Momservation: If you think you’ve baby-proofed your house, you haven’t been through Christmas yet with a toddler.
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The nice thing about decorating for Christmas with a toddler in the house is you have a re-decorator right in your midst. What you thought looked good in one place, you’ll find in a totally different place each day, or even every hour.
When my 10 year-old daughter, Whitney, was little she had definite ideas about where things should go. At Christmas I put a miniature cast-iron sleigh with reindeer on the bathroom counter with a Santa candle next to it and mini presents in the sleigh.
One day I found the Santa in the sleigh, presents surrounding it. With a little chuckle I moved it back to its original position. Later, when I went to the bathroom I found Santa back in the sleigh on top of the presents, his stiff wax body oddly tilting. Again, I moved Santa back where I thought he looked best, wondering which of my little elves preferred Santa in the sleigh.
I got my answer the next morning when I found Whitney, standing atop the step stool for the sink, playing with Santa and the reindeer.
“I don’t mind you playing with that,” I told her, relieved she was at least fixated on one of the more durable holiday decorations, “but I like the Santa candle next to the sleigh, so let’s keep him there when you’re done. Okay?”
Whitney nodded and I left her to play. Later, I found Santa in the sleigh and the presents under the miniature light-up tree on the other side of the counter. I gave up and just left them there.
It was an easy concession in choosing your battles, but my young daughter’s early display of headstrong tendencies worried me about the future battles I would be waging. (As in months later when I found pee near the toilet instead of in it and I asked Whitney what happened and she shrugged saying, “I guess it’s your problem now, Mommy.”)
During this holiday season that brings both joy and tribulation to our parenting lives, please enjoy this holiday list inspired by Whitney:
Top 10 Uses for a Nativity Scene (As Seen Through the Eyes of a Toddler)
- Baby Jesus looks much better in doll clothes and tucked into a toy crib with other dollies.
- Trying to knock it all over with a ball is fun!
- The Three Wise Men should probably see if they can swim in the bathtub, sink, and/or toilet.
- Not sure and don’t remember where Baby Jesus went again, but my Goldfish crackers fit nicely in his little bed.
- Baby Jesus’ mommy and daddy need to ride in Lightning McQueen (from Cars movie) to go get more diapers from Costco.
- The sheep and donkey like to play Hide-n-Go-Seek in the Christmas tree.
- The little barn makes a better hide-out for action figure bad guys.
- The angels are stuck in the tree outside because I tried to get them back to Heaven.
- Baby Jesus wants to go for a ride in the wagon with the hamster.
- Baby Jesus’ bed isn’t cozy enough. Throw it across the room, dump the potpourri out of Mommy’s glass bowl and fill it with the cotton balls from under the bathroom sink.
Where’s the weirdest place you’ve found baby Jesus?