Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Oh Tannenbomb

I'm not really sure what I did to sour the eggnog of the holiday gods, but I can tell you that thus far, putting up a Christmas tree has been an exercise in failed patience, shards of glass and the miraculous inner GPS of a blind, geriatric cocker spaniel.

It started when I went to set up a fake, pre-lit tree I bought eight years ago and used once. I located the box, but something had... eaten it? Or at least chewed through some important looking wires. There was also a funky smell. So, in the trash it went, and we headed out as a family last Sunday to go find a real tree in the wilds of Home Depot. For the record, their trees are perfectly serviceable and reasonably priced, but you're gonna have to dodge some pretty relentlessly cheerful employees who will try to physically steer you and your children towards the Santa they've hired for the day, regardless of whether one of those kids starts losing his shit when he gets to the ten foot radius. Full on, drop to the fetal position on the floor wailing that he does not want to go near the man because he is "grouchy."  For the record, Rowan was also a little suspicious.  Good times.

We finally get the tree home and set up and it's fine. It's a cute tree. It's a little taller than I am, but not much. We didn't want to go crazy. Also, I had no idea where I packed our ornaments. After rooting through the garage, I find a couple of boxes that have ornament-like contents, so I start unloading them to put on the tree. It's only after Rowan has smashed through about five of them that I realize: ah yes, this is the box of ornaments that I packed FOR NOT USING UNTIL THE CHILDREN ARE TWENTY. Christ.
So, back to rooting through the garage and AHA! ornaments found! Yay, that only took an hour of my life. Fully armed,  Hopper and I start loading up the tree with bits and baubles. Here he is being helpful as a little elf who is totally trying to make Santa forget that little incident earlier when he was screaming, NO TOUCHING THE RED MAN, NOOOOOOOO TOUCHING, STAAAAAAAHHP.

He's also wearing the top of Rowan's Halloween Pajamas for some inexplicable reason.  Moving on.

Hopper bores of the whole ornaments thing after about 30 minutes, which is fine because I was having to reposition all the ones he stuck on the tree because apparently for four year old Santa Haters, the ornaments are only allowed in two cluster spots near the back. Now, Rowan starts helping and I'm thinking this is very cute until I realize that at this point, it's taking me like TEN HOURS to decorate this tree, like, how do I have this many ornaments? How did I miss that spot over there in the upper right? I swear I decorated that spot at least twice already and then I realize that in fact, Rowan is NOT helping me decorate the tree. He's making MOTIONS like he's putting ornaments on the tree, but he's not. He's undecorating. Every time I turn my back he's removing an ornament OFF of the tree and putting it back in the box.
He's the Anti-Helper.

Approximately 26 hours after the tree was purchased, I finally finished decorating it. It stood in our living room for probably less than half a day before Fergus, our elderly dog who is pretty much both blind and deaf and unable to navigate five feet from his dog bed to the dog door without a landing strip of bright lights and corrective nudging, FINDS THE TREE AND PEES ON IT.

Or more accurately, the tree skirt. He pissed on the tree skirt. He was probably trying to lift his leg high enough to reach the lower branches and fell over. And every day since then, Rowan's been steady removing ornaments and putting them in random places like his sock drawer. There are something like 20 ornaments missing and I've only found three.

I give up, y'all. Here's our tree. It's got bald spots and a cluster of breakable ornaments near the very top. Underneath the tree skirt there's puppy pads and a bottle of Nature's Miracle Pee Remover. If I were smart, I'd tuck a bottle of hootch in there somewhere just for my sanity.


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