This is a post from my (new) “Daddy Daze” series, an anecdotal exploration of my odd little adventures in parenting in bite-sized chunks (for your reading enjoyment) and because the last thing this world needs is yet another doting parent blog.
Unlike my childhood when the desire to watch the annual allotment of holiday specials needed to be coordinated deeply with the weekly TV Guide and a patiently timed aggregate effort by myself and my siblings to claim the tube for that half hour span of precious programming, Claire is spoiled by a PVR. A few minutes of thumbing through the digital program guide netted me a swath of programmed recordings, and having nearly forgotten the effort the list of shows suddenly available has been quietly growing. So, one might imagine just how much “Holiday Special” programming is going down at our house these days. It’s only early December and Claire has already watched Rudolph three times. I still need to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” though…
We came across a pretty neat advent-style calendar at a toy store in mid-November. Rather than a little chocolate hidden behind each door, a small bit of a larger Playmobil set — those pose-able plastic toy kits — is revealed. We knew, or at least kinda figured, that Claire would enjoy it. But her intense devotion to prying the next days piece from the box is surprising even us… in a good way. Each morning for the last six or seven days (not the first couple as it took her those to get the idea) at right around six in the morning her bedroom light suddenly flicks on. It’s quiet for a minute or two while we stay in our warm bed, then there is a rustle of plastic or paper. Then finally a squeal of exclamation: “Daddy! Come see…” which is my cue to crawl out of the aforementioned warm bed and examine with practiced awe the newest addition to the Santa-esque scene.
And speaking of advent calendars, despite our effort to avoid the traditional chocolate-a-day version, Claire’s grandmother shirked our plan and dropped a fairly classy version — as in, not one of those 99c ones I would have bought — at our house. A Lindt advent calendar has found a spot on our shelf, a fact that would be fairly unremarkable and hardly worthy of this blog were it not for this morning’s incident. See, each day Claire has been carefully planning which of the three of us — me, her mom, or herself — gets the miniature chocolate from behind the day’s door. She’s been sharing, and if you can do basic math, willingly reducing her share to one chocolate every three days. What a good girl! And, this morning was her day. After setting the calendar beside her while she ate so that she could examine and plan, she finished her breakfast, diligently ran to wash her hands, and returned with a mile-wide grin ready for her turn. She needed a little help to break through the perforated cardboard, so I helped, but then she pried the door open to reveal… nothing. The chocolate was missing in action, and instead an empty little plastic slot grinned back at us. Needless to say, there were some tears. (And, that I might have laughed a little too much didn’t help.)