My mother was over from Melbourne last week and she was determined to shake me out of my grinchy ways, so she bought me a new Christmas tree! We were at the store when she started fawning over Christmas decorations. I replied with a grumble.
"That is it!" she snapped. "I have had enough of your grinching! White or silver?"
"Huh?" I replied.
"White or silver?" she repeated.
"Um silver?" I responded.
Next thing I knew we were back at home and putting up my new silver tree. It was beautiful. I smiled at it. I could feel some of the bad Christmas-Ju Ju melting away. Next it was time for the decorations to be applied. Whilst at the store my mother had ordered me to choose some decorations. My eyes were caught by a box of beautiful baubles. Blues, greens and sparkly options of the two. I was happy with my choice. We applied the baubles and stood back and marvelled at our fantastic tree. If Tinkerbell had a Christmas tree, it would look like this!
Then my almost-two-year-old son woke from his nap. I don't know why I hadn't thought about it. You see, Donnie is obsessed with balls. OBSESSED. He wants nothing more in his life than balls of all shapes and sizes. I actually considered getting him a giant box of ping-pong balls for Christmas because it would quite honestly blow his little mind! As soon as Donnie was up and out of bed he stood transfixed by the new sparkly feature piece in our living room. His eyes were wide. He raised one chubby little finger and muttered in a crazed daze "BALL!"
I tried to catch him, but he was quick. His little feet padded in a fury towards my new sparkly tree! Next second, the tree was down and Donnie was revelling amongst the tinsel trying to remove as many "BALLS" as possible. Don't worry, he was fine. The tree on the other hand was not so fine. If you thought that plastic baubles do not shatter, you are mistaken. They do. Terribly so. My mother looked at me in a
"Now I kinda get why you didn't want a tree" way.
We persevered. We put the tree back up and re-baubled. We tied said tree to the ceiling to prevent it from falling down. Donnie was not pleased with this. He now saw 'tree tossing' as a new sport. He tried his best to rip the tree from the ceiling, to no avail. The baubles on the other hand were not as sturdy. If they were not smashed into pieces on contact, the boys would play catch with them willing them to break. No amount of 'Mum Voice' could stop them. My mother (known as Mooni-mar (don't ask!)) moved all baubles to higher safer ground up the tree. It was no use. Donnie got a chair. He is a determined little sausage, I'll give him that! But after Donnie managed to scale the tree and get a smaller bauble in his mouth, I had to call it. "Thats it! It's going back in the box!"
"No! Mum no!" called my almost-five-year-old son Cohen, convinced that Santa wouldn't come if we didn't have a tree.
"Ball" said Donnie.
So now my pretty, sparkly tree is in a box taking up space in my hallway. Merry bloody Christmas.