After a two-year stint on the DL and a year-long battle with several web hosts and databases and nonsense, I can finally update my blog again. Now it’s time to get back to writing stuff that nobody will read again!
Perhaps I bit off more than I could chew. Or my eyes are bigger than my stomach. Or something about food and plate size or something. But there wasn’t even any way I was going to get to 12 of these posts. Not when I have a toddler running around that knows when I’m ignoring her now. And not when I have a manuscript I’m supposed to be working on. And not when I have another blog I’m ignoring. And especially not when the Eagles are in the playoffs.
So I’m going to have to cut my losses and apologize to my loyal fan base of spambots and get back to work on one of my many other projects (trying to sleep through the night being at the top of the list) and save the other two good ideas (and the six fillers) for Giftmas posts until next year. Or more correctly, this year. Until then, I’ll pop in when something that doesn’t immediately have to do with my darling little CEO needs writing about.
This past Saturday, the shortest and quite possibly the nicest day of the year, Mabel turned one and a half years old. Which means I never have to speak of her in terms of months anymore. How old is Mabel, you say? She’s one and a half, thank you for asking. And now you don’t have to do math. You’re welcome. If you need more specific information, you’re likely my doctor and already know how old she is. If you’d like to compare my child’s development to yours, just assume we’re both better than you two.
Saturday was also Mabel’s first introduction to Santa Claus. Well, besides last year, but she was barely a person then. She’d have sat on an alligator’s lap if we put her there. So this was the first real time she was introduced to Santa. He came in through the door, very red and very fat and very loud. Mabel was already surrounded by people she doesn’t know being forced to rip paper, something we have pleaded with her not to do every day until now. Santa’s presence was just the straw that made the baby cry.
Because mommy and daddy are good parents, we stopped her from running away and made her choke back her tears, sit down and clap along as we all sang Rudolph and Frosty and other songs she’s never heard. Between each one, she looked up at us through tears, held out her palm and waved it back and forth, saying “done done” through stifled tears. I felt horrible that it was so damn cute.
Eventually, the non-shiny, developmental toys sitting in front of her were no longer enough to hold her interest and it was either Mabel Meltdown or let her get up and leave. So we went to the other room and distracted her with meatballs and sweet potatoes, no doubt starting her down a path of eating to cover up her fears.
Once she was comparatively calm and had forgotten all about that scary fat bearded man, we decided to try to get her to take a quick picture with him. Maybe she won’t remember him from before. I felt the desperate squirming of an animal in peril as I carried her in the other room, much like trying to shove a dog in a pool. When she realized I was bringing her specifically to the fat man – not just back into that room – and doing it on purpose nonetheless! – she began to wail. But Jenn and I weren’t doing this for her. We were doing this for Future Mabel. And maybe a little for us. Because we’re good parents.
If grading on a purely binary scale, I would grade Mabel’s first real Santa visit as a success. Because it was funny and somebody got a picture they said they’d email me and because her deep-seeded hatred of fat men or her future eating disorders won’t be realized until much later. Until then, Merry Giftmas (or appropriate holiday)!
I know not everybody celebrates the same late December holiday, but some people get upset if you great them improperly. Need proof? Try saying “Merry Giftmas” to a nun. Or “Happy Chaka Khan” to a Rabbi. Or “Seasons Greetings” to anyone. For this reason, I’ve decided to forgo sending Christmas Giftmas Holiday cards this year. Instead, I’ve created 13 different versions of our Holiday card for everyone. Hopefully. Please print out your card of choice and send me the bill for the photo paper and ink. Thanks and I hope you all enjoy your… whatever you want to call it.
For the traditional Christian and everyone else without religious affiliation who still wants a fat man in a red suit to bring them stuff.
For my two Jewish friends.
For the unlucky googler who typed the word “Kwanzaa” into their search bar and hit “Get Lucky.”
For people going to a work party.
For the people who think they’re being clever, but are really offending all real traditional Christians.
For the Jewish people with a sense of humor and all funk lovers around the world.
For people trying to be clever but slightly less offensive.
For the procrastinators.
For those who don’t want to celebrate anything.
For my ex-girlfriends.
For the SERIOUS procrastinators.
You know who you are.
For those who don’t want to be oppressed by words.
Please let me know if I missed anyone out there. I’d hate to think that there was someone who had a frame all picked out or a refrigerator with an empty 4×6 rectangular space who just couldn’t find the Dustin, Jenn and Mabel Holiday card for them. Write-ins are welcome. Thanks and enjoy whatever the hell you want to enjoy whenever you want to enjoy it.
I get it. It’s been a while since you’ve been 15. The world has changed. And you don’t want to be the uncool older cousin who buys a Christmas sweater or a humidifier that won’t make it out of the box for this kid who looks up to you.
Well, look no further! After extensive research (none at all) and several focus groups (he doesn’t know what a focus group is), I have come up with a step-by-step questionnaire to determine what to get for your 15-year old cousin.
NOTE: This graph was made two years ago. Keep that in mind for all Miley Cyrus-related comments.