You know that this year, I’ve been a little concerned that J’s teetering on the edge of disbelief about Santa and all, which has caused me to do my best to fan the embers as much as a mama can. Like, you know I wouldn’t have done that Elf thing just because I liked the idea on my own. And then trying to keep up with that was rather traumatic–wait, did I tell you about that? The time that I forgot to move Holly the Elf two days in a row? I thought that I had, but I just did some searches and couldn’t find a post about it. It’s possible that I didn’t write about it because I was so upset about my Epic Parenting Fail. I don’t know.
Anyway, you may remember that we were away in Kansas City for Christmas, and orchestrating the whole Christmas morning this was challenging. One problem was that there was a pair of earrings that J had requested, and they got lost in the shuffle during our trip. I think it was one of those I’ll-put-these-someplace-really-safe deals, where I didn’t want such a small item floating around in the duffel bags full of stuff, so I slid them into a pocket somewhere. But then when I couldn’t find them, I was seriously bummed, because she’d circled them in about three different Justice catalogs. They were the Neon Stud Owl Earrings, by the way, but they’re not available anymore–Justice is way too trendy to carry the same item for more than 2 months. Actually, funny story: another item that J had circled multiple times in the Justice was a super-soft sweater that was unbelievably fuzzy, and we’d seen girls walking around wearing them, and J was just. . . pining. After looking hither, thither, and yon, some Justice staff told me that apparently the sweaters were so fuzzy that they basically dissolved into soft fluffiness and small children were pulling tufts and consuming them and such, so they were Removed From the Racks, ne’er to be mentioned again. So, the point is, when you know that your child is going to be bummed that her entire room isn’t transformed and she’ll never, ever get a super-soft sweater, it’s pretty upsetting to lose a pair of earrings.
So, like any self-respecting Pussycat Mother, I ran out and grabbed a second pair on, like, December 23rd. And then found the first pair on December 26th. I actually decided to hold onto them. Ever since she got her ears pierced, J’s been losing earrings at a rapid rate. They fall out. I think that she just never checks them, so she’ll wear a pair and it will gradually loosen. Or maybe it’s because they’re all cheap. But it’s a bummer for her. In fact, she often screws the backings onto her ears so securely that they dig into her flesh and the entire backing becomes lodged like it’s a special ornamentation you might see in an article on indigenous peoples in National Geographic, which means I end up having to delicately pick the backing out of her skin while Cute W squirms and freaks out in the background. Having never gotten anything of his pierced, he’s as squeamish about the whole earring thing as non-contact-lens-wearers are when they see someone touching their eyeballs. I digress, but the point was, I didn’t think it was worth the return because then I could swoop in and fix things easily if they did get lost.
Well, weeks passed, and J never, ever wore the earrings. In fact, she even chose other Justice owl earrings when she went shopping with Grandma–one of those sets of 6 or 8 pairs. And she wore those. Looking back, I realized that she hardly ever wears her favorite earrings because she’s afraid that she’ll lose them. So I decided to give her the spare pair, except that I just left the pair with her earring tree and a teensy-weensy note from her old friend Holly the Elf. Holly said something like, “Dear Josie, I love those earrings that Santa gave you, but I haven’t seen you wear them! I was worried that you were afraid of losing them, so I brought you a spare pair. Strictly speaking it’s against Elf Regulations, so you can tell your parents, of course, but otherwise I’m hoping that it can be our little secret.”
Anyway, J didn’t say anything to me, but the next day I saw her wearing the earrings.
And then a week or so later, one of the earrings had fallen out, and then I went to bring it up to her little earring stand, I said, “Wow, that’s funny! Do you think your earrings are having babies or something?” J smiled and shrugged and quickly moved the stand over to cover the note from Holly that she’d kept. And I was filled with a little surge of joy that for now, at least, she still believes!