Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tender Mercies: Christmas Decorating Edition

On Monday I went through the dungeonous atmosphere of the storage space to retrieve my Christmas boxes. It was a dirty job and one gladly done just once a year. I pulled out five boxes full of shiny things, mostly ornaments I've stolen from my mother's treasure chest of Christmas loot. She never knew (until right now).

The Chief was aiming to help. Aiming being inoperable because eighteen month olds don't help--they hurt, mostly. After combing through some boxes I assigned him the tricky task of taking out all the balls in the ornaments bin to test for durability. This involved tossing them over the railing and down the stairs to check if they would bounce or break upon contact with the kitchen floor. As you can imagine, he was just the man for the job. Brilliant at it really.

You should've seen my kitchen floor.

In my course of Christmas box discovery, I found four wreaths I crafted some years ago. Made out of ribbon and fake pearls, the objects are pricelessly pathetic. And something about their misshapen attempt to be jolly made me want to put them to use. The never-used guest room! I thought, on the top floor! A perfect place for pearl wreaths nobody will see. The best kind of inspiration is Christmas inspiration.

The guest room is a funny place. It is actually the master bedroom, laid with baby blue carpet from the decade I was born (I am guessing). I decided against my shacking up in there only because I wanted the room with a door to the backyard. And for the turquoise carpet. Turquoise over baby blue, if you ask me. And I know you will.

I decided on perching the wreaths on the great big windows in the guest room. Only, in doing so I had to unlock each window. When the wreaths were in place I thought about locking the window again, but had to answer the demands of that eighteen month old crash ornament test dummy. Cute dummy. Really cute dummy.

Later that afternoon, when The Chief had awoken from his nap pink cheeked and starry eyed he wandered into the guest room to view the wreaths. Somehow (this part is still under investigation) he slammed the door shut and locked himself inside the baby blue room. I heard the smack of the door and then my baby crying from within. I assured him I'd get him out as soon as possible. Shouldn't be too difficult, just a little finagling of the lock. But in trying everything plus a prayer, I couldn't get the door to budge. I used all sorts of tools and undid pens and safety pins and paper clips but I couldn't get the door lock to turn.

Then he started wailing and I sorta started to panic.

So I called Chup, who was in Minnesota. What is Chup going to do in Minnesota? So then I called my clever nephew Clark who said he'd be right down. I love having nephews with licenses and vehicles, just makes my life so much easier.

In that time, my nieces Claire and Jane showed up with their friend Katy to see what treats were on tap in my kitchen. They helped me talk to The Chief through the door, though he couldn't hear what we were saying because at this point he was hysterical.

Then Clark showed up, and he couldn't get the lock to unlock either.

The girls mentioned that they would "go ask the cop" who was doing "cross walk duty" across the street. And I thought about it for a moment and imaged a whole squad of Provo Police with a large log ramming the door open with a running start. Something inside of me knew we could handle this in house.

I went outside and got a ladder.

And I hoisted it up to the window in the guest room where The Chief was melting away in confusion.The windows were our only entry, the door was not going to open. If we could find away to unlock the windows . . . I thought while looking up at the ladder and the windows.

I had unlocked the windows. I had unlocked the windows! Just that morning!

So Clark climbed up the ladder, took off the screen, slid open the window and launched himself onto the bed.

The Chief was saved!

A simple desire to put up crappy craft decor in the guest room had changed the course of the afternoon. The inspiration no doubt came from a higher source making me believe--once again--in all sorts of angelic sources inspiring our smallest movements.

When The Chief was freed from his room, the girls gave him candy and made him feel like a brave detainee. Clark said after his break in, he found The Chief inside the suitcase we'd just emptied from our trip to NYC. Curled up and crying.

If that doesn't get your throat all lumpy . . .