I know that none of this is technically your fault.
But in between children waking up too early, babies that won’t let me put them down for even an instant, and my daughter deciding she *NEEDSMOMMYOMGRIGHTNOW* the moment I sat down with my fresh cup of coffee, I had a heck of a day before it was even 10 a.m.
Then, we went for a playdate to a restaurant with an indoor play area. It all seemed well and good, and like it would be a successful trip out of the house before my daughter decided to stage a coup.
She had been playing happily for over an hour when she decided the erected play structure was too tall for her simple tastes, and that she was henceforth too afraid to climb it anymore because it was too high.
I had to yell at her as she sat peeking at me through a plastic, plexiglass hole, ten feet up in the air, in order to get her to climb up or down or do something. My yelling was comprised of half encouragement, half threats because I am a good mother, I reiterated to myself over and over again.
But by the bleeding heavens, if I have to climb up there we are *leaving*, I shouted.
If I have to wiggle my way up those twisty stairs, and risk the embarrassment of getting myself stuck in a plastic, purple Burger King play place that smells like hundreds of sweaty toddler hands coated in old peanut butter, heads.will.ROLL. I vowed to myself.
She relented. Twenty minutes later.
What does this have to do with you?…
You know what.
I see you. Staring at me. Sitting in the corner of the living room. The giant soft-needeled elephant in the room. The reminder. Of yet one more thing in my life that needs to be done.
A reminder that I have to take every single solitary ornament off of you while being stabbed repeatedly by your dead, and drying pine needles a billion times over just to remove the lights off of your yuletide corpse.
But wait, there is more.
Then I need to drag you to my front door, itching and being prickled the entire way, while you shed pine needles into my couch cushions and into the cracks of my hardwood floors. Spilling water that, year after year, always seems to be left in your stand even though we haven’t watered you in, like, three and a half weeks.
There is always water left, water that spills across my floor. That your needles stick to.
You leave pine needles all across my floor that I have to sweep. You take up the largest corner of my living room, leaving my couch and rug askew. Making the room look more cluttered than it already is.
By December 26th, you disgust me.
Now, more than ever, I’m convinced of this fact: you know this.
And you sit there, taunting me. Every day.
Watching me explain to my children that their legs are, in fact, not so tired that they can’t pick up their toys. You watch as my eyes twitch as I clean up the puke the dog left on the carpet. You watch me shuffle around in my pj’s well past lunchtime.
You see, Christmas Tree, you have seen it all. And now? Now you know too much.
You silently laugh. And remind me that even when I have succeeded in getting my children who have been hyped up on Christmas offerings for three weeks off to bed, and new homes for the plethora of toys and gadgets they received at Christmas time, I still have one more thing to do before my home can return to its pre-holiday normalcy.
I could clean this house from top to bottom. I can put away the stockings and snow globes, clean out the fridge from the leftover holiday ham and potato salad. But am I done? I mean really finished?
Heaven’s no. Because there you are. I won’t be done everything. It will never be over. Not until you’re gone.
Unfortunately, for you? Today is the day that I have decided that it’s all your fault. Alllllll your fault.
Not just the mess or the nuisance of you for just being a tree inside of a house that five other humans. All of it. Every bump in the road that has been my day. Every squirming, disobedient child or annoying dog or headache or chore.
It’s you, I have decided. And I just won’t feel better, it all won’t do, until you are GONE.
I vow to make it my mission to see personally to your banishment and subsequent destruction.
I will win. I will crack one evening, letting out a howl out of aggravation that will be heard far and wide throughout the house at the precise moment that I can’t stand it any longer. It will make all of the bats that live in our chimney flutter in fear. And I will carefully remove those precious ornaments, and NOT snap and simply throw the whole lot of you outside in the bitter cold where you belong.
I will win.
I will do this even though I know you’ll be back next year. And I will vow to remove you promptly on December 26th before my husband goes back to work the next day. I probably won’t.
But just the same you will eventually go on top of the giant heap in the backyard. The Christmas tree graveyard. Where the twiggy bones of your predecessors still lay.
The deed will be done. And I will stand at my kitchen window, and sip my coffee in the quiet of the morning before the children wake. That cup of coffee shall be the most satisfying of all.
I will silently know you’re out there, slowly shedding your needles. One. By. One. Turning browner by the moment. Until you are but a shell of what you once were.
I shall have victory.
So enjoy your moment, you
green brown son of a….
While it lasts.
Ashley freaking LeCompte
Well, I feel better already.