Thursday, December 18, 2014

Of Winter Celebrations, Christmas Pageants and Playing Possum

Yesterday was busy. It started, work-wise, with a very exciting validation of a model I've been working on for 3 years. Honestly, I tried to explain to Dave why this was so exciting and apart from telling him when to smile and act enthusiastic, it’s hard for civilians to get excited about academia/research. (((sigh)))

IN MORE ACCESSIBLE NEWS, the twinnies had their winter celebration yesterday. This generally involves getting to meet the other parents and listening to the children sing in French. (As they are in French School). In the first clip, there is an amazing surprise at the end that I am honestly shocked that the twins ((cough, cough, Bridget)) could keep secret. Bridget is on the right and Christopher is just behind her on the left.

Last night was our church Christmas pageant. This year we moved from the sanctuary (no pictures or applause) to Heaton Hall (pictures, applause, laughter). The kids also did a new play, indeed, the World Premiere of Erica McGee’s No Room At The Holiday Inn. It was a sweet, fun play connecting the birth of Jesus to modern day lives. Erica’s a goddess of children’s theater and singing. It was truly fun and meaningful.

And here are a few pictures:

Conor playing The First Noel before the play started. The tone of his playing was impressive. I was so proud of him!!

Some sheep you might know looking very adorable.

Joseph, aka, my son.

And the final song, A Thousand Points of Light. I think this song is an original song written for our church a couple of years ago. It is a huge favorite among the kids and the families. And this year, the actors were allowed to “free dance” the song because it is really that joyful. One might note that one particular sheep was dancing and prancing all over her pasture, while Joseph got down in the middle of the stage and even broke out some Jazz hands.

Then, after the show, the LBGT group at our church sponsored the dessert reception. It was dang tasty. And about halfway through it, Queen Elsa and Princess Anna showed up. The gays throw the best parties, even at church.

It was an amazing day. Then Dave and I walked out of the church, looked at each other, and said, “Somebody is going to be crying on the way home.” Dave took the least likely one to cry in his car, and I got the twins. I swear to dog, the minivan doors were still sliding shut when Christopher began WAILING about how he didn’t get enough candy (school party, stocking of candy, dessert party) and BRIDGET AT MORE!!! It wasn’t FAIIIIIRRRRR!!

I wish I could say I handled it better than I did. I actually did well for the first half of the trip. And then I screeched at volume I did not know was possible. The crying stopped, but it wasn’t the right parenting behavior.

So we got home, STARTED homework, and did a few chores. And looked out the door. Our back door is mostly glass and gives us a good view of the goings on in the backyard. There is a doggie door beside it and, Sweet Baby Lemur, Dave had already shut it to keep the cats in for the night.

Because standing there, at the back door, in all his white fur glory was Patches, with a dead possum in his mouth. He was bringing us a gift!! Just like the cats do!!!

Screaming ensued.

Dave got Patches to drop the possum on the porch and brought the dog inside. Please pause for a minute, and JUST IMAGINE if Patches had brought that in the doggie door. When you have stopped jumping up and down and flapping your hands, you may continue reading.

So Dave and I stared through the door at the slobber covered possum on our back porch wondering whether it was alive or not. (You know, “playing possum.”) Patches in the meantime was SO PROUD of himself. He was poking Fred with his snout. Jumping around Fred with his paws. And basically saying “TOP THAT RAT, SUCKA!” Fred had no reaction because, you know, cats’ brains are not as developed and gloating is not one of the four emotions they experience.

We concluded that the possum wasn't playing and was actually dead, so Dave went to get a shovel and a contractor bag to put the dead possum in. I stayed inside the house and supervised through the door.

Dave had to open the contractor bag because those things are big and thick. So he gave it a hard flap that was, in fact, quite loud. The possum lifted his head. To make sure this was not some sort of death twitch, Dave flapped the bag again and the possum lifted his head even higher and looked right at him.

New possum fact! They will play dead until some extremely loud and odd noise is made near them.

Dave slowly backed away and put the shove and bag back in the garage.

It took about 45 more minutes before the opossum finally figured out it was safe enough to leave. We could tell because Patches was barking persistently and loudly and I can honestly tell you that he was saying “MY BIG WHITE RAT IS GETTING AWAY!!!”

By this point, of course, both twins were crying and Conor was sulking that the only reason I told him he played well was because I am his mother. The good news, of course, is that once we got all three kids in bed, they fell asleep in less than 10 seconds. HOORAY! It’s just that hellish time when they are overly tired and ALONE WITH US that sucks.

The rest of the day, possum included, pretty much rocked.

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