On the sixth day Saint Nicholas came to our house! Marshall awoke to find his list was gone and in it’s place was a brand new slider book. He must have been a very good boy this year as there was also a set of special elf issue pajamas and an invitation from the big guy himself to a special pajama party with Mrs. Claus and good ol’ Saint Nick.
Marshall was so excited to see his new presents on the shelf that he ran, with his mouth dropped down to his chest, and right as I was about to snap the picture- POW! He hit his forehead on the shelf above the presents, and that was the picture I was left with. So funny (because he wasn’t injured) and so Marshall, he has every ounce, or lack thereof, of grace that his mother has. He quickly got back up and went straight for the book and plopped right down to start ‘reading’. He really loved the book and I’m hoping the alphabet/ animal connection can help with his communication skills.
|Saint Nicholas Day goodies ’13
Invitation, pajamas, Slider Book
|Marshall’s invitation from St. Nick.
Why, yes, that is red glitter pen and yes the name of the elf
is from ‘Lord of the Rings’ (Shhh, don’t tell Brad)
|Tried to get a picture of his excitement but
instead got a picture of his ‘ouchie’ moment
|Excited about his goodies|
|My little bookworm|
The day flew by and next thing we know it is time to put on Marshall’s special elf pajamas and get ready to venture over to Zona Rosa’s sixth annual pj party with the Clauses. It’s a free event and Zona and their sponsors’ go all out. They had Donny DooDad perform some children’s songs that they all got up to dance to, Mrs. Claus put on a story time and involved the kids on helping build the visuals, Santa read a book, and finally Mrs. Claus handed out books to each child. All the while chocolate milk, cookies, and ice cream were provided to the kids free of charge.
Marshall absolutely loved it, he danced hand in hand with other children and was pretending to me Mrs. Claus’ helper at some points during her story of ‘The Ugly Christmas Tree’ (it was a story about being beautiful just the way you are).
|All ready for his special pajama party|
|right: Marshall sitting on the floor, excited by Mrs. Clause
top left: Mrs. Claus & Santa greeting children
bottom left: Marshall acting as Mrs. Claus’ helper
|Mrs. Claus giving Marshall his newest book|
|Book from Mrs. Claus, it’s a scrapbook made
from Mrs. Claus about their lives at the north pole
I had to take Marshall by myself as Brad had to work overtime for Christmas on the River. I have gotten much better at the whole solo-outings with Marshall since last year, but the set up at the pajama party brought up some new issues. See, in the middle of the room was all the children and the Clauses with the parents around the outer lines of the circle. Five foot three me did my best walking around the outer rim- on my tip toes as best as my feet would allow, to try to keep an eye on my energetic toddler. Marsh is in the 85th percentile for height in his age group but he was definitely on the younger side of the kids there and this place was so packed that you could barely move. It was at this point that I had that awful moment every parent experiences- Marshall was dancing and all the sudden he just ran into the crowd of adults on the other side of the circle.
My heart dropped as soon as I lost sight of him and I tried my best to get across the room, struggling against the crowd. I cannot accurately describe the horrible, sickening feeling that comes over you when you discover you cannot find your child in a sea of people and several exits letting out to parking lots and a street. Marshall is a kid that there is just something about him that draws people. It is pretty typical for people to ask us if they can take his picture (and many who just snap a picture without asking), people always commenting on how beautiful he is- even teenage boys who usually don’t notice little ones. We’ve had creepy run ins with some shady folks before but Brad was there and I had a firm grasp on my son’s hand. All these things go through your head; praying a predator didn’t see the ads for this event, praying that I won’t lose another one of my babies this year, etc. I immediately found a security guard and told him I couldn’t find my son and needed help. Luckily, Marshall’s specialness came to our advantage. Remember when I said many people take his picture? Well, when we were in line for the chocolate milk and cookies a security guard was just smitten with Mads and asked if he could take his picture. Because the one guard already had his picture, we were able to find him after an excruciatingly long four minutes. Four minutes that felt like an eternity. I ended up finding him about sixty feet away, through the crowd, in the toddler play place. He was happily playing with kids in the open indoor playground. I was so happy to have him and kept a firm grasp on his hand, not allowing him to go back into the fray of kids. This caused some tears on Marshall’s part but there was no way I was going to take a chance again.
