Thursday, 27 December 2012

In Which I Do NOT Approve Of Christmas

My Majesty does not approve of Christmas.

Christmas interrupts my routine, Christmas involves food of which I do not approve, Christmas involves bedtime stories of which I do not approve, Christmas involves visits to church of which I do not approve and most importantly of all, Christmas involves The Staff shoving brightly wrapped packages in my face and insisting that I need to rip them.  At no other point during the entire rest of the year am I allowed to rip things, so why on earth is it acceptable to do so now? Clearly, Christmas involves an entirely unacceptable set of circumstances and should be banned.  That's just all there is to it.

It all started on Christmas Eve.  Daddy spent the morning in the kitchen making something called sausage rolls.  I thought they smelled quite nice but as it took far longer to prepare than my usual mush, I quickly lost interest and decided to take a nap.  Of course, as usual, I decided to do so at the most inconvenient time and so slept right through lunchtime and therefore woke up feeling decidedly grumpy.  I was NOT hungry, I simply had a rumbly belly.  The two are Entirely. Different.  The only way to fix a rumbly belly is to SHOUT AS LOUDLY AS I  CAN.  The staff seemed to believe that a rumbly belly could be fixed by offering me food which was clearly entirely unacceptable.  I demonstrated this by crumbling my food, carefully dropping it onto the floor and then saying, "Uh Oh!" to make sure they knew it was a mistake before dropping the next piece into my drinks holder and, when caught in the act, saying "Uh Oh!" again.  This game continued for quite some time until the first visitor arrived.  Daddy had long since given up and even Mummy was getting rather twitchy around the eyes which is always a good sign.

The first visitor was Auntie Jenni.  Before she arrived, I heard her on the phone with Mummy asking, "Has it been fed?  Is it tired?  Is it hungry or thirsty?  Has it finished crying for the day?"  The cheek of some people!  However, upon receiving apparently satisfactory answers to these questions, Auntie Jenni arrived bearing Christmas presents for me.  I received them with the usual manner of politeness I grant to these audiences by graciously nodding to the staff to receive gifts on my behalf and then proceeding to completely and utterly ignore the visitor.  Thankfully, I am Auntie Jenni's favourite nephew so she loves me anyway.  (No, there's no need to point out that I'm her only nephew, no one needed to know that.  This was entirely unnecessary information.  Get back to the presents.)

After chatting with Mummy about entirely boring things for a while, Auntie Jenni decided it was time to leave just as Auntie Wendy arrived.  Well, technically she's not my Auntie as she's really my health visitor, but since she keeps hanging around, I generally try to be polite and so call her my Auntie.  Of course, this only applies to days other than Christmas Eve's because the moment Auntie Wendy arrived I SCREAMED at her to GO AWAY.  I do NOT want anyone to mess with me today, and I can smell a messing person from miles away - messing people are ones like Wendy, Graham, Sue and the endless doctors Mummy thinks up for me to visit and of these people I DO NOT APPROVE.  Mummy attempted to make coffee for Auntie Wendy while Daddy chatted to her but I made it QUITE clear that I was to be the absolute centre of attention and that Mummy was NOT allowed to leave the room for even one tiny little moment.  Unfortunately, Daddy and Auntie Wendy are quite used to my manners by now so they just shouted over me.  I. Definitely. Did. Not. Approve. Of. That.

Eventually, Mummy returned to the lounge, coffee in hand and The Staff proceeded to settle in for a long chat.  





Time to create a diversion methinks.  

I decided to SCREAM as loudly as I could.  Then I threw Dumbles across the room, shortly thereafter followed by Cup and then, when I was still being ignored, I flung my arms theatrically over my head and SHRIEKED.  Thankfully, this finally gained at least a wisp of attention as Mummy turned on Timmy Time for me.  Finally!  What does a baby have to do to get some entertainment around here?

Two whole hours later, Auntie Wendy and The Staff had eventually run out of things to talk about so Mummy decided it was time to go to church.  Hmm.  I don't think I'm in the mood for church today Mummy.  No, I don't care if it's Christmas Eve and therefore an important day to be in church.  I also don't care that it's a nativity service so designed to be child friendly.  I don't think I want to go Mummy.  Oh don't misunderstand me, I'll smile and be entirely charming while you get me ready.  I will also smile and play with a nice toy in the car on the way to church.  I will even grant a cheerful smile to the people when my pushchair is rolled into the church.  But that is most definitely all.  Do not mistake this innocent face for one which is not plotting.

