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Archive for the ‘the ones about badgers & friends’ Category

Ava’s commitment to believe in Santa despite her parent’s claims otherwise has been well documented here, here, and here.

For over a month now, Ava has been sharing her “secret” plan to stay up all night long when Santa comes. When her Mimi was here for Thanksgiving, Ava explained to her that when Santa comes, she’s going to lock all doors, so that Santa can’t leave. Then she is going to wake everyone up in the whole house so that they will finally see that Santa is real.

Someone has neglected to tell her Santa’s little nose trick.

This week while Ava was acting out the play-by-play of Ava-Meets-Santa in our living room, she realized that she’s not going to be in her house on Christmas Eve. She’s going to be at Mimi’s house. She then asked if we could write this note:

Dear Santa,

I love you very much.

I’m not here. I’m at Mimi’s house.

I’m going to be waiting up all night so I can see you.

I love you, Santa.

Love, Ava

She thinks that if we bake some very special cookies to leave with the note that he will think “that that Ava’s just so special” and will come to her Mimi’s house.

Now, I’m not one to squelch imagination. So mostly I play along as the unbelieving mother, whom she is eager to convert. She’s kind of like a Santa-evangelist.

This was a rather agreeable arrangement, one I thought would dissolve on December 25th when Santa neglected to leave her any gifts.

On Monday morning, she woke up on the wiser side of bed and crawled into mine to snuggle. “Mama, Santa’s not really real, is he?”

“No, Ava, he’s just a fun story.”

“Yeah, he’s a fun story. Like a make-believe, pretend story.”

“Yes. And Ava, sometimes people dress up like Santa and pretend to be Santa.”

“Like a play?”

“Yes, just like a play.”

A few hours later, I dropped her off my newly minted Santa-skeptic at preschool. And in equal span of time, I picked her up again. Yet, this time she was glowing.

“Mama! Santa came here! Santa came and not a pretend Santa, the really really real Santa. And Mrs. Claus too. He gave us candy canes and presents and he was really real. He had a real beard; there wasn’t a string and it was white and curly. And when he laughed, his belly jiggled like a bowlful of jelly! It’s really true.

“How do you know he was really real?

“Cause I asked him and he said wasn’t pretending? And he’s coming to my house on Christmas, so there!”

There you have it.

I surrender. I can’t compete with  a gift-dispensing, jelly-bellied man and his jolly wife.

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Last week at I was collecting my freshly cut pieces of chenille at Joanne’s, I heard the quick patter of boots and a little voice squeal, “Oh Santa, I’ve missed you!!”

I turned to see Ava embracing an Ava-sized Santa in the premature Christmas display. Seriously, I have hardly come to terms with the fact that Halloween is in two weeks. I’m certainly not ready to start Christmas preparations with the whole costume thing is still up in the air.

Ava does not share this sentiment.

“Oh Santa, Santa, Santa! I’ve been waiting and waiting for you! I’m so glad you are back. I’ve missed you so much. Oh Santa, I love you!”

At this point I think she may have kissed the doll.

She went on to tell Santa how wonderful he is and how she so excited about Christmas. Then she asked him if he was the one who put presents in her stockings. Of course, this Santa is a mannequin only capable of a prerecorded “ho, ho, ho.”

She abandoned the counterfeit and followed me through the silk stems with her trail of questions: “Mama, did you really put the presents in my stocking or did Santa? Santa came to my house, didn’t he? Didn’t he, Mama? I know he did. Didn’t he?”

I played dodge ball with her questions as I’m caught between my desire to uphold Christmas as a celebration of Jesus’ birth and my propensity to encourage her imagination.

“Is Santa really real? Did you see him? Did you help him put the presents in my stocking and that’s why you said that you did it? You saw Santa, didn’t you?”

Apparently, somewhere, somehow Santa heard this unremitting faith in his existence. It appears that he had done a little early Christmas shopping in London and decided to send Ava a pre-Christmas gift.

The boots have been on the move ever since.

Thanks to Santa Ava has a matching mackintosh and wellies that she will not take off.

And thanks to Santa, she’s now determined to “keep my eyes open all night” on Christmas eve.

I predict that we are going to need a large plate of cookies.

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AVA: Mama, have you ever thought about moving to Michigan?

MAMA: No. Why?

