..."

"He knows everything.  Oh and one more thing, I want to ask him to let me fly."

"Fly? You mean in an airplane?"

"No. Fly. For real. In the sky. It's my dream. I want to ask him if he'll let me and my cousins fly when they come visit us."

"...Rinse off, now," I say, and close the shower door so I can just sit down on the bathmat and think all this through.  Jeeps and I always leave a note from Santa on the dining room table, next to the plate of cookie crumbs and half-drunk glass of milk.  I'm blogging this half to preserve the moment and half to take notes on what Santa needs to cover in his yearly missive.

By the way, Redman wants a snowmobile for Christmas.


I've got to write some of these down, they are just too funny....

Scene—driving to daycare

Redman: Hey, look at the car over there, Mom

Me: Oh...yeah, that's a blue car

Redman (with disgust): No, it's a Honda...

Scene—breakfast, talking about Lindsey coming to sleep over and there will be pizza and root beer floats

Redman: Oh yeah, root beer, I love root beer, you don't love root beer, Dad, do you, no, you don't because it has too much sugar, right, but I love root beer, I love root beer more than I love chocolate malted milkshakes that Nino makes... (Sometimes he has these stream of consciousness monologues)

Scene—driving to daycare, I have forgotten to bring my Ipod so he is bereft of his Backyardigan songs

Redman: But I WANT them

Me: I'm sorry, honey, I don't have my Ipod

Redman: I WANT THEM (clenching fists, kicking the back of my seat) Me: I know you want them but I'm sorry, I don't have them

Redman: Sorry is for bad things!

Me: What?

Redman: "I'm sorry" is for bad things like punching people! When I ask for music you say YES!

Scene—long time ago, dinner table, among other things we are having mixed veg and biscuits for dinner. Redman is listing and demonstrating all his good behavior skills.

Redman: ...and then I sit at the table. And then I eat my vegetables (eats spoonful of veg). And then I eat my...(has biscuit in his hand but clearly does not know what it is called)...I eat my crunch.

Since then, from time to time, you'll hear one of us sing-songing "...And then I eat my VEG-tables....and then I eat my CRUNCH...."