This weekend’s challenge was to focus on the question: Does it matter? I’m not going to say that I brought it on myself, but….I may have brought it on myself. I practically begged the craziness out of the corners. And by “craziness” I, of course, mean Brynna Grace. Who, this weekend, I affectionally (not really) referred to as GoGo the dancing monkey.
GoGo has been asking to set up the Christmas tree since October. I held her off as long as I could but decided we would decorate before we leave for Thanksgiving so it’s done when we return. I made the comment that we would ask Daddy to get the boxes down from the attic over the weekend. Apparently my child’s understanding of a week is defined similarly to a college student, and the weekend now starts Thursday night. David didn’t get his work clothes changed before she was dragging him up the attic ladder. They retrieved the few bins in that part of the attic, but he told her he would get the rest above the garage the next night. People. She sat on the tubs “to be close to them.” Friday was the same song different verse. You’d think she was at the circus with the squeals and excitement, but no. Just going up and down the attic ladder. It was around this time that GoGo lost complete control of her senses. We started opening the boxes of Snow Village figurines, and she tore into them so quickly we had to take them away. She was allowed to look as we removed them from the packaging but that turned into talking to them, which led to them talking to each other, which led to them saying hi to each other, which meant glass and ceramic family heirlooms were banging into each other in the hands of a madwoman. Have I mentioned my OCD issues? Have we discussed that I need things to be done in order? DOES ANYTHING SOUND ORDERLY ABOUT THIS? No. I had to walk away. We all had to walk away. Fast forward to Saturday morning when I’m greeted with “Mommy, I don’t need breakfast or milk today. Can we just set up the Christmas tree?”
I want it to be fun and exciting; I do. I want to take advantage of her excitement and celebrate her joy. But Oh. My. Gosh. We first had to finish Snow Village after abandoning ship the night before. A note about Snow Village for those uneducated as I was: these are hand-crafted ceramic buildings, people, etc that when set up together, form a village. They light up, you add “snow” and a winter wonderland forms in your living room. (Or in our case, David’s office that will be out of use for the next month and a half. Sorry, babe.) David’s family started collecting them when he was little. The boys got to pick buildings to add, and when we got married, David’s mom split the collection between David and his brother. Not only are they expensive, but they’ve been a part of most every Christmas of David’s life.
As “snow” was flying through the air (literally – she wanted it to snow in the room so she didn’t just place the batting on the table, but threw it), I had to stop. One…Two…Breathe. Does it matter that we have to vacuum this room (again). No. Does it matter that Snow Village doesn’t look the way I would have arranged and decorated it on my own? No.
After the Snow Village fiasco, we moved on to the tree. But before you can put ornaments on a tree, you have to put tinsel/ribbon/SOMETHING around it. Before you can do that, you have to place the star on top. Even after those things are done, you have to carefully unpack the ornaments. The past several years, I’ve done a “pretty” tree (matching ornaments, ribbon, etc) vs. one with sentimental ornaments. Before I could decide the theme/plan for the tree, Brynna had half the family ornaments spread on the coffee table. Does it matter what the tree looks like? No. Does it matter that I didn’t get to plan a “vision” in my head before being in the midst of doing it? No. Does it matter there are no fancy bows, flowers or accessories? No.
While I was finishing the ribbon on the tree, Brynna moved on to looking through tubs and found the stockings. We have 4 stockings – David, me, Brynna, Miles (the dog). When I say she put them up for 45 minutes, I’m being conservative. She would hang them, step back and admire her work (out loud, of course), then she would taken them all down and repeat. Over and over and over. She tells me she was practicing. I have no idea for what. Is there a stocking hanging competition I don’t know about? Is there a meet? Do you get a medal? I’m so confused. And so annoyed. I said it – annoyed. If you need state secrets from me, no need to get drastic. Just have someone do the same thing over and over in front of me. I’ll crack like an egg. But when I took a step back (and away. I had to leave the room for a minute), I asked: does it matter? Is she hurting anything? No. Is it damaging the stockings, mantle or step ladder? No.
We eventually got ornaments on the tree, and that’s about it. It goes against everything in me to post this for the world to see, but this is my living room currently. It’s looked that way all weekend. When I posted the challenge to concentrate on ONE thing for TWO days, I meant theoretically. I didn’t know I would be walking through the middle of chaos. (It’s always easier to SAY you’ll do it than actually DO it, huh?)
The question you’re all wondering…did GoGo the monkey ever stop dancing? No. Does it matter? Yes. THAT does matter to me. Greatly. More than a tree or a messy house or family heirlooms, it matters that Brynna is excited for Christmas. It matters that she is free to express her excitement and joy. It matters that she knows I am willing to let her. It matters that she’s so proud of the tree and Snow Village and tells everyone that “Mommy and I did it together!”
She doesn’t look at this weekend and think it was hectic or irritating. She thinks it was fun. She thinks she created something beautiful. And she did.