Sunday, December 10, 2023

Christmas emotions

Phoebe brought me a granola bar just now and said, "Need help. Need help ope-mmm bar. Me have. Need help ope-mmm bar me have. Please." And I have to admit that her grammar is, like, way off, but that was a pretty big idea she put together!


It rained most of the day, which was unfortunate because I was hoping to do some work on the clubhouse today. We'll have to pick a day next week to get things done (because it's supposed to rain next weekend as well). 

Andrew drove the girls downtown to take the ACT this morning. Why? Because this is a testing year for Miriam, so she has to take a test anyway. And Rachel wanted to take the ACT again in the spring or early summer. But then the ACT company (or whatever) sent me an email offering a Buy-One-Get-One deal and sucked in. If they take the test in December then they'll get a free retake test in the spring or summer. So I figured why not?

So those three were gone for the entire morning into the afternoon, and then Andrew took the girls to the church for the ward party. The young women were put in charge of helping the children in attendance decorate cookies. The young women in the ward girls (and a couple of other girls) they went. But COVID numbers aren't great right now and the planned activities for the party were (1) eating dinner and (2) eating cookies. And I just don't see how our ward is incapable of understanding that we're not open to activities that require mask removal. I mean, we've made big strides the past few months, but we're not going to attend a party where the activities all require mask removal. 

Rachel and Miriam took dinner and ate outside. 

Anyway, we decided the rest of us didn't need to go. So, we stayed home. 

While Andrew was driving the girls, I took the rest of the kids on a walk. Phoebe insisted on walking the entire way (about a mile) and she was pretty fast for the first little while. We didn't see a single car until we got to the main road, but then there's a sidewalk so traffic doesn't matter quite so much. When we turned off the main road—and gave up our sidewalk—however, there was quite a bit of traffic into and out of our neighbourhood. 

Every time a car passed by, Phoebe would said, "Oh, no! Tar tomin'! Sit down and wait, wait, wait!"

Then she'd hurry to sit on the curb and wouldn't stand up until it had passed by. I'm not sure where she got the idea to sit on the curb to wait while cars pass by, but it's not a terrible idea. I mean, sure, it makes her lower to the ground (and thus less visible to vehicles), but if she's 100% committed to the idea of staying still and out of the road until the car passes...that' got to be a good thing, right?

Here's a little series of pictures of the kids that I took because Benjamin and Zoë were making fun of Alexander for wearing all blue. He was offended because under his coat he had on a shirt that was grey with a red fire engine on it—so clearly he was not wearing all blue. Their teasing continued so I pointed out that under Benjamin's orange jacket and Zoë's white jacket they both were dressed all in blue. This was a funny thing for them to all realize, so they wanted a picture of the three of them and Phoebe hopped in as well because she is beginning to really appreciate the art of photography and loves to pose for the camera.

Phoebe happens to be wearing a pair of 9M pants (I'm not sure what kind of monster 9-month-old those pants fit because she seems to be wearing them just fine) and a Grogu sweatshirt. I do not think she has anything on under the Grogu sweatshirt because she can be particular about things like that. She is also holding yet another granola bar (that she wasn't supposed to have but which she clearly coerced someone into opening for her).

When she saw our neighbours had put up a Grogu inflatable, she ran up their driveway to give him a hug. At dinner she announced that her favourite part of the day was "Hud Drodu!"


We had dinner soon after Phoebe and I made it home. We saw Daddy turn the corner onto our street before we'd even left the sidewalk. And then I sent the kids running home because they were rather impatient with Phoebe's speed (or lack thereof) and curiosity about every leaf, rock, and puddle on the ground. 

So Daddy and the bigger kids pulled out leftovers and we had dinner.

And then we settled in to watch Rudolph together (much to Phoebe's disappointment—she thought we should have gone to Grandpa's house to watch it).

It looks like I just copied and pasted my kids onto the couch here—CTRL+C, CTRL+V, CTRL+V, CTRL+V:

Phoebe started out snuggling with Daddy, but he soon (and well-deservedly) fell asleep and was therefore unable to give her the support she needed to watch a movie of this emotional calibre.

