Another Christmas Is Over



The Chelsea doll is lost, and “Barbie?” followed by tears is playing on a regular loop in our house. I think I am going to have to break down and buy another one. And let’s face it; that is the best way to find anything that is missing. As soon as I walk through the front door with a new one, the old one will suddenly materialize in the middle of the living room floor. I’m already mad about it.

The loss is distracting her from enjoying her new Barbie Dream House. Teghan likes things that come in groups of three, and she used to have three dolls. Up until the Chelsea tragedy, she was playing with this thing nonstop.

It’s not the dollhouse I would have liked as a kid. The living room is on the third floor, and there is an elevator from the closet to the bathroom. There is a fireplace sticker on the outside of the house that seems out of place. Who comes up with this stuff? Teghan doesn’t care. She likes to put the dolls on the potty and in the bed, and she enjoys pushing all the buttons that make noise.The hair dryer sound scared her for the first day, but has now become an obsession.

I was looking for something to help her with pretend play and imitation, and this seems to be working. She’s doing pretty good these days at copying anything she sees us do with the dolls first. She gets stuck on repeating the same action over and over, but it is a definite improvement.

Christmas night at my uncle’s house went alright. There’s a switch that flips whenever Teghan leaves the comfort zone of our house. There is less interaction with us, and she gets caught up in her exploration rituals. She likes to immediately identify her “sprinting path.” She always needs two points that she can run between. At home it is between the TV and a particular bookshelf. Periodically throughout the day she will just run back and forth between these two points. It’s always a short distance; at my uncle’s house she chose the step down into the living room as point A, and the fireplace as point B.

There were plenty of loops around the house with the need to open every door, especially the refrigerator. There was the typical stealing drinks, regular trips to the dog’s water dish to dunk her feet, one lit candle jar carried to the sink to be “emptied”, and one attempted escape out the back door. It could have been worse.

More impressive than any of the gifts Teghan opened was the engagement ring my sister found.

We are thrilled that she finally gets the concept of opening gifts without any additional prompting. We play a game where we all bring ten very inexpensive gifts and put them in a pile. We each pick a gift and open them at the same time, followed by negotiations and trades (I exchanged some dog treats for a car scraper I also didn’t need).

We continue the rounds until all the gifts are gone. Each round when it was my turn to pick, I grabbed two from the pile- one for me, and one for Dave. I offered Teghan a choice of which to open. She seemed to put real thought into the selection, and enjoyed tearing up her final picks. I think she liked the Altoids best.

But the main goal of our evening was to keep her from licking things. She was obviously recovering from a cold, and no one wants to see the kid with a runny nose putting everything in her mouth. This can be a full time job on its own. I imagine if you asked our neighbors what phrase they heard most coming from our house, it would be “out of your mouth!” followed by “where’s your underwear?” and “close the refrigerator.” Of course, “Where is Barbie?” is probably topping the charts at the moment.

Overall Christmas was a success, and each year Teghan seems to get a little more excitement from the season than the year before. So that’s the holiday update. Hard to believe another Christmas is over.


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