Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Can someone please tell me . . .

. . . at what age does the ritualistic, daily carnage wreaked upon the Christmas tree by small children end? Because our tree has been up exactly three days and I am already sick of it.

Last year, I was so tired of reassembling the bottom third of the tree every night—restringing garland, re-hanging ornaments (and mending broken ones if possible)—that I took the tree down two days after Christmas (seriously) and gave fleeting thought to not even getting one this year.

Of course, those thoughts were dismissed immediately. I like tree almost as much as they do, which is why the idea of not getting one was so surprising to me. I was really in a snit.

I just cannot take it. Today alone? Three broken ornaments. And these are not glass ones – those are way at the tippy top and hooked around the branches in an ornament hook death grip. These are plastic or wood ornaments that they take off and then “play” with. A male reindeer is now a female having been relieved of its antlers, a snowman has undergone the world’s cruelest nose job with his big orange carrot unceremoniously broken off leaving just a little nub, and a little Christmas fairy was snapped in half at the waist.

All have been super-glued and will likely be just fine, but seriously . . .what the hell? And this extends beyond the Christmas tree.

My. Kids. Touch. Everything.

Years ago, I removed absolutely everything breakable that I valued from display. Even items formerly up on high shelves because my kids are not above pushing a chair or stool over to a bookshelf in order to retrieve something that has caught their eye.

And I watch them. I do. But you know, not every solitary second of the day. They just seem to KNOW when I’m wrapped up in something (in the basement throwing laundry in the dryer or prepping lunch in the kitchen) to strike. Crafty little munchkins, they are.

I have at least two friends with older children who say their kids simply weren’t “touchers.” I remember visiting one friend’s house when her children were 18 months and 3. All over her home were spindly-legged tables loaded with crystal frames and vases with flowers untouched—not even noticed—by her children. I can’t even fathom having such items in my home for at least 10 more years (maybe 15).

So tell me, are everyone’s kids this destructive or do mine have an extra-special proclivity in this department? And further, what can I do to break them? The Christmas tree and I desperately need your help. Soon.

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Blogger Colleen said...

I'm sorry to admit Zoe is one of those kids who doesn't touch too much. This is Zoe's 3rd tree... and while she does show extreme tree interest... she accepted the "training" that you can only touch ornaments with one finger. Sorry.

Now, niece and nephew... they are touchers. Extreme touchers. I dread their visits. Last year my sister-in-law put their tree on the front porch with just lights, no ornaments. They had destroyed the tree the years before... even going as far as pulling strings of lights and garland off. She dreads Christmas tree time. She won't even decorate until Christmas eve now.

9:35 PM  
Blogger ryssee said...

Oh too funny. Can't help ya there. I posted one about my meowers today though. They're just as bad. And they will be like toddlers about the tree until they are no longer with us (ha, which, we'll see if they make it past Christmas!) ;-)

1:42 PM  
Blogger evilpinkcupcake said...

this is so why we have no tree and stockings are hung up by the ceiling.... =( I so wanted a tree too

10:56 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Chicken said...

The Poo is a moderate toucher. If I tell her no, then she stops.

Watch, now I bet I've jinxed myself.

9:01 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Sandy said...

One of the things I did for Mike and Bryan was set up a small tree that was all their own. They could decorate it the way they wanted and even put some of their presents for their Dad and me under it. When all else fails, just remember , take a deep breath and remember the blog you wrote, Heart on my Sleeve----they grow fast and all moments will be precious in a few years. Love, Aunt Sandy

12:24 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Shirley said...

When D and L were each under 3, they shared a stripped down bedroom - the only decoration being a framed sampler high on a wall away from their cribs. I walked in one morning to discover D dancing on the mashed sampler thanks to L's having pushed his crib across the room so he could grab it off the wall. Thank God he had footed sleepers.

8:23 PM  
Anonymous Rocas said...

My kids were just as bad and at 21, I think my daughter still is.


3:22 AM  

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