It's a Cracker

Dec 27 2010

With Florida just around the corner, potentially before I return to work after the Christmas break, I had a manic run up to Christmas with a diary so packed with appointments that it put the cram into Cramberry Sauce [sic]. It was quite a relief that the last two days before I broke up for Christmas was spent at home catching up on paperwork and updating all of my records so my colleagues can understand what’s going on while I’m away.

As soon as the school bell rang I shut down my laptop and looked forward to the festivities and a few days at home with the family. It nearly all went belly up before we had even started. Our good friends at the Early Learning Centre had received our order back on 8th December for Camille and Lucia’s Retro Red Kitchen. Two days before Christmas panic had finally set in as the kitchen had not arrived and although the inclement weather had caused all delivery drivers to jump out of the vehicles and sit beside the road rocking like lunatics, the website stated that orders before the 15th would definitely be there on time. So Hayley and I double teamed the ELC; I was on one phone calling the local branches to see if they had any in stock as damage limitation whilst Hayley was on the phone to the Customer Services department to see where the fling and flang our order was. None of the local branches had any in stock accept for the local Mothercare who possessed an ex-display model. Hayley’s conversation was just as unsuccessful as the lady on the other end explained that “well you see, you should have received an e-mail a week or so ago saying that we are out of stock. Ignore the website that says we have hundreds in stock because we have now but we can’t get it out to you on time. Have a lovely Christmas, bye bye now.” Morons.


We did manage to snap up the ex-display model locally and although I had visions of it being smeared with the snot of a thousand children and battered by prams making their way to the checkouts, the item was in pristine condition and already put together. For all you fathers out there who know what it’s like to feel the beads of sweat dripping down your forehead on Christmas Eve as you try to fathom what on Earth the instructions are asking you to do this was heaven, “Take Part AG and shove it in the abyss of Part XYZ and find the little nubbin to thread it on”.


The girls also tried their hardest to spoil my attempt of actually buying Hayley presents that she wouldn’t need to exchange. I went to her favourite shop with the girls and discussed in length what colour she likes and what garment would best suit her wardrobe. Lucia was ordering me around the store and Camille was into the conversation as well, but when we got home they couldn’t hold it in any longer; Camille told Hayley “Why do you like green dresses mummy?” Lucia immediately jumped in “CAMILLE! DON’T! It’s a green top”. Surprise Hayley!


So Christmas Eve evening was spent supping on a wonderfully chilled can of Girlsberg, uploading songs onto Lucia’s main present of an iPod and laughing heartily at some lacklustre television. I won’t drone on about the TV over Christmas but it has been pretty poor; Poirot on Christmas night for two hours. Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t he solve the Orient Express murder about thirty years ago? Surely they can come up with another story line, you don’t see Daniel Craig as James Bond being faced with Blofeld and sea bass with frickin’ laser beams on their heads do you?


Christmas Day was spent at home, just the four of us. Lucia waltzed into our bedroom at the very reasonable time of 8.00am. “Can I watch some TV downstairs please?” was the first thing that left her mouth. “You do know it’s Christmas don’t you?” Hayley replied. “Yes” Lucia continued as cool as a frozen cucumber. “Did you see your stocking in your room?” I added. “Yes” Lucia responded for the second time. Tick, tock, tick, tock; the words we were asking began to seep into Lucia’s world and bam she shot out of our room and reappeared in a millionth of a second with stocking in hand. Within a couple more fractions of the same second she had emptied the contents on our bed and was pillaging for fun things. Camille was equally as laidback when she rose some time before 8.30am and we did the thing where we creep into the living room to see if Father Christmas has been. Luckily he had as the girls commenced the ceremonial display of paper tearing and tossing. The conveyor belt rattled through the first half of presents in double quick time.


Present opening was swiftly followed by our M&S Christmas dinner. Hayley and I hardly made a dent in it before getting extremely full. I slept throughout Toy Story 3 and managed to tackle another plateful of cheeses, crackers and Italian hams later on. Christmas Day and Boxing Day were great and after last year where nothing went right and Camille spent the holidays in hospital we needed the normality. Something that was completely abnormal was the fundraising activity that Sofia Cimmino took on for Camille’s Appeal on Christmas Day morning; bravely Sofia took on the Weymouth Christmas Day swim and managed to raise a considerable sum of money.


Things don’t always go to plan for us as this morning Camille woke with screams of agony. As I rushed through to her bedroom it was clear something was wrong as she grasped at her neck. She managed to get back off to sleep but as soon as she woke for the second time the same screams of pain resonated around the house. She hasn’t really moved all day and as I moved her downstairs she struggled with the pain. We eventually took her in to hospital to get her checked over and they agreed that it looks like some sort of muscular pain around the right side of her neck. Poor little thing never has it easy. Hopefully tomorrow it will have eased and she can get back to playing with her Christmas presents.