the grinch is at our house this holiday season. there are no presents under the tree and the chocolates have been removed uneaten from the advent calendar.
while we are trying to have lots of fun with zelda and do all the holiday things we like to do like baking cookies, visiting santa, looking at christmas lights, etc. to be perfectly honest, it’s tough. zelda is smart, headstrong and testing her boundaries big time. defiance with a smirk (i read that in a parenting advice article) seems like an appropriate description. in response we’ve started to put christmas in time out. and to keep the honesty rolling, it really hasn’t worked.
as her parents we are not the only ones having this experience with zelda. by all reports she is testing her boundaries at school too. people say watch out for the terrible twos, but at two zelda was very sweet. she still is, she’s just sprinkled a whole lot of spicy into the mix now.
we go day to day and try our best with some successes and some failures. we are exhausted, but on we go trying to have fun and enjoy each day. as parents all we want for christmas is some calm, quiet and cooperation. we are hoping santa can deliver it and the purple tutu zelda asked for.
we diverted a bit this year from our tradition of getting a big live tree on the day after thanksgiving. like last year, travel kept us away on the day after thanksgiving and when we were finally ready to get a tree this year papa wasn’t feeling well so we improvised. i think like last year the small tree is a great success with zelda at this age. she can see everything on it and its very accessible to her. we used shatter proof ornaments and our favorite keepsakes to decorate the tree. we also hung some real garland at the entrance to the living room for that fresh pine smell.
ornaments from our trip last year to nyc
a memento from our xmas trip last year to new orleans
an ornament surprise i got for zach, which unfortunately is now a bittersweet keepsake
we also put a second tree up in the dining room since we had two from an outdoor decorating kit i bought earlier in the season. they work perfectly. we also made a holiday card holder from a currently unused bike tire and a string of lights. we’ve hung it low so zelda take look at the cards. zelda is excited about christmas and is very curious what is in the packages with her name on them. since she can read her name, we purposely omitted it from the gift bags with her gifts in them so she wouldn’t be too tempted to pull out the tissue paper. we think that she’ll be able to resist the wrapped packages until she has permission to open them, or at least we hope so.
usually zach takes a lot of pictures when we go on a trip. after running through the photos from our camera it looks like he may have been on vacation this time too. here’s a smattering of photos from our time in denver.
mama and papa take a trip or two around the ice rink
ducks not turkey for our thanksgiving
she was a natural on the ice
gma kitty and zelda enjoying the mild temps on thanksgiving day
uncle austin escorts gma kitty around the rink
hot dish! pre-dinner hubbub
zelda demonstrating how to make poticia for gma kitty
fun in the dark with friends
our thanksgiving table
today we take action. if you are in anchorage and wish to join us, please do. you’ll find us here.
photo by our friend at the rally
some thoughts about taking a 3 year old to a rally. first, i am really glad we brought the carrier even though zelda was very heavy to carry. we walked a long way, crossing a lot of streets and there was a very small counter protest. i’m happy she was up and safe. second, it was good to see zelda watching and taking everything in. she saw people she knew and trusted alongside mom and dad, which i think is important because we told her that people at the rally wanted to make sure everyone was safe and had love and respect.
probably the two most poignant take aways were these: rallies and protests have chants and 3 year old’s mimic. it broke my heart to hear zelda say “hands up don’t shoot” along with the crowd. and when the rally deals with race and 3 year olds just don’t get the concept it’s made me vigilant to keep race talk away from her or minimized. i don’t want her to be hypersensitive to race at an early age. the time will come, but for now that doesn’t need to be on her radar.
would i take her again? yes, definitely. i think it’s important for all families, especially families raising black children, to be involved in these rallies. we are working to secure immediate and future safety and equality. to do so means showing up, letting others see who is effected and that these kids will be teenagers and adults in no time. i really would have liked to see more black families at the rally, but who knows the circumstances keeping them away. i don’t judge. it’s just an observation. our family will continue to show up and make ourselves seen and heard. zelda’s future depends on it.
two more photos from the news:
from ktva channel 11 news
from alaska dispatch news