After the pajama party we headed home to quickly put warmer clothes on over Mads’ pajamas and we headed down to Christmas on the River. Brad’s Captain told me to go ahead and park in the VIP section so I wouldn’t have to walk down to the event, I was very thankful that he had me do this. We parked and immediately Brad came on over to escort us to the Children’s tent to warm up. In the tent there were several different crafts, more cookies, and cocoa. Marshall’s little hands were so cold that he didn’t even want a cookie, but when he was offered to make an ornament he jumped at the opportunity with some help from dad. The ornament was so cool, it was a simple clear ornament that Marshall painted from the inside with paint in squirt bottles. It was simple and mess free- love it!
|Marshall and dad making an ornament|
|Finished product of the ornament|
While I was handing bottles to Brad to help Marshall, Brad was approached twice. One was a lovely woman who offered him hot apple cider to warm up since she knew he was spending hours in the cold on bike patrol. The second was another woman, one that works on the council, and she wanted to thank Brad for his wonderful service and everything he has done. It warmed my heart to see how great the community treats my husband. Now, this is far from normal- especially if Brad has them on a stop, but it was nice to be there to see and for Marshall to see. I really hope Mads grows up knowing how wonderful and selfless his father is and what a difference he makes in strangers’ lives.
On our way out of the tent we were given this cute bag of ‘Magic Reindeer Food’. It was the cutest simplest little idea and I’ve never heard of this tradition before; I’m looking forward to having Marshall spread the food out on Christmas Eve. It looks like it is about 3/4 oatmeal and 1/4 glitter/ mini sequins.
|Reindeer Food from the festival|
After we left the tent Brad had to return to his duties so Marshall and I were back to being on our own. We rode a small train while another small boy sang Marshall his ‘special train song’, Marshall wasn’t very amused as it was nineteen degrees and Marshall is NOT a cold weather baby so he wasn’t loving being outside the warmth of the tent. But he insisted on riding the train.
|So excited about the train- can’t you tell?|
After the train, we went to take a ride around the park on the tractor pull hayride. Marshall’s hands weren’t warm enough so I had to give up my gloves, he wasn’t sure about having to wear moms gloves too but when I went to take them off he changed his mind and wanted them left on.
|The tractor hayride
This should be our Christmas cards, don’t you think?
Then it came time to start lighting the Chinese lanterns. Chinese lanterns are illegal almost everywhere else in the surrounding counties and cities but because of our proximity to the river we are one of the few towns allowed to continue. We decided to dedicate a lantern to baby Shay and watched it float away into the sky. It was a very nice, serene, but sad moment.
I was going to wait for the firework show to start but Marshall was getting tired and just wanted to be carried, which is getting more and more difficult the bigger he gets, so we decided to call it a day and head home.
Once home, I gave Marshall the milk and cookie I saved for him from the pj party and he enjoyed the treat under the Christmas tree and we read the new book. It wasn’t long before the little elf passed out after having quite the adventurous day.
|And to all a good night.|
The sixth day, Saint Nicholas Day, was a day of fun highs and terrifying lows. Marshall learned that his excitement can sometimes get him in trouble, be it a bonk on the head from a shelf or being lost and in trouble with mom. I learned why the parents, that so many judge, that have their kids on backpack leashes do so- maybe next year I can fashion one out of garland and say he’s not a kid, he’s a reindeer? Kidding . . . maybe. All around, it was a day of magic and mischief and I wouldn’t have traded it for anything. Happy Saint Nicholas Day everyone, may you all have a restful evening and wonderful weekend!