Christmas 2012

This year marks Tristan’s first Christmas where he understood it! Yay! It really made Christmas fun again, sort of like the whole seeing through the eyes of a child thing.

We gave Tristan the toy microwave he asked for (and that he remembered he asked for! Win!), a Razor scooter, a pair of roller skates, a toy hair dryer that he asked for (but that all of us forgot that he asked for), and a pretend tool set. He and Kirianna both got a big outdoor playhouse from one of my sides of the family that we have yet to let them play with due to the rain. Kirianna got an indoor play house thingie meant for babies her age that Tristan enjoys far more than she does. We still haven’t given them the stocking gifts.

We don’t teach Tristan that Santa brings presents to him specifically, but he has been learning about Santa in school and on TV shows. He’s especially been enjoying the Caillou Christmas episodes. (He relates to Caillou because he’s also 4 years old and he also has a baby sister.) He also learned about Hanukkah (fuck my spelling on that; besides, it has about 12 different spellings) at school, and I’m so proud of him – he recognized the icons and asked for some of them we found at Bed, Bath and Beyond today. For those of us we don’t chat much about this to, we are atheists who celebrate secular/cultural Christmas, but I find it very important for Tristan to be aware of other cultures and religions as part of our world, so he gets major bonus points.

Now that Christmas is over, he’s a little bit disappointed but generally ok with it. He’s still excited to see that people have their Christmas lights up, though.

We made a small attempt at Christmas dinner, but Tristan wasn’t interested in it. Not surprised at all.

The best part of Christmas was definitely that Tristan understood it. The worst part is that his sister is teething something awful and we’ve all been sick for two fucking months, so James and I have been sleeping in shifts because she has a bad concept of sleeping through the night.


Tristan is learning how to draw things other than letters and numbers. Lately he’s been working on elevators and microwaves, as well as stick figures. He also draws pictures of some stickers he’s been given. He actually doesn’t remember how to spell some of those words, but he does a good job sounding them out and forming an approximation (he has to label the contraptions, of course). He’s pretty good at remembering the correct spelling once he’s been showed.

Stickers. You can tell which vehicles have kids around Tristan’s age, because there’s a very distinct “sticker window” on one side of the backseat that contains all of the loot procured from grocery stores and the like. Ours desperately needs cleaning, but he has quite a collection.

Tristan’s elevator obsession is reaching new heights, both literally and figuratively. Instead of just being happy to be on an elevator, he wants to ride over and over again. He also wants to explore all of the accessible floors instead of just going where we’re supposed to go, so we’ve seen a lot of parking lots lately.

In Tristan’s new school, he has a buddy named Kingston. They’ve had several playdates; he also has a little brother the same age as Kirianna so she gets a playdate out of it. Both Kingston and Tristan are all about the high energy and wrestling and wear each other out very well. Tristan also plays somewhat cooperatively with him, instead of his usual attempts to get attention through being obnoxious.

Communication gains

Tristan is stating a LOT of observations, facts, and interests.

Today, he asked me if we could stop at Lucky (a grocery store, owned by Albertson’s) so we could get more “Thank you” stickers. Now, we were near a Lucky, but probably a mile away and definitely weren’t in sight of it. I was amazed as hell that he remembered where he got the stickers and that he asked to go there. Later on in the day, he started telling me about a basketball court he saw at a school we were passing. I had no freaking clue that he knew what a basketball court was, so I was rather impressed. (I know that he knows what a basketball hoop is for, but not that he knew any of the vocabulary behind it.)

So, Christmas is coming up. Tristan kind of gets the holidays now, so I wasn’t too surprised when he started pointing out Santa. (We never bothered to talk about Santa to him past the obligatory “Do you want to go get your picture taken with Santa?” offering yearly.) He notices Christmas lights and Christmas trees. We do not yet have our tree up; this is because it’s a small fiber-optic tinsel tree that our cats find insanely delicious. Any other sort of tree would likely be Kittened with insane glee, and to my chagrin. We’ve been explaining to him that Christmas presents are something that you can ask for and receive on Christmas, but I’m not sure if that’s hit home yet. He has made one Christmas gift request: a toy microwave oven that has Numbers that count down! And it Spins! (We promptly got him the toy, which he noticed sometime between the conversation about Christmas and checkout, and kept asking if he could have it now.) We also got him a Razor scooter. I can’t remember what else we got him so far, but we’re trying to keep it small because we have Too. Much. Shit.

Digressively, Tristan bumped the back of his head today so he’s back on head injury watch (someone’s ALWAYS on head injury watch in this house..). So far he seems fine. He was being his koala-self and spin-snuggling, and veered off toward the sidewalk. Ouch.