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Jane Roper is the author of the memoir Double Time: How I Survived–and Mostly Thrived–Through the First Three Years of Mothering Twins and blogger at JaneRoper.com. Her writing has appeared on Babble, Salon, The Huffington Post, The Rumpus, and the upcoming anthology The Push: Birth Stories for the 21st Century. Jane lives in the Boston area with her husband and twin daughters.

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All They Want for Christmas is…

By Jane Roper |

Well, after idly musing over the past few weeks about what they might like from Santa, the girls have finally put it down (via me) in official lists, written on construction paper Christmas trees. (Elsa’s idea. Nice touch, eh?)

Among the many things Elsa wants is “a big pony with a crank on it, and when you get on and turn the crank the pony rides around.”

I asked her, “Is this a toy you saw somewhere?”

“No,” she said. “I just want it.”

OK, so, get on that, Santa: Pony, crank, motion.

She would also like “a toolkit with real tools.” Funny story about that one. She’s been asking for this for a while, and so last week, I went out and bought her a little toolkit with *real* (not plastic), kid-sized tools. To be used only with close parental supervision, of course. I was so proud of myself. And so proud of her. What a kickass thing to ask for! Way to buck gender stereotypes, my little gal who — as it happens — also loves pink and wearing dresses.

Then I showed the kit to Alastair, and he said, “Are you serious? Did you forget that this is Elsa you’re talking about? Elsa who injures herself seven times on a daily basis?” (It’s true. I stole this metaphor from a writer friend of mine, who used it to describe her own daughter, but Elsa really is like a little Mary Katherine Gallagher)

I looked back at the tool kit again. Yeah. Somehow I’d failed to fully grasp the fact that there was a saw in it. Like, a real saw. A saw that could, in a pinch, be used to perform an amputation. And a hammer, of the sort that could do a real number on a finger or thumb. You know, the hammer kind of hammer.

He’s totally right. She’s SO not ready for it. But I’m going to let her have the tape measure this year. And the toolbox itself. And maybe the level. I think she can handle that much. And then we can gradually add tools over the next couple of years; work our way up to the potentially lethal ones.

Clio, meanwhile, wants a rubber donkey with spots that you can ride on (as mentioned in my recent post on the girls’ donkey fetish) and — this was a new one –  a drum set. We’re going to have to exercise the parental veto on that one. Alastair did, however, secure a couple of gently used ukeleles. (Real ones! But not lethal!) So, that’ll have to do.

She had trouble thinking of other things she wanted. “How about a new umbrella for Elsa, since she lost hers?” Aww.

Both of the girls ended up adding some items to their lists taken verbatim from The Berenstain Bears Meet Santa Bear: A Hug-me-Back Bear (I don’t think this actually exists, but it’s a great idea!), a Dinosaur Molding Kit, a Robot, and “some surprises.”

One of those surprises will be sleds. Plus some books, and a couple of stocking stuffers. I also recently discovered Alastair’s childhood Lego set in the attic, and I’m thinking we should put that under the tree, too. (They won’t notice that it’s from 1979, right?)

And that’ll pretty much do it, methinks. No need to go overboard. (I am a fan of the crap-free Christmas.)

On that note, I give you a bit of holiday silliness and anti-overboard sentiment from my beloved Mr. Baby Squared. (And a reminder to buy local when you can!)

 

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKhTnm2d46w[/youtube]

 

DOUBLE TIME, my memoir of twin parenting (among other things) is now available for pre-order!

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About Jane Roper

janeroper

Jane Roper

Jane Roper is the author of the memoir Double Time: How I Survived–and Mostly Thrived–Through the First Three Years of Mothering Twins and blogger at JaneRoper.com. Jane lives in the Boston area with her husband and twin daughters.

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10 thoughts on “All They Want for Christmas is…

  1. Catherine Hurst says:

    How did Alastair’s parents get him to be responsible for the storage of his old Legos? I still have a thousands of pieces collection in a box that I’ve been schlepping around the country through three major moves!!

  2. Jane Roper says:

    Ha! I know — impressive. Maybe he took them at some point thinking he might like to play with them. (Or maybe he even had the foresight to think that his future kids would!)

  3. Meghan says:

    The boys are playing with my childhood Legos…and, according to the Lego catalog, they are now vintage! Bonus!

  4. Diera says:

    I will say, there’s a local museum that has real tools (real hammers, real saws, etc.) and my clumsy and excitable daughter does OK with them. I think to make it work you have to make a huge ceremony out of using them. Put on safety goggles, emphasize how grown up you have to be to use a saw, etc. Make it kind of awe-inspiring and at least my kid takes it seriously. It’s actually pretty hard to seriously hurt yourself with a handsaw or hammer, you might get a bruised thumb, sure, but who hasn’t hit their thumb with the hammer a few times?

  5. Donna says:

    Maybe Elsa shouldn’t ever visit N and G’ pre-school– they have a woodworking area with real tools! I have to say, I was skeptical at first but all the kids LOVE it and I have never seen anyone get hurt. Four kids max at any one time, always a teacher or parent in the room, and one saw down at a time. They make some cool stuff! But I do have a basement full of Nye’s “creations”.

  6. Kathleen says:

    Good call on the saw. One of my brother’s friends’ kids just cut off the tip of her little sibling’s finger with pruning shears. Lovely Christmas present for all.

  7. Korinthia Klein says:

    I think it’s an awesome idea to add tools to the toolbox over time. Maybe you can even find a way to put her name on each tool.

  8. EG says:

    I wonder where my husband’s childhood Legos are. Those things are stinkin’ expensive! Wish we could find a “vintage” set.

    We gave sleds last year! As much as I hate getting kids bundled up in snow clothes, I’m looking forward to using them some more this year.

  9. guajolote says:

    Could the crank-pony be a merry-go-round horse? The kind that goes up and down? That’s what sprang to mind as I read your post.

  10. Alyson says:

    Our Christmas lists also include the wish for “some surprises” thanks to that smarty pants Brother Bear! :)

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