i was able to keep in my mind for long enough that it would be a great idea to finally go to neiman's downtown to visit one of the famous xmas window displays. like, park in a garage and walk on over there and everything.
i was especially motivated after learning the display was an interactive playground for children. it was something like xmas in space and they climb through a tube that is absurd in length.. maybe 200 feet. it wove it's way in and out of the storefront and i initially worried they would be deposited inside while we were outside and how on earth would we get to oliver before he wandered off into being lost for the rest of his life? or broke $10mil in ridiculous jewelry? but of course, neiman's thought about that and they made sure to spit your offspring back out on to the sidewalk. that way, the riff raff could participate without ever actually setting foot inside the store.
so there we were. fresh from a parking garage and standing in the chilled breeze. we began wandering if there was any way in hell oliver would actually get in this thing. brian took him up the little stairs to the ticket window. everything was manned by adults in silver space jackets. i couldn't believe my eyes when i saw oliver actually go in the tube and begin his ascent. and then i heard this incredible wailing and realized it was my child, about 10 feet in and losing it. fortunately, he did this right off the bat and could get back out easily enough. instead of waiting 100 feet in, where he'd be trapped by raucous children on either side. therapy for claustrophobia for life.
so instead, we just strolled together along the outside of the tunnel. they had all kinds of video cameras and intercoms set up along the way so you could holler at your kids inside.
for shits and giggles, we went inside. a place to which i had never been. there was a tremendous line for children to be photographed with santa in front of a neon-lit rocket ship. it was a bit much. we toodled around a bit and then got the hell out of there.
this is the back side of the santa set up. it's where the poor children can go to have their photos taken not with santa.
i armed oliver with a needle and popcorn. he could not leave that strung up popcorn alone. i kept catching him inside the xmas tree play yard land moving shit around. and i'm one of those people who doesn't like having shit moved around. especially breakable, vintage shit. one or both children started eating the old, dirty popcorn at some point. gee, how surprising.
then there was the xmas pageant. for this first time (since we've been going there), they broke it into age groups to make everyone less miserable. we were in the parish hall in the direct line of sunshine fire. our faces were caressed by the raylike fingers of god himself. the kids were dressed up all hoot-larious in adult-sized sweatshirts decorated like xmas trees and reindeer and snowmen. i was thankful the parents weren't in charge of putting that together. oliver was a santa. i was impressed to see him singing AND dancing for the first pageant ever. one of the guys who works there showed up dressed as santa and oliver decided to have nothing to do with him. we got him some hot chocolate upon which to scald his face and i think we managed to sidestep the cookies by some kind of miracle.
i think this is back when oliver began his phase of not wanting his photo taken.
this is where the poor children stand to have their photo taken with santa. also, the world's saddest hot chocolate child.
i think the next day was the xmas party. brian signed up to man a craft table, earning him the endless and giddy respect of educators everywhere.
hanging the doorknob craft. there was the old pine cone+lard+birdseed craft, which i cleverly avoided. i got our pine cone to go and took it home to paint with peanut butter and coat with seeds originally intended for the sprouter. it then went straight outside to rot.