Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Trees and Flying Babies

A person would think that a child of eighteen months would begin to understand that a fall from great heights has the potential of pretty big ouchies. Perhaps when she reaches the mature age of nineteen months she will start to show a little more caution and reverence for things like chairs and big, tall beds.

About two weeks ago I was overcome by an attack of Christmas spirit. I decided it was high time our artificial tree made its appearance, even though I would have to put it up and direct toddler traffic in the general vicinity all by myself.

Last year the thing was put down in the basement instead of the attic, and the box has accumulated too much dust and web to be brought up into our living space. So there I was, getting some great aerobic exercise by hiking tree limbs up the stair and coming back down empty-handed to retrieve more, over and over, up and down, again and again.

I finally managed to bring up most of the pieces, and I started to “build” that tree. I don’t know how long it took me to fluff up all the branches. Nor do I know how many glaring scratches I received in the process. I do know that it took a little finagling, but I think the tree is positioned in a better spot than it was last year. The only problem is the loss of space in the corner. Lost or wasted space makes me sad.

We have a smallish house. When we bought this tree our budget dictated that we find it at a thrift store. We didn’t have a whole lot of options. We would have liked to get a slim tree (even though they aren’t fat and jolly like bigger trees), but we couldn’t find one. So we got this tree, which is in good shape but has a five-foot diameter.

When my husband brought the tree home last year it was quickly discovered that the fir was a bit too wide for our smallish house. After some finagling we removed select branches and stuffed it into the space between the end of our couch and the front windows. It was a little ridiculous, but it worked.

This year I choose to give the tree only three sides and thrust it in front of the windows. When the sky isn’t overcast and the sun shines through it kind of makes the tree look a little thin and haggard. However, the construction paper garland helps to fill it out a bit.

In order to place the tree in front of the windows, I needed to do a bit of reorganizing. The play kitchen set had to be moved to the dining room, which meant that the extra chair had to relinquish its spot and relocate to the kitchen.

And here we are back at my first point. A person would think that a toddler who has taken many a fall would stop climbing chairs! But it would seem that the chair that transferred to the kitchen is in a great spot for climbing in order to reach the light switch. Flipping switches is great fun. Lights go on. They go off. Great fun.

Not for the first time, the chair took a dive with the toddler atop yesterday. Toddler and chair took with them half a box of Clementines that were sitting peacefully on the table minding their own business. One of the fruits didn’t fair so well: it was squashed flat beneath the weight of the chair. Never before had I seen a citrus fruit in the shape of a pancake.

And then this morning, head groggy with the fog of just waking up, the little girl teetered on the edge of my three or four foot tall bed, instead of climbing down, and said “A-morning, Mommy,” twice or thrice over until I came to rescue her from her precarious position. When I glanced her there, wobbling to and fro in the dark of early morning, I had visions.

She spills so often due to her theatrics that I generally don’t get that sinking feeling in my stomach when I see her go over. But on the opposite side of “generally” is “sometimes.” Sometimes I still get that sinking feeling. Especially when she falls from a high place with her head leading the way to the floor.


Bethany Streng said...

your poor christmas tree. that's very sad. also, she is really a spider monkey. but maybe she'll join the circus as an acrobat and make alot of money and support her mommy and auntie b.

Rach said...

1) I am pretty sure I have another tree for you.

2) I love it- I can teach your little "spider monkey" (well said, Beth) gymnastics if you would like, perhaps distract her from objects like the Christmas tree, your bed, chairs, etc ; )

3) I would like to have tea and cucumber sandwiches with fruit again- When might you have time for the bear and I to have a journey over to your house? Or would you like to venture over here?