Tag Archives: Christmas

Now bring us some Piggy Pudding*

13 Dec

*If you don’t already own the John Denver & The Muppets Christmas album, do yourself a 1 minute and 6 second favor and listen to this selection.  Now, on with the post:

There are many ways in which I have failed my children.  Some of which, I’m aware.  For instance I know that we have never given any of them a proper birthday party with peers, party favors and presents out the wazoo.

Of other failings, I am blissfully unaware.  Those are the worst.  Everything can be swimming along merrily – wait!  they don’t know how to swim yet!  What kind of mother am I??!!??  ARG.

Okay, as I was saying, everything seems peachy-keen and then – BOOM!  Out of nowhere you are smacked alongside the head with yet another unfulfilled area of your offspring’s lives.

This is how it was at the zoo last week.  I mean the actual zoo.  John Ball Zoo was celebrating Christmas for the Animals, so we downloaded their list, and checked it twice.  Then we grabbed some Jello,

peanut butter,


and our children, and headed down, because who wouldn’t want to give Jello to the animals?  Cecilia, that’s who.  I guess she has something against them having flavored ice.  Come to think of it, why do they need flavored ice?

Aside from the separation anxiety over the gelatin dessert, the day seemed to have all the necessary ingredients for a lovely family outing:  cool weather, free admission, no crowds, and happy critters.  We drifted through the animals, taking our merry time, laughing all the way.

The storks didn’t seem overly concerned about delivering a newborn babe to a young virgin mother, instead they were busy having a little jousting match.  

“Four Fighting Storks”, may soon replace the Calling Birds in our boys’ rendition of The Twelve Days.

The holly and the ivy, when they are both full grown rival this beauty that we photographed for my Mom’s sake.  So Mom, what is it?

I can’t wait until she tells us, because of all the trees that are in the zoo, this berry wears the crown.

There were no bells on bob tails, but there was an ice sculpture of  a bob cat that made our spirits bright.

All except Thomas’ that is.  He went into a little meltdown because the sculpture was erroneously located in the African section of the zoo.  Gladly the artist could take the heat, even if his artwork couldn’t.

Also in the African section was this lovely lioness who is surely hoping that Santa will bring her five tasty lads and lasses for Christmas.

She’s undoubtedly been a good girl.  And even if she hasn’t, who’s going to argue with her?

There were other harmonious holiday moments as we strolled through the nearly empty zoo – games, free stickers and bookmarks, the opportunity to pet a snake (I’ll spare you that picture) and a chance to actually visit with our children about what we were seeing – something I find a frequent challenge in crowded public venues.

So when did the parenting ball drop as quickly as if it were in Times Square on New Year’s Eve?  When we ended our visit to the zoo with a quick stop by the Farm where my eldest son and I had the following conversation:

Me:  Look boys, they have all the animals penned together, the cows, the goats, the chickens and the pigs.
Simeon:  There aren’t any pigs, Mom.
Me:  Yes, there are.  Look, right there. (Pointing to the pig standing just 20 sloppy feet away.)
Simeon:  But Mom, it’s not pink.

Errata:  My mother just politely, and privately pointed out to me that my Storks are Pelicans.  I have no explanation for my animal identification ignorance but would note that obviously my apples don’t fall far from their tree.


The Shepherd’s Lament

7 Dec

He tended his sheep, and was able
To make do with the bright plastic stable,
.         But hands tickled his belly,
.         Threw him through air, so smelly.
Bethlehem’s too near the Twin’s changing table.


How Deadly Are Your Branches

5 Dec

My husband has brought many good things in to my life, and as we decorate our home for Christmas I always give thanks for one which has allowed me comfort and security when I’m afraid the weight of the season will crush me.  Literally.

That’s right, due to my husband’s insistence on an Answer Stand, there will be no falling Christmas trees in this house.  No matter how crooked our tree may appear, the drilled trunk is securely sitting on a long rod.  And the three lengths of rebar that steady the whole bedecked blue spruce have gone a long way in stilling my fears of all the years.

In comparison to my other justifiable childhood anxieties, (collapsing floors, open flames, more than ten people in any one location) being crushed by a Christmas tree was pretty mild.  And oddly, this phobia is in no way related to my dislike of trees, but it certainly can be traced back to a specific incident.

You see this delightfully resting early 80’s teen?

Her anonymity will remain.  For now let’s just say that we didn’t often have babysitters, but when my parents needed one it was pretty handy that my older cousin lived down the road.  And this little late-night snooze of hers was well earned, although the sneaky sleeping picture probably was a bit cruel on the part of her aunt and uncle.

No, she didn’t need to crash because her charges wore her out, or because their parents stayed out until the wee hours of the morn.  Her exhaustion is the result of an adrenaline and pine cocktail hangover.  She, and the young left in her care, were attacked by an errant, but beautifully decorated tree.

It looks so harmless, but trust me, when a prickly evergreen attacks your evening of babysitter bliss the shrieks of “O Tannenbaum!” echo in the decked halls for Christmases to come.