There is a part where all of the other reindeer are laughing and calling names and just in general being unwilling to let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games, which is just mean, mean, mean! And then Clarice begins her heart-rending song 'There's Always Tomorrow,' which tugged on Phoebe's heartstrings a little too hard.

She climbed down from Andrew's sleepy-embrace and ran over to me sobbing, tears streaming down her cheeks. She cried and cried all through the song. She was just so upset about the "mean, mean, mean" that went down on the reindeer field that day, and was absolutely emotionally eviscerated by Clarice's song of endearing encouragement. She was undone. She simply could not even. 

It was so sweet.


Speaking of which, we've been doing our nightly devotionals to get us in the Christmas spirit, which includes a message, a scripture, and song. You can check out here, if you'd like; pay no mind to my typos. When you copy scriptures from the church website, it takes all the footnote markings inline with the verse and you have to manually remove them all. I went through and...removed a lot. But I was in a bit of a time crunch when I was finishing up this project and I did not catch them all so a few remain. 

I actually find it a little humorous when the footnotes transfer with the verse because I like to read it as if they're really part of the words. One typo I just saw was that I put the reference as John 14:16 when it should have been John 14:6, but the scripture pasted as:
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the away, the btruth, and the life: no man ccometh unto the Father, but by me.

I caught the btruth right away. But I missed the a before way and the extra c before cometh. It should really read:

6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 

But my kids have inherited my humour (or perhaps their humour is more due to nurture than nature, in which case I have dutifully taught my children to appreciate the same things I find funny) and like to read it phonetically with the extra letters in. It really can get kind of funny when new words are in the case of "away."

Anyway, on December 7 we sang In the Bleak Midwinter, a beautiful poem by Christina Rossetti set to music by Gustav Holst. I grabbed the sheet music from the Open Hymnal Project and was a little annoyed that they messed up the last line of the song (which I didn't notice when I put things together because of the time crunch, as I mentioned). Instead of saying "yet what I can I give him" they just have it as "yet what can I give him." But that's fine because I think the Open Hymnal Project is pretty cool and they supplied so much of the sheet music for my own project. 

I remember being frustrated by the syntax of that last line, I think because I was singing the song with a choir and we were breaking at a weird point in the sentence: " yet what I / can I give him..." And it just felt so off to me. What does that even mean "What I? Can I?" It sounded like an incohesive sentence Phoebe might put together.

My mom explained to me that it should be "yet [what I can] I give him" and what we can give is our heart. I think it still took a little while for this sentence to make sense in my mind, but soon the idea of giving [what I can = my heart] really sunk in for me and I have come to love this poem. So of course I chose to include it in our devotionals.

After we sang it, Benjamin crawled over to me, sighed heavily, and croaked out, "Now I know of two songs that make me cry!"

I can't remember what the other song is off the top of my head. Maybe A Child's Prayer (since Benjamin often asks to sing that). I'm not sure.Whatever the case, he was very touched by In the Bleak Midwinter, which I can't blame him for. It's a moving song.


After the movie Andrew left to pick up Rachel and Miriam and I started ushering the kids through some nighttime routines (tidying bedrooms, putting on jammies, things of that nature). I sent Phoebe upstairs to pick out some pyjamas and she happily climbed up the stairs to do so. 

When she took off her pants, however, she discovered that she had scraped her knee one of the (several) times she tripped and fell while out on our walk.

She started wailing. 


And she just kept going. It was like she had lost her little mind. She had been injured (three hours previously) and no one had the decency to help! I mean, technically we were all trying to help her at this point, but she was out of control.

"Phoebe, Phoebe, Phoebe! Look at me!" I told her. "Stop looking at your knee. Look at Momma. Breathe. It's old blood. We can put a bandaid on it, but you're really, truly just fine. You got hurt hours ago and didn't even notice. You didn't even cry when you fell down and you did not know you were hurt before you saw your owie. You're going to be just fine."

It was all very theatrical, but we got a bandaid on her wound and eventually got that little person and her big emotions tucked into bed. Thank goodness!

No comments:

Post a Comment