So I haven't written much on the blog this week mainly because we went to Vermont the first half of the week and during the later half, between work and kids and writing book reports for Children's Literature, I've been finishing up Halloween costumes.
My son told me after Halloween last year that next year he wanted to be Santa Claus. I thought he would change his mind a number of times over the coming twelve months but like our president he decided to stay the course. Turning a four-year old into Santa is actually pretty easy. I found a pair of red flannel pajamas and sewed fake fur in all the right spots and attached a black belt. I purchased a santa hat that turned out to be exactly the same shade of red as the pjs, cut out a fake fur beard and voila! he's santa. Then I doctored up a pair of green footy pajamas in order to make his younger brother look like an elf. The effect is more of a jester but at 18-months he's too young to know what's going on much less complain.
Of course making a Santa costume for Halloween does have its drawbacks, the most significant being that last week at the dinner table my son announced "it's almost Christmas" and I had to remind him it was still October.
I don't remember being particularly curious about Santa when I was a kid. He came, he brought presents, that's all I needed to know. When we got our wood stove I recall wondering how Santa would get down our chimney but the explanation "we'll leave the front door open for him," quickly sufficed.
I don't recall being inquisitive about much when I was a kid which makes me wonder all the more at how it is that I'm currently employed as a pseudo reporter, but I digress.
My son on the other hand has many questions about Santa. What's Santa's real name? Why do some people call him Saint Nicolas? What does Santa wear when he's not wearing his Santa suit? Where does Santa live? When can we visit him? What does Santa do during when it's not Christmas? Does Santa die? Is Santa a spirit?
I try to be straightforward with my answers to questions in general but of course you have to wing the whole Santa thing, there's no reference book that I know of. After a few rounds of Santa questions I'm about ready to just blurt out the truth and be done with it.
Last year after Christmas my son suggested we write Santa a thank you note. An excellent suggestion my well-trained little boy I cooed and got out some red paper. After we'd written thank you in large black ink and folded it into an envelope I mentioned something about the mailbox and he said that we didn't need to mail the thank you note we merely had to leave it by the fireplace, in the exact spot where we'd left the cookies only a few nights before. If Santa could come down the chimney to deliver presents, of course he would come back to collect his thank you note.
There are so many things kids, at least my kid, take for granted as absolute truths. Tonight after going to Spooky Songs and Stories at the Recreation Center he kept asking me about Dracula. This was the first he's ever heard of Dracula, and he wanted to know what Dracula was and do any live around here.
Even worse than Santa though is the Easter bunny. I mean at least Santa's a person - well maybe he's a spirit, the jury's still out on that - but a giant bunny who comes in the night to bring children (plastic) Easter eggs? What kind of wacky story is that? This year he wanted to know if it's a real bunny or someone dressed up like a bunny. Damned if I know.
And how about the tooth fairy? My son hasn't lost any teeth yet but he's already informed be that he doesn't want to leave his tooth under his pillow for the tooth fairy. Quarter or no quarter, he plans to keep his tooth. This comes as no surprise to me. How can a child who hovers over the potty waving goodbye to his solid waste be expected to willingly part with his tooth? I suspect thought that in another year, when he's actually old enough to lose a tooth, the idea of a monetary reward will loom a lot larger on his radar screen and he'll be more than happy to part with his tooth in order to collect a little loot.
song: Spooky • artist: Atlanta Rhythm Section