Yesterday Tate and I returned home from my parents’. I had come back to our place on Friday afternoon to clean up, sans small child, and get the Christmas tree and decorations out. I lugged our huge, yes artificial, tree up the stairs and got the boxes all out from under the stairs in the garage. I was so excited to put the tree together and hang the ornaments with Tate on Saturday. I was hoping to start our own tradition of putting our tree up the Saturday of Thanksgiving complete with Christmas music on the CD player, a chill in the air, and children laughing! Yes, my child laughing was part of my tradition picture. My child putting an ornament or two on the tree was part of my tradition picture. The two of us hanging out starting the Christmas season was part of my tradition VIDEO!!!
Can you see where this is going?
I even went so far as to buy Mickey Mouse’s Christmas Sing-a-Long DVD. I’ve let Tate watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse once or twice a weekend for 20 minutes each time for about a month. I’m still holding firm to no tv during the week and minimal tv on the weekends… one show on Saturday and maybe one on Sunday if any at all. But I decided it’s Christmas! It’s Christmas music. Tate loves Mickey Mouse! I’m sure he’ll love the Mickey Mouse Sing-a-Long.
I could not have been more wrong.
The Menu page had pictures of Mickey Mouse, but once I clicked to start the DVD it was simply music with what seems to be ‘still’ pictures of Mickey and his friends. Tate was not amused or entertained. Much whining ensued about ‘Where’s Mickey Mouse?”I want Mickey Mouse.’
I caved and pulled out the Thomas the Tank Engine Christmas Show DVD. Started that and he lasted about 5 minutes. As soon as Thomas left the screen he commenced with the ‘Where’s Thomas?’ noise.
On top of all that he had no interest whatsoever in helping with the Christmas tree. He was thrilled by the lights when I plugged the tree, but his interest waned quickly. He quickly went back to pounding on the DVD player trying to get Thomas back and playing with his trains on the floor.
So I hung up the ornaments. No Christmas music. No hot chocolate (well I suppose if that was part of my picture I should have made some). No 2 year old gazing up at the tree in absolute awe and enchantment.
He did finally take an interest when I was done right before I took him upstairs to go to bed. He toddled on over to the tree and deigned himself ready for a photo or two, minus his pants, pacifier in mouth in anticipation of bed.
Actually now, looking at the pictures, I’m taking time to really look at Tate’s face in the pictures. He does have that look of wonderment on his face, that look of enchantment and disbelief. How sad is it that I was so wrapped in how I thought the afternoon should go that I didn’t realize that he truly enjoyed himself. He got to see a DVD for the first time ever and he loves Thomas. He was happy and had a great time. It may not have been the great time I had envisioned, but he was happy to be with his mommy and experience this first Saturday decorating tradition with his mama.
I need to erase all my preconceived notions of what our lives should be like and not just this past weekend, but always. We are our own little family. We are ourselves. The traditions we start will matter to no one but the two of us. And they will make us happy.
That’s all that matters… happiness.