Every week, she surprises me with something she's learned that, frankly, I didn't even know she knew. Take Christmas trees. My plan was to tell her all about Christmas when American Thanksgiving was over. I figured we'd get out the decorations and one weekend day, stomp off into the forest with our snow shoes and let her pick a tree. Preschool apparently beat me to the punch. Someone told her about Christmas Trees and whatever they told her excited her.
Last week, I took her up to the hospital for a blood draw. The actual blood draw wasn't a pleasant experience in the least bit but seeing her little face light up when she walked into the lobby and noticed the Christmas trees was lovely.
As we made our way back to the lab, Toddler asked me if she could have a Christmas tree. "Of course you can!" I answered.
Then it came:
"Mommy, can I please have a pink tree? I want a princess tree."
Princesses are Toddler's new thing. For the past couple of months, she's wanted to wear nothing but princess dresses. In the beginning of her princess phase, a princess dress was simply a pink shirt. That was easy. Then she got wise to princesses and the princess dress evolved into a pink or purple tutu. Now, it's a full-on dress. She has two of them. One she pulled from the shelves of Fred Meyer in Soldotna and refused to relinquish. The other is a far more elaborate gown, which was a birthday present from her parents. She won't wear any other dress: only a pink princess dress will do.
I'm not sure where the princess fascination comes from. She doesn't watch a lot of Disney. She can barely sit through Cinderella and she walks away from any other movie we put on for her. Given the choice, she'd watch Curious George, the Cat in the Hat and Dinosaur Train. Honestly, that kid knows more about dinosaurs than either of her parents.
Of the hundred or so books in her library, princesses appear in two of them: an old copy of Cinderella and Robert Munsch's Paper Bag Princess. One princess in blue one in, well, a brown sack. I guess I should thank my lucky stars that she went for the dress, not the paper bag.
So she's got her Toddler heart set on a pink Christmas tree. We explained that Christmas trees are green and gave her examples of trees she's seen recently. We suggested some craft time where we could make pink decorations for her tree. She must have been stewing about it because last night, she asked Hunter if he could take her to the Christmas store to buy pink paint for her tree.
Apparently the local hardware store has a faux pink tree for sale. While she's at preschool today, I'm going to head down to take a look. If it's a reasonable thing, I think I'll pick it up and surprise Toddler. If not, well, I guess we're going to have to spray paint a green tree pink.
When I remember Christmases past, I remember the unique things. The Christmas in Whistler, the Christmas in Hawaii, the Ottawa ice storm, Earnie the dinner guest... the differences stand out and bring us together as a family.
I'm not sure if Toddler will remember the Christmas when she was three but I bet Hunter and I will always remember and reminisce about the year of the pink tree and that, I think will be Toddler's gift to her parents this year. I don't think she could find a better present if she tried.