Once it comes time to sit down in the pew, I will have expired.  I will throw Dumbles about all through the service.  I will climb down off Mummy's lap and just when she thinks I'm about to play with the soft blocks on the floor under the pew, I will in fact be crawling behind her legs, behind Big Brother's legs and then behind Daddy's legs in order to escape into the aisle.  When Daddy makes it clear that he has rumbled my plan and grabs me around the waist before hoisting me back onto his lap, I will arch my back, throw my arms over my head in utter despair and SHRIEK at the top of my lungs in complete indignation.  Daddy will pass me back across Big Brother to Mummy who will attempt to settle me on her lap, offer me toys, Dumbles, and my drink, all of which will entertain me for precisely 5 nanoseconds before the whole process starts again.  

On the one hand, the service only lasted for an hour.  

On the other hand, the service lasted for an hour.  

Mummy's smile was rather fixed by the end of it.  But I'm really not sure why.  If Mummy had just listened to my well thought out points, then all this could have been avoided.  I'm not an unreasonable baby after all.  Just a baby who expects to be listened to.  That's all.

Needless to say, the MacDonald's Daddy bought for us all at the end of the service was very welcome.  I had after all expended quite a lot of energy during the service, I needed my refreshment. I munched on a chicken nugget and some chips and was decidedly charming.  All was now well with my world.  See?  It really was very easily sorted.

Once we got home again, thankfully Daddy gave me my usual bath and dressed me in warm fluffy "onesie" pajama's.  I was all ready to settle down on Mummy's lap for my usual diet of "The Gruffalo", "The Gruffalo's Child", "Stick Man", "Monkey Puzzle" and finishing off with, "I Love You As Big As The World".  I'm a baby of routine really.  The fact that Mummy no longer needs to refer to the books themselves in order to tell the story has been noted.  But here, I was in for a shock, because Mummy DARED to pull out some NEW books!  What's this, "Night Before Christmas" and "Someone Is Coming To Our House"?  What's this business about angels, Mary and Joseph and a stable???  WHERE is The Gruffalo?  WHERE is Stick Man?  WHERE ARE ALL MY FAVOURITE STORIES???????  Once again, I flung my arms over my head in utter despair, grabbed the new books and threw them onto the floor.  These. Stories. Are. NOT. Acceptable.  Christmas. Is. Not. Acceptable.


Unfortunately, Mummy gets her stubbornness from me and she persisted with the new stories.  I closed my eyes and hummed to myself, refusing to listen.  Mummy kept reading.  I threw my drink on the floor.  Mummy kept reading.  I threw Dumbles across the room.  Mummy kept reading.  Eventually, I had to give in, I was just soooo tired.  Just before I drifted off, Mummy whispered to me, "Happy Christmas baby.  You go to sleep so Father Christmas can come."  

Hrmph.  Why does she have to be so sodding cheerful?!

Christmas Day dawned bright and early.  I decided to give the staff a nice lie in and slept until 6:10am.  This was of course nothing to do with the fact that the staff had been up until just before midnight getting ready for The Big Day, it was purely because I was tired and needed my rest.  It might however have had something to do with the fact that round about 9pm on Christmas Eve, I woke up absolutely HOWLING.  I'd had a horrible bad dream in which I was sure I could hear eight tiny hooves on the roof and a large man dressed all in red chuckling to himself in the lounge.  Needless to say, the dream was so terrifying that it took Mummy a long time to help me get back to sleep again. 

First on the agenda was something called a Stocking.  Well.  Technically, Big Brother had a stocking.  I had a Hat.  I would like to point out the utter unorthodoxy of this particular arrangement and would like it noted that if Mummy had remembered that she didn't have a stocking for Santa to fill for me sometime before Christmas Eve, she might have been able to buy one.  A Christmas Hat is just not acceptable.  It doesn't have the same ring to it.  A Christmas Hat indeed!  Is it any wonder I was getting grumpier with Christmas by the minute?

My lovely tractor.

However, once we get past the utter inadequacy of a Christmas Hat, the first gift inside said hat was the most WONDERFUL thing in the whole. entire. world.  It was a tractor that was quite small really, no more than four inches around and with just one button that plays four songs.  But the music emanating from this WONDERFUL tractor was utterly captivating.  I pressed the button.  I listened to the first song.  I pressed the button again.  I listened to the second song.  I pressed the button again.  I listened to the third song.  I pressed the button again.  I listened to the fourth song.  By this point, I had entirely forgotten what the first song sounded like, so I just decided to press the button one more time to remind myself how it sounded.....fifteen minutes later, Mummy and Daddy's smiles had gotten rather fixed.  I was still pressing the button on my lovely tractor.  I showed no signs of stopping.

Did I require any other presents?  At all?  For the rest of the day?  No, no I did not.  Was I willing to go anywhere near any other presents for the rest of the day?  No, no I was not.  Was I willing to unwrap any other presents for the rest of the day?  No, no I was not.  Did it make any difference when Big Brother, Mummy and Daddy all took turns trying to tempt me with a loose bit of wrapping paper which should have looked so tempting that I wouldn't be able to resist ripping?  No. No. It. Did. Not.  Did removing the little tractor from my grasping paws in an effort to distract me with another present help?  NO.  IT MOST DEFINITELY DID NOT.

