15 December 2016

A toddler and a Christmas tree

Last Christmas Little 3 was only 9 months old and while he gazed at the coloured lights and had a go at ripping the wrapping paper off a few gifts along with wolfing down his first Christmas dinner much of the festivities bypassed him and were then forgotten as he was so young. 

This year at 21 months (just) he has been noticing more, pointing, saying 'lights' and  'bubble' (for bauble) and the girls have even taught him to say 'Merry Christmas and Happy New Year' which is oh so cute!

When we got out our boxes of decorations and Christmas tree he was a little bit amazed by it all looking through the shiny things in the boxes. He walked around for a few minutes with a slightly gobsmacked look on his face pointing up at the lights and our Christmas bunting taking it all in when we had put them up while he was having his nap.

Decorating the tree in our house is a family affair, the girls had been itching to do it but we had made them wait until Little 3 was awake. Upon taking the tree out the box Little 3 helped to unfold it, it was really funny watching him squeezing the prickly branches and smiling but being unsure about this new texture at the same time. He would giggle, smile, pull back and squirm and then go back for more.

He was utterly fascinated by the lights which went on next, as Daddy wrapped them around the tree he watched quite in awe and then investigated each one looking at the colour and telling us if they were blue, red or green (he doesn't know the other colours yet), we did then tell him no touching as they were then turned on and he has been pretty good at understanding that. 

Once the girls had hung the tinsel and beads we let them all free with the hanging bits. I am all for letting the children free with the baubles even if they do all end up in one place but Daddy likes to 'adjust' the children's efforts a little when they are not looking!

 The following day we added the last touches to the tree in the form of some treasured decorations, there are some the girls have made over the years at nursery and school, a medallion of the year of each of the children's birth sent to us by a dear friend, a special snowglobe and photo snowflakes we have made among others. I love opening the tin they are stored in and remembering them all, the Little Ones like to know where they came from and why they are special too.

This year it was great that Little 3 could join in decorating the tree with us, he concentrated hard pinching the ribbon apart and threading it on a branch even if it did take him an attempt or three, then he stepped back and admired his work with a little smile.

Last year we had a playpen around the tree to keep a then crawling Little 3 away but this year we have just told him not to touch. I have once found him putting the beads over his head like a necklace and a couple of times he has brought me a bauble saying 'ball, catch' but after being told 'No' he has understood and on the whole been really good.

I bet he will love undecorating it in a few weeks time too!

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