Saturday, December 13, 2008

Day 23: Christmas Card

Prompt: I came across a soggy, lost Christmas card in the gutter. It had a picture on the front of a woman, a man, and two children. At the bottom was scrawled, "Love you guys! Matthew, Jill, Micah, and Alyse". I think I will write a story about this Christmas card...


My head was buried deep in my daughter's closet, as I kept flinging shoes over my shoulder. She stood behind me, whining as she held up her choice for family Christmas pictures: Dora the Explorer pajama pants, a green shirt with a popsicle on it, and pink galoshes trimmed with purple. I had chosen an off-white turtleneck and jeans, not a sparkle or cartoon character to be found. To her four year old mind, this was ridiculous picture attire. Now I just needed to find her plain white sneakers. I had a suspicion that she'd hidden them somewhere. Maybe under her tap shoes....

Down the hall, I could hear my husband coaxing, negotiating, and all-out bribing our two year old. She, also, was supposed to put on an off-white turtleneck and jeans. She, too, thought this was ridiculous, but that's because she thought that clothes, in general, were ridiculous. "Oh look! I have your pants on my head! Do your pants go on my head?" I heard my husband tease. "Nooooo" my daughter laughed. "Where do pants go?" asked my husband. "DRAWER!" she laughed back. "One point for Alyse." I thought.

Back to the matter at hand, I still couldn't find those white sneakers. Glancing at my watch, I realized that we were running dangerously close to being late. Getting up off the floor, my daughter looked at me triumphantly. "Fine." I huffed at her, "You'll go barefoot for the picture."

Down the hall, things had gone up a notch. "I'm going to count to three, and then you need to come and get your shirt on. Oooonnnne.... twoooooo...." followed by a "THUD" follwed by "NO THROWING BOOKS AT DADDY'S HEAD." Dragging Micah by the hand as she tromped along in her pink boots, I slipped my feet into my own sneakers and grabbed the keys on the counter. We were definitely going to be late.

Down the stairs came my husband with a half naked Alyse and her clothes over his arm. Red faced and tight lipped, he handed her to me, and walked away without saying a word. I sat down on a chair and started pulling clothes on her wiggling two year old body. "Mom, I'm thirsty." said Micah. Maybe if I don't acknowledge her comment, she won't be thirsty anymore. "Mom, I need a drink." she asked again. Holding Alyse practically upside down as I shoved her shoes and socks on her feet I said "Get something to drink, then." Grabbing the nearest brush, I started yanking through the tangles on Alyse's head. I was vaguely aware of a cup being gotten out of a drawer and the fridge door opening before a crash, followed by a wail. Whirling around, I see Micah standing in a pool of orange juice that is seeping rapidly toward every corner of my kitchen. So much for her off-white turtleneck. Throwing the whole drawer of dish towels at the sticky, oozing mess on the floor, I dash upstairs and grab a new shirt and pair of jeans for Micah, who is a wailing, soggy mess in the front entry.

By this point, my husband is in the car with the engine running. I hurry both girls, in various states of dress, out the door and into the car. We race to the elementary school where the professional photographer has set-up shop for an afternoon. The family with an appointment after ours is already sitting in the metal folding chairs, waiting. Mr. Photographer quickly arranges the four of us in front of a fake fireplace background when I realize, with horror, that not only is Micah still wearing pink galoshes, but Alyse's hair is only half combed. And I forgot to put on my own makeup. "Say CHEESE!" says the photographer when, just at that moment, my husband tenses noticeably and says under his breath, "I forgot to put a diaper on Alyse." My mind screams "WHAT?!" as the photographer says, "One more!" and I feel something warm and wet on my lap. Merry Christmas.

4 comments:

kori bates said...

OMGOSH!!!!! That was the funniest thing I have imagined in my head for a long time...between you and "The meanest mommy" I am going to pee my pants daily! Thanks.

ERIN said...

this stressed me out reading it!

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

a great laugh-out-loud holiday moment. :)

Becca said...

Ah, thanks Kori. Sorry to stress you out, Erin, but isn't it true?? I have to say that they card that I saw really did fit this description, pretty much. Everyone matching but one kid. The parents looking stressed behind their smile. The pee was my addition--a tribute to a time when one of my kids did that to my husband. Ha.