Monday, December 10, 2012

'Twas A Few Weeks Before Christmas...

... and alone in the house, I was playing with my kid's toys and my nativity figures and taking pictures of it all because that's how I roll.

Where's Joseph? In the doghouse again?
The nativity figures are from Mexico. My parents bought them on a getaway, presumably a getaway from me because I was a baby. On this trip, they went off and made my brother. That would have made me about 9 months old at the time. It's my earliest memory, looking up from my bassinet at an unfamiliar ceiling. Someone was there who I knew and liked, probably my Aunt Sis, or someone in her house because that's where I was left, I'm told.

Swaddling clothes leave you with no options.
She was leaning over me and talking to me and I was just lying there, not at all cool with the situation but there was fuck-all I could do about it because I was a baby and there's not much babies can do when they're lying there and their parents are gone and there's a perfectly nice person cooing over you but it's not the person you want. Nothing personal to Aunt Sis. I was a baby and not capable of especially complex reasoning. I had things in my head but couldn't say them. Probably I cried because that's how babies roll.

Most of my 20s and a good deal of my 30s are completely gone, but I remember that.

"Don't bother, Joseph. They're still not talking to you."
I'm not sure if the nativity set was bought for me, or I just appropriated it and at some point it was understood to be mine. I loved setting it out. I was very reverent about the whole thing at first, filled with the sense children have that being religious is somehow Good. I didn't attempt to be religious much throughout the rest of the year, but when Santa is especially watching you, it can't hurt to be extra careful.

"Hey guys, check it out! It's Captain America!"
My mom, though encouraging of creativity in the general sense, also likes things to be done right.

"Hey, everyone! Great to be back!"
So at some point I started moving the nativity figures into more irreverent poses.

"So, catch me up. What have I missed?"
The cow is licking baby Jesus. That wise man got mad at the others so he's going home. Joseph and the angel are telling secrets. Jesus was naughty so he had to go over there. It drove my mom crazy at first, when I messed up the nativity scene.

Baby Jesus wouldn't sop crying, so Captain America let him play with his shield. Turned out he'd just done a poo, and no one could decide whose turn it was to clean him up.
But after enough years of it, well into my teens, she started liking it.

Everyone was surprised how far a baby could throw a shield.
She always put them back right, though.

They all had a good laugh.
My brothers and I can be complete dicks, as far as my mom's attention to detail. Sometimes we turn a picture slightly crooked and snicker into our breakfasts while we watch how long it takes her notice. If we can find some dust, we write swear words in it and wait for the sun to hit it just right.

"Hey look, everyone! It's Loki!"
I had this boyfriend in college who, unbeknownst to all of us, started turning the head of the rabbit cookie jar backwards every time he came over. It drove my poor mom batshit and took us all a couple of years to figure out who was doing it.

"Ho ho ho!"
Whatever ways LE comes up with to fuck with me when he's older are well-deserved. He's not very subtle now. Lately, his thing is hiding when it's time to leave or when it's time to go to sleep, saying, "Mama, where am I?" He's not that hard to find. He's still young enough that the point of hiding is to be found.

"And what do you want for Christmas, little boy?"
Captain America has a very tiny gun. We bought him last week with the money LE has saved up from a couple of Bayrams and lost teeth. I warned LE the tiny gun was likely to be lost within a few hours and he might as well get used to the idea.

"Mary, shall we get our picture taken with Santa?"
He's fanatic about keeping track of the tiny gun, to the point where he won't sleep with Captain America even though he wants to, or let Captain America become separated from his gun, even for a short time. He won't play with Captain America's other accessories because that would mean Captain America couldn't have the gun.

"I'm still not talking to you."
I hope it's inadvertent I've passed this insane obsessiveness about tiny things onto my kid.

Or maybe deep down I'm just fucking with him to make him smarter.

"I'll take a picture with you, Joseph."
Captain America still has the tiny gun. In his effort to keep an eye on the gun, LE hardly plays with Loki at all.

"I've been very naughty."
But that's always the way when you have two similar toys, isn't it? You always love one more than the other, but secretly, because you don't want the less loved one to find out.

Everyone wanted a go on Santa's lap.

When I was a kid, for awhile I slept with like ten stuffed animals. It was because I didn't want the other nine of them to find out I secretly loved this mousy pink one the best.

It all got a bit silly.
My brother had a stuffed dog and a stuffed baby seal. In our teens, he confessed he'd always loved the dog the best, even though the baby seal was way cuter and the dog's tongue had fallen out.

"Moo? Baa? I honestly don't know if I'm a cow or a sheep."
Sometimes I think this is why I never had a second kid. I'm afraid I could never love it as much as I love LE.

Mike Bebek is here!
I'd manage to hide it, of course, but I'd always know I loved LE more and feel guilty about it.

Abi, yaa. My clothes are lost. Keep an eye on that tiny gun of yours.
I wouldn't want another layer of guilt clouding my loving LE.

Telling stories into the dark night. The angel might have a thing for Loki. Loki let Baby Jesus play with his staff, and it ended up being a good night, all in all.
Mother guilt easily extends into the imaginary.


Mel said...

Well, I don't blame Mary for being a bit miffed. First, Joseph made her go all the way to Bethlehem right before her due date. Then, due to his bad planning, they didn't even have a hotel reservation, or know where the hospital was, so she had to give birth in a Stable. And to top it all off, she had to go through all the pain of labor WITHOUT even getting to have the fun of making the baby with him. At a couple weeks before my due date myself, I feel her pain.

Stranger said...

Oof. Good luck, Mel! You're looking at a Christmas baby, aren't you?