The holidays are upon us. Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza, etc. In 6 short weeks all these holidays (and more) will have occurred. I love, no, I LUUURRRRVVVV the holidays. Decorating, cooking, baking, holiday music, CRAFTS, everything. I love it.
But at the same time I dread the approach, the time, like now, when you start to think about all you have to do, buy, clean, bake, cook, craft, etc. When you think about all you want to do, it can weigh down on you, make you lose sight of the here and now. Luckily, we have a 16 month old.
This past week I have had a constant and steady reminder of the “here and now.” Stella. For months Jacob and I had been planning that one of our gifts to Stella for Christmas would be play-set, a mini slide and climber that we could set up indoors for winter time and move outside in the Spring.
I had this vision of having it all set up Christmas Eve night and how she would react Christmas morning. But then Stella reminded me of the “here and now.”
You see, if you have a kid or kids, they fall into either one of two possible categories. They are either a “climber” or “not a climber.” If you are a parent you are shaking your head in agreement right now and possibly shuddering if you yourself have a climber. Stella, of course, is a climber.
I remember hearing that the first child is always timid, gentle, listens well, and less adventurous than subsequent children because they don’t have an older sibling to show them all the trouble they can get into. Yeah. We didn’t get that. Stells it seems is on a constant bender of ‘what-can-I-touch-lick-climb-run-jump-break-etc.’ And climbing, the CLIMBING has reached epic proportions. Just this past week she has scaled to the top of the couch, the coffee table, and an antique ceramic-top table that I caught her standing on and attempting to step from that table onto the couch.
This past Sunday at church, there was a 3-step step-stool open in the kitchen. In the time it took me to open an oven door, rotate two pans of muffins, and turn back to look at her, Stella had reached the top step and was standing on top, arms over her head shouting “Ta-Daa!” O.M.G.
I decided then that my priorities, my wants, and my madcap planning and worrying about getting ready for the holidays were not as important as my child needing a safe outlet for her climbing energies. Christmas needed to come early for Stella. And frankly, I wanted it to come early for me as well.
And so I went on Craigslist and started looking for a play-set for my little baby daredevil. We found one for $25 and the lady was willing to meet us that day. (TANGENT: OMG this lady agreed to meet us, then informed me it would just be her at home alone and told me to just come there. HELLO? Craigslist is great but we never meet people at our house if we sell stuff, and I never buy or sell anything without Jacob being with me.)
And so for $25 and a late night cleaning session to get it all cleaned up and looking brand new, Christmas came early for Stella this week. We’re pretty sure we blew her little mind when she came downstairs to see her very own “playground” in the living room. She has spent every single minute she could on it so far today. All her stuffed animals have been pushed down the slide as well and right now she is sound asleep, passed out from exhaustion. As she was babbling to herself in her crib before she fell asleep I could make out her saying “SLIDE!” and shouting “Yay!” and clapping her hands. Re-living her day of pure joy as she fell asleep.
Christmas came early for Stells because it needed to. And it reminded me of all the joy that is to come this holiday season. Not all the cooking and cleaning and other stuff I can let weigh me down. I kind of like this idea, maybe each year one person in our family will have “Christmas come early” and the rest of the family will take part in planning what and how it should happen. More joy. More sappy. Sounds perfect.
Check out below for some pictures and videos of our baby climber.