Sadly, The Staff simply didn't get the message the first time.  Or the second time.  Or the third time.  Or the....well.  You get the picture.  Because they kept trying to interest me in Christmas. I employed a variety of methods to get my point across.  I moaned.  I whined.  I complained.  I shouted.  I arched my entire body making it entirely impossible to pick me up.  I dramatically threw my arms over my head while arching my body.  I shouted.  I shouted more loudly still.  Finally, I lay down on the coffee table and pretended to go to sleep, hoping that by the time I woke up again, this Christmas business would all be proven to be just another bad dream.

Mummy sighed and put me to bed where I fully intended to stay for the rest of the day.  I tried.  I made a valiant effort.  I slept for so long that Christmas lunch was nearly over by the time I awoke from my slumber.  Unfortunately, Christmas hadn't gone away.  ::sigh::  

However, what I didn't then know was that the one bright moment in my entire day was about to dawn.  What was this moment you ask?  It was in fact Christmas Lunch.  I know, I know, usually I am quite particular about what I eat but Christmas lunch proved to be stunning in it's wonderful composition.  The particular bowl of mush Mummy put in front of me was just DELICIOUS.  Apparently, it contained carrots, broccoli, brussels sprouts with bacon, parsnip mash, roast potatoes, new potatoes in garlic butter, turkey, stuffing and gravy all mixed together and chopped up to fussy baby consistency and (so Mummy thought) looking utterly disgusting.  But here, Mummy was most especially, completely and entirely wrong because Christmas Lunch Mush It was the most delicious thing I have ever tasted!  

Mummy offered me the first spoonful with that particular look of resignation on her face that said she expected me to flatly refuse the feast, but I opened my mouth and did everything other than point saying, "Right here Mummy!  Put that delicious feast right in here!"  In the end, I gobbled down the entire bowl in record time.  Then, just for good measure, Mummy offered me Christmas Pudding with cream on it and I gobbled that down too.  Then I burped.  Then I farted (loudly).  Then I was finished.  (I'm still farting two days later, but that's a whole other story, Mummy is blaming the sprouts.  But I'm sure you didn't need to know that really.) 

Now then.  At the beginning of this tale of Christmas, I alluded to food of which I do not approve.  So clearly, this particular type of food is not Christmas lunch.  What on earth could it be?  What could my faithful readers possibly believe could be worse than mashed parsnip?  Mushed broccoli?  Chopped up brussels sprouts?  Well, dear reader, allow me to tell you what this hideous food item is, that has only ever appeared in my world at Christmas.  This food is something called Jelly Babies.  WHO on earth thinks it would be a good idea to create something in the shape of a baby, assign various fruity flavours to it, cover it in some kind of white powder and then expect me to eat it?!  

At first, I was taken in.  You see Mummy offered me a large jar of sweets which should have been a good thing.  I carefully plucked one out, examined it curiously and lifted it to my mouth for a taste.  Ugh!  It was horrible!  I screwed up my face, and removed the offending object from my tongue, examined it closely and crumbled it a bit just in case this improved the flavour.  I carefully put part of it back in again but equally carefully, dropped the baby's head on the floor.  Anyone who expects me to eat a baby's head has another think coming.  Unfortunately, my second taste was no better than the first so I carefully removed the offending item and gave it back to Mummy.  I then flatly refused to even look at the jar of sweets and went back to grumbling about this Christmas business.  The lunch had gone so well until that moment, all of my good cheer evaporated in an instant.

Sadly, after this, everyone expected me to return to presents.  Have I mentioned that my good cheer had evaporated?  Completely?  Totally?  Utterly?  

Mother.  How. many. times. do I have to tell you that presents. are. just. NOT acceptable?  Do NOT come near me with another present.  Do NOT ask me to rip some paper.  Do NOT press the button on a toy through the paper in hopes that it will spark my interest.  And most especially importantly, DO NOT remove my lovely tractor from my sticky little mitts.  You will regret it if you do.  

Thankfully, eventually they gave up.  Mummy said to Daddy, "well maybe we can save some of them for tomorrow.  He might be in the mood to open them then."  Clearly the message wasn't getting through.  All I have to say is this:  isn't it wonderful when Christmas presents last for a whole three days before The Staff give up and open them on my behalf?  Exactly.  Point made.

Let it just be said, right here and right now, that I. Do. Not. Approve. Of. Christmas.  I do hope it never has the cheek to come round and mess with my routine again.  And that is all there is to be said of that.  I am now going to sleep and I very much hope this Christmas business will be over by the time I wake up again.  Hrmph.