"I think she fell down the stairs...just smile..."
"On the count of three..."
I was generally greeted by Nathaniel requesting clearance to go down stairs. The muffled morning noises of other little ones already taking on the day allowed us to send the boys out the door. Tante Amy's children got up early too and brought her down with them.
The house generally looked like the playroom had flooded the lower half of the house and returning tide had separated all the toys in to parts leaving them in pieces to be stepped on by bare feet. We did not go outside much as it was a bit chilly. But the lure of 50 degree weather and sunshine did pull Tante Amy out with the kids bundled tight. She flew in from Fort Wainwright, Alaska where today's high is a toasty -5 followed by balmy evening -9 degrees. The Sun will drop by from 11 until 3 and this is an extended stay compared to when she left in early December.
We ate a huge traditional Norwegian feast on December 24th and followed it by another on Christmas day. The presents were opened after dinner once the parents had waddled over by the tree. There are not too many words that can describe the melee that ensued. One must consider it in context. The children were aware that Christmas day was the day of gifts but nothing came in the morning. So they were assured that after nap time gifts would come - only to be handed plate of food and a fork. At that point the piles of brightly decorated and in some cases mysteriously large boxes were calling to them from the other room.
When I was teaching I learned about the developmental stages of children. The rules and regulations of a game do not really make sense until around 5 or 6. As our little adrenaline pumped little ones surveyed the spoils they understood only one word "open". Unfortunately they ignored words and phrases like "wait", "not that one", "not that one either", "stop", "oh no!", "hold your horses", "come back" and many others I cannot think of at the moment. Paper, bows and labels flew around the room as if four little super heroes dashed back and forth through the room saving the day by attacking each present. The brightly wrapped adversaries were quickly scattered across the room amidst the joyous assault. Leaving the pleased parents to tend to the battlefield. It was amazing. Some how all the gifts made it to their respective owners and everyone was happy.
There were many notable moments two of which were gifts Janice and I bought for the boys. Ben received a rocking horse on springs. He rode the beast white knuckled tight and flung himself back and forth so fast we all jumped forward. His impish smile gave insight to the exhibitionist at work - he just went faster and gloried in the wide eyed attention. Nathaniel received a Superman cape which Janice and a Carter's sample mill helped to manufacture. That night it was put on with great pride but was tossed aside moments later in the tangle of other gifts. So why mention it? Because now on a fairly regular basis our downstairs bathroom door will shut and feigned commotion can be heard followed by the door flying wide open. A little boy transformed runs out crying "This is a job for Superman". Then come the flying noises and the break neck tour around the house routing out the cat or Ben or a stuffed dinosaur or whatever else appears fierce and fiendish. The cape also goes to bed with Nathaniel respectfully laid over the top of him with the icon blazing. His Superman figure and the recently defeated dinosaur also get tucked in to his bed. I just wonder what he dreams about!
There was so much more than can possibly be written down. It was a fun time. We hope you had a wonderful Christmas too and are enjoying the New Year.