AVA: Cause that’s where the unicorns live.

MAMA: Unicorns live in Michigan?

AVA: Yes, Mama, it’s a faraway land. And that’s where all the unicorns live in the faraway land at Michigan.

MAMA: Unicorns?

AVA: Uh-huh. They have the things on their heads that light up and then they change colors. They can change colors lots of times. It’s really true. And they live in Michigan cause it’s a faraway land. It’s like Romania. It’s really close to Romania, isn’t it?

MAMA: No, actually it’s not. Michigan is kind of close to Minnesota. And Romania is kind of close to France where Grandma Penny is. So, they’re not close.

AVA: Yes, they are, Mama. And I know why God gave them the things on their heads that light up. It’s so they know where to go. Cause they have to go to Romania and then if they go the wrong way the thing lights up and then they know they are going the wrong way. See, isn’t it so good that God gave them that?

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During the mysterious blog absence, Ava and I were enjoying a quiet afternoon at home. The doorbell rang and we looked out the window to see who it might be. There was no one on the front steps and no cars parked on the sidewalk.

“Maybe, it’s a package!” Ava shouted running down the stairs to the door. “It’s probably a package for daddy.

HungryMan receives a steady stream of small packages. In fact, he is the recipient of nearly all the packages that come to our house. Ava and I used to open them, but one only has so much interest in cords, adaptors, drives and plastic things for the interior of a computer, projector, and whatever else he keeps in his geeked out man-cave.

As for HungryMan, his interest is unending, as apparently is his need. I mean really there must be an end to the cords. Really, there must.

Curious, we walked down the stair and opened the door. There was no one there. We checked behind the flower pots, but there was no package left by a supersonic delivery man.

Even though there was no note directing us to do so, we decided to walk to the back of the house. And there, propped against the back door was a very large package.

“Is it for Daddy? Is it for Daddy” Ava hollered as she raced toward the tall white box.

There was no sign of a delivery man anywhere. No note. No truck. Not even tread-marks from a frantic Fed-Ex driver.

Together we hefted the Ava-sized box up to our living room to inspect the package.

“Mama, look!”

“It’s a badger! The package’s from the Badgers. Mama! It’s from the Badgers!”

“Ava, do you think there might be a badger in it?”

After much discussion and inspection of the box, we concluded that it would be best to wait to open the Badger package until HungryMan came home. Even if there wasn’t a badger in the box, they may have sent Ava something “very scary!”

As it turns out, HungryMan was hungry. Famished actually, with a hunger only a Chipotle burrito can cure. So we tossed the suspicious looking box in our trunk and drove to burrito stand to meet her daddy.

After munching on chips and guacamole and devouring nearly half of his Chicken Fajita Burrito, HungryMan agreed to take his keys to the seal concealing the mysterious gift.

Inside the box was another white box.

Inside the white box was “the baby carriage I always wanted! Oh, I’m so excited. It’s just like Naomi and Audrey and Cate’s!”

Ava gave the doll pram a big hug and then asked, “How did the Badgers know that I wanted the carriage the Naomi and Audrey and Cate have?”

Sweetheart, I’m nearly as baffled as you are. How in the world did the Badgers know that I ordered that carriage from Target? And how did they get a hold of it?

It appears that the pesky little creatures are waving a white box of truce. Let’s just hope it’s not a Trojan Horse, or we might have to devise bigger badger traps.

Perhaps there’s a use for all those cords after all.

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On Sunday evening, Ava was in her bed for the night and Nate was away at a softball game. The house was quiet and still. A nice, long soak seemed to be the perfect way to end a delightful Mother’s Day.

I let the water roar out of the faucet drowning out the sounds of the house and filling the tub with steamy water. I poured in the last of my Lollia bubble bath, a Mother’s Day gift from another year, and watched tub rise with rose-scented bubbles.

I was about to slip into my favorite escape when I heard the bathroom door squeak open behind me. My heart raced into my throat and I let out a scream as I turned to meet my foe.

Ava hopped in from the doorway, slammed it shut with her back, and and looked up with a trembling lip, “Was it a badger, Mama? Did you see a badger?”

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“Mama!! The badger is going to get you! He’s going to eat you, Mama!”

“Where, Ava, where?”

“He’s right there. He’s going to eat you all up. Badger, don’t eat my Mama! DON’T EAT MY MAMA!!!! Don’t eat her until my daddy gets home.”

