Evie and the Grand Conspiracy

The jig is up everybody. Evie knows. I mean she knows. She’s now a part of the Grand Conspiracy, if you catch my drift. Ah, that wonderful, magical moment as a child where you find out that everything your parents ever told you is a lie.

Being that Evie is a rather bright girl, I always thought she’d catch on a little sooner. But Evie’s kind of funny like that. She seems to want to hold on to her childhood with both hands, and goes out of her way to stay naive about things (I endorse this attitude wholeheartedly!). So I think she’s maybe had an inkling for a long time, but intentionally didn’t think about it. I mean, this is Evie here: this wasn’t exactly beyond her reasoning skills.

Now, this is kind of a strange time of year for this sort of revelation to come about. However, you’ll recall that Evie recently participated in a summer rendition of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. I think it’s somewhat impossible to get a bunch of first grade-age kids together and have them contemplate Santa without *someone* spilling the beans. From what Evie said, it sounds like one of the student teachers even confirmed it for them. EVEN STILL she held on to the magic for a couple more weeks, just as long as she could.

She has also been losing teeth like it’s going out of style, and we could tell she was testing us. We’d say something like, “Well, if your tooth falls out while you are at Grandma’s, the Tooth Fairy might not be able to find you,” and she’d give us this piercing, calculating look (all the better, we thought, when that dollar we slipped Grandma shows up under her pillow!).

Finally she broke down and asked us, and I have to say, it broke my heart to tell her. She’s just such an imaginative girl, and *so sure* that magic and fairies and Santa are a real thing that can really happen. How badly I want her to stay that way forever! I was just worried that this news would break her, and it’d be all cigarettes, haunted eyes, and jaded ennui from here on out.

She took the whole thing pretty well. For days, you could just see her little mind churning on the subject, walking through the implications. As each new aspect struck her, she kept coming back to us and asking for further clarifications. (“So you wrap all the presents?”,”So you eat the cookies and milk?”,”What about the Easter bunny?”, “That’s why you want us to go to sleep!”) She seemed to have a burning need to let everybody know that she was in on the secret.

She especially felt the burning need to let her little brother know the secret. We tried to explain to her about the Grand Conspiracy, and how most everyone in the country helps keep this secret from little kids (which is actually really weird when you think about it). We told her that she’s part of the Grand Conspiracy now, and it’s her duty to make sure that Ollie believes. It was touch and go for a bit (there was a lot of exaggerated, “I’m going to try to stay up to see the Tooth Fairy tonight, amiright Oliver???”), but she seems to have settled into it a little bit now.

She also seemed to think that, having been so initiated, she would immediately get to participate. (“Do I get to stay up and put the presents under the tree?”, “So, should I just give you the tooth and you give me the money?”, “Do I get to hide the eggs this year?”,”Do I get to eat the cookie this year?”) To each question we would reply, “Nothing changes. Everything stays the same.” That only seemed to sink in until the next question.

At least she has a good four months to come to grips with everything. I have a feeling she’ll eventually break and spill the beans to Ollie — I doubt little brothers ever make it quite so long as older sisters — but for now she seems to be feeling quite grown up about the whole thing, and enjoying being in the “know”.

Merry Christmas!

Santa 2013

Quote Monday supports coal

Evie: “I bet poor people who don’t have any houses try to be naughty all year so Santa will bring them coal for a fire.”

::watching a freight train go by::
Evie: “I bet all of this coal is on it’s way to Santa for all the naughty girls and boys.”

Me: “I’m wearing these pants because I’m saving my good jeans for court.” <– Something tells me I wasn’t the first person to speak these words

Me: “Tomorrow’s Christmas Eve. Do you know what happens on Christmas Eve?”
Ollie: “Hating the Whos?”

::Me, jumping out from under a bridge::
Me: “Who’s that clip-clopping on my bridge?”
Ollie: “Me!”
Me: “Now I’m going to eat you all up!”
Ollie: “No way, José!”

Quote Monday has an appetite

Sara: “What do you want for Christmas? You can ask Santa for anything you want.”
Ollie: “Cake.”

Sara: “What was the best part about going to the restaurant?”
Ollie: “Eating.”
Sara: “What was the best part about eating?”
Ollie: “The mustard.”

Sara: “[Nala] is like, I am old, I don’t care anymore. I am going to bite the people I don’t like, and steal the milk from the children.”

::Man panhandling with a McDonald’s cup::
Evie: “I guess that man didn’t even have enough money to buy cardboard to make a sign!”

A Very Red-Neck Christmas

In which we try to answer the age old question: does Santa’s neck mach his suit?

After purchasing our land, we apparently weren’t quite ready to return to the Big City, so we decided to stop and see Santa. At the Bass Pro Shop.

Now, you might be thinking that the Bass Pro Shop is a strange place to go see Santa. However, there were a few major advantages:

  1. Conveniently located off the highway (important when we usually have to go pretty far out of our way, a.k.a. the suburbs, to see him)
  2. Much smaller lines than we have experienced at various malls
  3. They give you a free picture (because they’re trying to draw you into their shop, making money on you in other ways than directly on Santa)
  4. Commercial Santas are WAY better than crazy-Frank dressing up in his homemade Santa suit (in other words, a big upgrade from what we saw last year)
  5. They had some awesome decorations

The combination of #4 and #5 really improves the quality of the pictures. Santa was very authentic. And even though you can’t see the animatronic elves in the picture, I never had an actual reindeer in the background before (you really can’t tell it is stuffed in the picture!).

The downside was that there were no less than three different types of shooting games for the kids to play while they were waiting for Santa. If you’re a hunter, I’m sure you’re bristling at me indicating that this is a problem. Let me remind you that shooting guns means something a little different in our neighborhood, and I’m not really ready to have that conversation with my 4 year old.

I definitely felt like we stood out like a family of sore thumbs there.

Sara: “Are these people in costume?”
Me: “Huh?”
Sara: “Do you think they wear this stuff every day, or did they put it on to come here?”

Methinks it was time for the City Mice to go back where they came from.

I would definitely go back there next year. Quick, hassle free, and the whole place is sort of amazing, even when you take Santa out of it. There’s a two story waterfall! Mounted wolves attacking a mounted moose! Camouflage pick-up trucks fake ramping off of fake rocks! Several tanks of live, large fish swimming around! I’m not sure that the kids found Santa to be more interesting than the rest of the place. I certainly didn’t.