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Still Recovering From Christmas

I don’t know about anyone else, but
my house still looks as if Christmas exploded in it. I’m
trying to get a grip on the thing, but it’s not easy;
Brian’s on vacation this week and we’re trying to do
fun things as a family, so I hate to have him watch the kids while
I organize. And of course, housework waits for no one, so
I’ve piles of laundry to get to, grocery shopping to do,
meals to prepare – the usual list. So finding a place for all
the new toys keeps sliding down to the bottom of my
“to-do” list, much to the delight of my kids.

Yes, they’re thrilled that our living room floor looks like
the stock room of FAO Shwarz. Every morning they come downstairs
for breakfast, only to be reminded on sight of all their new toys,
which of course distracts them from eating and calls them to play.
I stand in the kitchen, ignored, until stomachs growl too loudly
and they look at me as if they can’t understand why their
breakfast isn’t waiting for them at the table.

Santa’s big present to Maddie
dominates our living room – a train table and Thomas the
Train track set, along with pretty much every Thomas train ever
designed. Thanks to grandparents and uncles and aunts and parents,
Santa had help filling the stockyard and Thomas’ roundhouse
now has a wait list, it’s so full. Santa left the table in
the living room, just next to Maddie’s stocking, only for
dramatic effect – we’d planned for the table to move
upstairs to the playroom after Christmas morning. But both girls
love it so much we’re trying to find a permanent home
downstairs for it.

Interestingly enough, Maddie didn’t even notice the train
table when she first came in: her eyes went immediately to the
stockings, and she cried out, “Look, Santa gave me a doggie!
And Cora, Santa gave you a Zoe doll!” Which was true, of
course, but completely missed the fact that there was a huge train
set not six inches away from the stocking. I guess Maddie dimly saw
a piece of furniture and dismissed it. We drew her attention to the
table, though, and Maddie screamed with joy. And she’s been
off and running with it ever since.

Thankfully, Maddie’s been very good about sharing the train
set with Cora, and both girls will happily play around the thing
for quite some time by themselves. We had to get a second Thomas
battery-operated train so both girls could have a train that moved,
but other than that the sharing’s going quite well.
Cora’s deeply in love with all things Thomas now, and calls
out, “’Bye, Thomas!” when she leaves the house.

The other big addition to our home from Christmas was a veritable
universe of Little People toys. Maddie got a midway and fair,
complete with fun house, ferris wheel, swings, circus section, and
more, while Cora received a full zoo and an airport mini-village.
Brian and I were busy all year long, buying up a couple pieces at a
time from consignment stores and resale shops, and pieced together
a much larger collection than we’d initially realized. On
Christmas Eve, as the Little People things kept coming out of bags,
we realized we’d have to do some toy reorganizing in the
house just to find homes for all this new stuff. But it’s
been worth it; there’s nothing like a Little People set to
inspire creative scenarios and elaborate scenes in Maddie, and Cora
happily goes along. I feel like hanging a banner saying,
“This Christmas has been brought to you by Thomas and Little
People,” but it could be worse. I’m sure.

So we’re enjoying a few more days of laziness, me gradually
putting a few things away at a time, before I get tough and shape
up the house. I’d already gone through the toys and pulled
out several that simply weren’t getting used, setting them
aside either for the rainy-day box, donations, or to save to pass
on to a friend’s baby, so at least I’d made a bit of
room in the house. Not enough, of course, but a start.


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