We went to the members’ holiday party at the Museum of Civilization last Wednesday night. I don’t think we’ve been to it before and given that registration starts at 5:00 and required a great deal of rushing, I think I know why. I used to be more sensible when I was younger.
We ate our supper at the tables for the cafe. I was all puffy with pride at having found same-day produced cheese curd for Ken. I had purchased some lunchmeat, cheese bread and yogurt along with veggies and fruit. We all had lots to eat while a queue formed next to us for the 5:30 start of activities. There was a giant slab cake that Reid rejected and some cookies, of which she chose one. Reid had eyes only for the jewel-red “juice”, even when I pointed out the marshmallows for hot chocloate. She did choose a marshmallow for the side of her plate. Back at our table, Reid ate her marshmallow immediately and asked for another. I offered her the one from my hot chocolate and licked the hot chocolat off when she said she wanted it plain. I love her that much. Ken took Reid back to the drinks station and they came back with a cup of marshmallows. Reid had wanted to fill the cup but Ken had limited her to 3. Did you know that 5 regular marshmallows have only 110 calories? They’re very Weight Watchers friendly but very bad if you’re diabetic.
Reid told us that her favourite colour was now red, just like Daddy’s. She asked me what my favourite colour was and I said that I still liked yellow. Reid gave me a little smile, almost indulgently, and said that she had liked yellow when she was a junior but now that she is a senior, she likes red. Pity that Mama is so unsophisticated.
Santa was working the crowd, shaking hands and passing out candy canes. He was even offering to hold kids on his lap for pictures. Reid was keen to see Santa and liked speaking with him as well. She had no interest in sitting on his lap, though. I think I got a nice picture of Ken and Reid standing with Santa and that’s more than we’ve had so far.
After we finished our treats, we went into the Children’s Museum/Postal Museum where the activities were happening. The theatre had a sign indicating that a performance would start in only 10 minutes and so we played on the bus a bit before going in. A woman dressed as the Sugar Plum Fairy came onto the stage and invited the kids to sit close to her on the floor. I told Ken that maybe the performance would absolve me of mommy guilt over not arranging to take Reid to the Nutcracker. When the Sugar Plum Fairy opened her book and began reading the story of the Nutcracker, 3 lines at a time in French and then again in English, I started to worry. She was doing her best to involve the children, having them stand straight as the tin soliders, climb into the boxes and that sort of thing. If the reading had been in a single language, we might have stayed but since it wasn’t, I asked Reid if she wanted to leave and she nodded vigorously. As we left, a clear, little boy voice said, “This isn’t a performance. It is a story!” Ken and I agreed whole-heartedly.
We went next to the Canadian Postal Museum, which is also part of the Museum of Civilization, to write a letter to Santa that would be joined to all of the others to make the longest ever letter to Santa. I made sure that the return addresses would be hidden and we began the letter. Mostly, I wrote the letter. Reid doesn’t watch tv with commercials and had little idea what to request when I asked what she would like. She said she wanted a mailbox, since that is what Ken was helping her make while I wrote the letter. Reid agreed when I suggested that she would like some Clifford the Big Red Dog books and I got a distracted nod when I suggested that a toy or puzzle would be nice, too. By the time I was done the letter, Ken had assembled the mailbox and commented that Christmas had come early this year.
On our way to make a tall soldier’s hat – like a Nutcracker might wear – Reid stopped to play in the Egyptian pyramid and Ken tried to fit in it, too. I hadn’t realized how low the ceiling it but then Ken is a foot taller than me. Reid played in a desert-dweller’s tent and was joined by a very expressive elf. Reid ignored the elf for a bit and when she tried to play actively with Reid, Reid came hurrying toward me.
We made Reid’s hat with pieces of foam and those brass fasteners that held together paper files in offices long ago. Reid was happy to push the brass fasteners through the foam but wasn’t so keen to put them where I pointed. The hat is awfully cute but the fasteners aren’t evenly spaced. Take it up with Reid.
We met up with Ken near the boutique, which had a sale for members that he’d managed to resist, and then headed home. As we drove, Reid was talking about seeing Santa and then said, “Santa didn’t give me a present,” in a slightly confused tone. I reminded her that Santa had given her a candy cane. Reid nodded and agreed that he’d given her a little present. I reassured her that Santa would be bringing her a bigger present on Christmas morning. The thought made Reid smile, even though she hadn’t been able to think of anything she wanted other than that mailbox Ken had already given to her. The magic of a visit from Santa alone was enough for her.