Friday, November 16, 2012
Oh, To Live in Her Brain for a Day
I take Sylvia to the library's toddler bedtime story gathering on Tuesday nights. It's more fun than sitting at home and it's our special, weekly Mommy-Daughter time. Side note: libraries have come a long way since I was a kid. Our library has a giant room behind the children's books just for story time, and it has - get this - a HEATED FLOOR for the kiddos to sit on! Can you believe that?! All summer long, I thought it was so nice they handed out mats for the kids to sit on, but a heated FLOOR? Ms. Theresa said last week, "Is everyone comfortable? We turned the floor on tonight!" And all the parents looked at each other like, "Did I just hear her correctly? They turned the FLOOR on?" And she said, "Yes! We have a heated floor! Is it warm?" Now I've seen it all, folks. A heated floor for toddlers. What will they think of next?
Anyway, back to my original story. Two weeks ago there was a giant white mailbox perched atop a candy cane post, surrounded by greenery and Christmas. There was a sign that explained it was Santa's special mailbox and kids could send him letters. If the letters were sent by a certain Friday in December, and if the kid's name and address were on the letter somewhere....Santa would WRITE BACK! Now, I'm not really into the whole idea of photoshopping Santa into a picture of your living room to "prove" he was at your house. But writing him a letter and getting one back just sounds like good literacy skill-building, doesn't it?
So we talked about it on the way home. Mind you, Sylvia knows who Santa is, but she hasn't quite wrapped her brain about the whole idea of a man breaking into our house to give her presents. Also, she just recently accepted the concept of birthdays: the idea that everyone has one, and they go in a certain order. We had two toddler birthdays to attend in November, so we tried to explain that Daddy's birthday is coming up next, but Sylvia's birthday isn't for a long time. So she asks me every day if her birthday is "coming up" yet. Here's how our Santa discussion went:
Me: Sylvia, do you want to write Santa a letter?
Me: What do you want to tell him?
Sylvia: Ummmmm....I don't know!
Me: Should we tell him what you want for Christmas?
Me: What do you want for Christmas?
Sylvia: Mmmm...anything. (Which means nothing.)
Me: Nothing?! Do you know how Christmas works?
(I tried to explain that it's Jesus' birthday and Santa brings presents. I said the word "birthday," so this is how the rest of our conversation went.)
Me: Let's see. What does Mommy want for Christmas? I would really like....some new shoes!
Me: And maybe a pretty scarf?
Sylvia: Yea, a scarf!
Me: What do you want for Christmas, Sylvia?
Sylvia: Ummmm. Let's see. I waaaaaaant....A BIRTHDAY!
Me: A birthday? What do you mean?
Sylvia: Santa bring me a birthday.
Me: You mean you want Santa to bring you a birthday present?
Sylvia: Mmm hmm. A birthday.
She was very satisfied with her choice and I had a very hard time explaining the difference between a birthday and Christmas, because let's face it, it's the same thing, really. So last night, after she got in her jammies, I asked if she wanted to write her letter to Santa. Here's how that went:
Me: I wrote "Dear Santa" because that's how you start a letter.
Me: Now, what do you want to say to Santa?
Sylvia: HO HO HO!!!!
Me: Okay. "Ho ho ho." Now, tell him what you want for Christmas.
Sylvia: I want a birthday for Christmas!
I was surprised. I thought she would have forgotten about that, but she remembered that she wanted a birthday. So I wrote it down because it's pretty darn cute.
Me: What else?
Sylvia: a scarf
Me: Okay, what else?
Me: Is that all? Anything else? What do you really REALLY want?
Sylvia: AN ELEPHANT!!!
Me: Okay, but he probably can't bring you a real elephant. Maybe a toy elephant?
Me: Should we tell him what Margot wants?
Me: What does Margot want?
Sylvia: Ummmm.....let's see. Margot wants......TOYS!
Me: Okay! That sounds good. Now, when we end a letter we have to say thank you and write our name. What do we say? (I was hoping she'd repeat "Thank You" but she did me one better and shouted...)
So I wrote that down and thus was born the cutest Santa letter of all time...
Note that there is no mention of princesses anywhere in her entire letter - GRANDPARENTS. Buy her an elephant.