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“Mama! Mahhh-Muhhh!!” shouted Ava from behind the bathroom door. “Someone is talking TOO LOUD!!”

“What do you mean someone is talking too loud?” I replied opening the door to find Ava seated on the potty with her lower lip sticking out.

“The bathtub won’t stop talking! He’s being too loud,” she explained crossing her arms in disgust.

“Does that help?” I replied shutting the curtain.

“No, the bathtub is still yelling. He’s being a badger!”

Heaven help us the badgers are back! And this time the devious creatures are cleverly disguised as a porcelain soaking tub. How do you get rid of that?

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“Mama, do witches hurt people?”

“Sometimes.”

“Where to witches live?”

“I don’t know. Maybe in the forest.”

“With the bears? Do they live with the bears? Maybe the bears eat them. The bears eat them, Mama. They eat them because they don’t want them to hurt anybody. Right, Mama? The bears eat the witches because they live in the forest. The giants live in the forest too. And they eat the bears. The giants eat the bears because they’re really naughty. And they eat them all up! And then the witches eat the giants!”

“The witches eat the giants?”

“Yeah! And then we eat the witches too. We have to cook them first in big pot of hot water. What do they say when we put them in hot water, Mama? ‘Ouch! OUCH!’ Do they say that, Mama?”

–Have I mentioned that Ava is a direct decedent of the early settlers of Salem, Massachusetts?

It’s true.

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As we traveling up the escalator at the nearby mall, my daughter spied “Santa” blowing his nose in between lap visitors.

“SANTA! SANTA!!! SAAAANTAAHH!” Ava bellowed across the mall causing the frosted glass bulbs in Crate and Barrel to clang together and the Aveda apron lady to rattle her tray of comforting tea. “SAAANTAAHH!”

Santa looked up from his candy cane handkerchief and waved his white glove at the cotton candy blur riding up, up and away.

I hustled the wide-eyed child through the maze of shoppers heavy laden with bags, and strapped her into her car seat as the clouds sent down yet another blanket of snow.

“Mama, I saw Santa. He’s a real Santa. A real Santa. Daddy says that Santa isn’t real, but he is. I saw him and he’s real. Maybe Daddy can come here and I have to show Daddy that that Santa is a real Santa.”

“Alright, Ava”

“Mama, Mama! Maybe God decided that he wanted to make a real Santa!! Right, Mama? Maybe God wanted a real Santa. He wanted a real one, didn’t He Mama? A real Santa! And He can make a real Santa. God can.” Ava declared as the tassels on her had bobbed up and down in agreement. “God makes everything, even real Santas!”

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My apologies for not making it quite clear that the desert animals were proudly mounted in the room where Ava and I slept for five nights. They were like 3D headboards. The havalina standing guard over Ava’s face, and the elk affectionately dubbed, Mr. Reindeer, held post over my feet.

While Ava did not require a sheet to be placed over them to sleep, I did. You can be certain that I shrouded the taxidermy creatures the moment Ava began to snore.

And you can also be confident that Ava pulled off their covers each morning while rebuking me for my ridiculous behavior.

Now this is Ava, the same Ava who is terrified of badgers and giants. The same Ava who wouldn’t go in her grandparents basement for nearly a year because “boots,” their life-size, singing Santa lived down there. The Ava who would cry at the sight of a nutcracker doll and want to be carried if she spotted Ronald McDonald. The Ava who insisted that Mrs. Hatch put away all of Henri’s battery operated trucks and trains. This would be the Ava who was deathly afraid of clocks, yes, clocks–wall clocks, ticking clocks, digital clocks, cuckoo clocks. Also the Ava who freaks out every year seeing the animated puppets at the Macy’s Christmas display.

Oh, and this year the Macy’s display is The Nutcracker Suite–that should go over real well.

Puppets, clocks, toys, and imaginary forest creatures are terrifying, but this


this she is fine with.

She is also fine with this

but that is another post.

When she saw the picture today of her beloved scary black pig, she said, “That’s the pig from Poppa and Ama’s house. He’s a nice pig! He’s not a real pig. Poppa killed him. Poppa kills things. He kills lots of things. He likes to kill things, doesn’t he Mama?”

Apparently she is not quite Fern either.

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