Tuesday, December 23, 2014
When Christmas decorations go bad
I love the look of white "candles" in the windows at Christmastime, don't you? Unfortunately, even though I taped the candles to the windowsills, they'd inevitably fall off and the bulb would break on the floor. (And by inevitably I mean that the children would race head-first into the couch, slamming it against the wall and knocking the damn candles to the floor. Lather, rinse, repeat.)
Enter my mother, who was very excited to tell me about the bulb pictured above. It's made of rubber and has a lovely bendable flame. It's practically unbreakable and emits a lot of light.
"Do you want some?" she asked. "You need some. I'll bring you some."
And so, there was light.
And for many days, my candles took a beating and still worked. All was well in Mulletville Lite. Come dusk, the house was awash with the warm glow of rubber whiteness.
Then, one morning, I heard the kids giggling as Junior waited at the window for the bus.
"You try, Everett. It goes up all the way."
I went into the living room where I caught them perched on the couch, each with a candle bulb up their nose.
"It tickles!" Junior announced happily when he saw me—as if I too would delight in the newfound purpose for my Christmas decor.
"Junior," I said calmly, "would you please take the candle out of your nose?"
Even as I spoke the words I knew it was too late: My children had started a new Christmas tradition. A new hysterically-funny-to-them, gross tradition. Because that's what children do. They take something seemingly benign and assign it a new purpose: coveted coffee mugs catch slimy bugs, crazy straws collect bodily fluids, and so on. For the rest of that object's life you'll look at it and think, Ew.
I accept that. If I didn't, I'd never survive as a parent.
There is a saving grace, at least for the candles. During Christmas vacation there's no need to perch at the window and kill time catching boogers because the bus won't be coming.
See? It always works out.
Merry Christmas! Health, wealth and boogers to all in 2015!
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