It is a cold, dreary morning. The cats are curled up and a stiff breeze is blowing outside. The world looks, for the most part, gray and brown, and there are signs that it might rain later. The most cheerful sight from outside that greets my eyes is our rosebush. The fairy lights we have on a sensor are on (it is that gloomy out there,) and there is one rose about to open. Yes, I know…I probably should have trimmed the rosebush weeks ago, but I saw buds and it felt wrong to have at it with clippers. And now we have roses…
J was up early this morning. Once more he went to the closet and took out the bandaids he needed. Once more I got up and checked on him, and he was glad to have help with what he was doing. I have a theory about his being up before six a.m. today: since he was lazy yesterday morning and all he got for breakfast was his yogurt, today he wanted to make sure he was up early and got eggs, ham and toast. My son, the strategist!
Today, whether he is in the mood for it, or not, we are walking to the mailbox. It is rent day, and we will bundle up, arm ourselves with an umbrella, and head to the office to drop off our checks. I will time this to not coincide with every dog’s walk around the neighborhood. My rant seems to have worked: I see dogs on leashes, AND people glaring at me, when I go outside. I can deal with the glaring as long as the dogs are as they should be.
With December finally here, we are breaking out the Christmas lights and other decor. Brian Setzer has given us the green light. That is: J has been listening to The Brian Setzer’s Orchestra Boogie Woogie Christmas since late last night. During dinner he wanted to watch some Frosty the Snowman sequel on Netflix (it was horrid…but he thought it was funny. No, we don’t know if he was being ironic…hard to tell with J.) If that isn’t an indication of Christmas-readiness, I don’t know what is…
J loves inventory time. He loves looking at all the lights, extension cords, garlands, bows, etc. He won’t put anything up TODAY, but he will make sure we have all we need. This takes some negotiation; J is of the opinion that there are never enough strings of lights, and I am of the opinion that less is more. If you could see his bedroom you would understand what I mean: fairy lights go around the perimeter of the ceiling and some trail down the wall to frame Marilyn Monroe, and his headboard has two different strings of battery-operated lights. If you add to that the lava lamp and the plasma globe I’d say he’s pretty much covered for lights. That will not stop him from trying to buy and install more. They soothe him, I think. If it’s soothing, I’ll say yes…but there has to be a limit to the amount of lights per square foot.
Since it’s getting dark earlier, dinner has been moved up to pretty much within an hour of Dada getting home. That leaves us with plenty of time to do other things. After dinner, J likes to hang out for a bit and we clean the kitchen and maybe watch a show on Hulu or Netflix. Yes, we watched Gilmore Girls. Yes, we were deflated by it. Yes, we all hate Rory Gilmore now, and think Emily is the only character who has actually evolved. We watched The Crown (John Lithgow needs every award they can give him for his Churchill portrayal, and I apologize for all the horrible things I predicted about Matt Smith as Prince Philip; Clare Foy is awesome…,) and The Musketeers (oh, Athos…what have they done to you, Athos? They need to apologize to Dumas…you were doing GREAT, and then you turned into someone’s teenage dream…ugh…) We have managed all 18 series of Midsomer Murders, have revisited Inspector George Gently, cried over Call the Midwife, loved Miranda, Derek, Detectorists, Vicious and The Mindy Project. We are watching Speechless (which manages to reflect some of our reality back at us, but we really don’t know why Minnie Driver always looks flawless, is well dressed and has such awesome hair, and how do they afford all those clothes…and where do they STORE THEM????)
After the post-dinner break, depending on J’s mood and willingness, we do a puzzle, a craft, or just hang out until he’s sick of us. Tonight, sick of us or not, we are working on his Christmas tree forest. Last year we added two trees, and this year we’re ambitiously aiming for three more. These are papier-mâché trees that we cover with scrapbook paper we have clipped into fringes, and we layer the different patterns until we get to the top. A lot of paper is involved. A lot of glue is involved. A shower is needed by the end, but J loves his trees, and criticizing our handiwork. It’s a win-win situation. We found some cardboard houses we can put together by folding, and we’re adding those to the forest. All those battery-operated strings of lights that he has asked for and that have yet to find a home will be used in this project. And it’s all going (wait for it!) inside his tent…yes…he has a tent next to the ball-pit. The tent is mainly for ME to sit in if he wants me in the room but not looking at him…it’s becoming the location for the forest.
With the First Day of Christmas less than two weeks away, we are in for a lot of fun after-dinner-break activities.
NOTE: If you are new to reading this blog, please, be advised that Twelve Days in this household is not following the traditional Twelve Days of Christmas calendar. We are fully aware (sticklers that we are about facts) that the First Day of Christmas is December 25th, but many years ago we decided to alleviate the horrible anxiety Christmas morning caused our beloved son by dispensing one gift a day for twelve days (starting on the 13th,) and leaving Christmas morning for more relaxed, less overwhelming explorations of the contents of Christmas stockings. That is: Christmas morning is for “stucking stoffers.” You read that right. Stucking. Stoffers. Yet another family tradition…this one dictated by a tired bilingual Autism mom who had not consumed enough caffeine to properly pronounce words in her second language. Consider yourself up-to-speed in a family quirk which is an offshoot of Autism. Autism: making life complicated today, tomorrow and always.
Well, after-breakfast break is over. We have a rent-check to deliver, a wreath to dig out, lights to count, ornaments to yea or nay, and an argument over how to load the dishwasher to get through before our workout and lunchtime. These things won’t get done without our willing/unwilling cooperation. I am sure we’re all ready for Buddy the Elf while doing dishes and folding laundry.
Let the “Season” begin…officially. Not that dragged-by-the-hair, forced-down-our-craws Christmas that assaults us whenever we step into a store, or brave turning on the computer or TV. (HOW many Black Fridays and Cyber-Mondays can one society have without becoming redundant????) We are ready for the Christmas with the unbelievable blooming of roses when it’s freezing outside. Yeah, that’s happening. How badass is that? December, I tell you, i something to behold!