There is no St. Bernard with a keg of brandy for me

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December 29, 2008 by skwishface

Imagine, if you will, you are cross-country skiing. The pristine snow of some distant mountaintop stretches before you as you shush-shush along in the perfect zen of the moment. Your body’s locomotion keeps you warm, and there is a certain thrill in knowing that frigid cold waits just outside the edges of your ski-suit. Twin lines trail out behind you, the only flaws in this perfect natural order, and you feast your gaze upon the stark blank canvas of white powder that stretches out before you.

Then you see it. Flying across the landscape in a direct perpendicular to your path. A small chunk of icy snow, bouncing almost happily along down the slope across which you are skiing.

Then another. And another. You pause your shush-shushing, and feel a fine tremor run up through your legs. Horror-movie-slow, you turn to track the trajectory of the happy little bouncing snowballs, now flocking in your direction by the dozens. There high above you, moving fast and getting faster, picking up speed and devouring the distance between you like a malevolent and hungry arctic beast, is the avalanche.

This is how I feel about my son’s Christmas gifts.

It’s only his second Christmas. For the past year, we have been able to keep his toys pretty well in hand. Hell, for most of that time he’s been content to just empty the toys out of his toybox and put them back in, over and over. But now he’s a big boy, nearly two whole years old, and his toys are a full contact experience. Regardless of the original intended purpose of the thing, any item that has been identified as his will be pushed, pulled, stuck on things, crammed under things, thrown, chewed, whacked, and deeply loved.

Whatever toy he has in his hands at any given time is his FAVORITE TOY EVER. At the moment, he is torn between two lovers. This. And this. One of these things requires parental involvement to push around at top possible speed for hours on end. The other has lots of pieces and plays music at a decibel level somewhere between tears-inducing and ear-shattering. And it has. No. Volume. Knob.

There are dozens of tiny cars, plastic tools, stuffed animals, books, blocks, alphabet letters, and more cars all over my house right now. And this is just one child. Next year and every year thereafter, my home will be the receptacle of at least twice this amount of loot.

The avalanche is coming for me. All I can do is lean into it and hope I get knocked unconscious by the intial impact.


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