By Daddy Clay Monday, December 22nd, 2008
The pre-Christmas countdown period certainly has its sweet moments — picking out and decorating the tree, time with family members you don’t get to see on a weekly basis, holiday parties — but the family stress levels are certainly increased with the loss of routines, the additional stimulation, bad weather limiting outdoor time, and the anticipation of Santa’s visit. All of these things seem to me to have the biggest impact on the pre-school set.
Kids younger than three are blissfully unaware, happily toddling their way thought the Yuletide land-mines. The school age kids can manage the welter of emotions with a little more sophistication, and/or can be bullied with the whole “Santa is watching” meme. But for pre-schoolers, Christmas is the season of volcanic eruptions. Because pre-schoolers are old enough to know what is happening, to get swept up in the hype, to desperately want things to take place right now, but without the ability to accept the delay of gratification. They can find the demands to behave at meals with guests, to mind dad in the mall, to wait in line for Santa, to be overwhelming.
In other words, our youngest is struggling.
He’s trying to be a good boy at the parties, at the grocery store, at meal time, but the loss of his school routine (and subsequent increased exposure to his older sibs) along with his anticipation of Santa’s visit have completely worn him out. There have been meltdowns aplenty in this Festive Season. One sign he had hit the wall came on our fourth consecutive night of entertaining for dinner — Coop simply could not even drag himself to the table for another meal with adults. We made a policy exemption for that one. Sometimes an orange and a dose of Dora is the healthiest dinner.
Another sign: Coop fell asleep in his mother’s lap, mid-refrain of “Jingle Bells” at the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar.
We’re trying to head off boredom and inter-sibling violence by programming the holidays pretty aggressively. The Armadillo is part of that. The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar has now entered the “Tradition” category for us. The event takes place at the Austin Convention Center downtown, and is essentially a venue for local artists and artisans to show their work during the holiday shopping season. There are always a few pieces that we drool over and dream about being able to afford some day, but honestly, most of the stuff is not for me. Too folksy/crafty.
The highlight for us is the music. Many of Austin’s best musicians play the tiny stage at the center of the bazaar. It may not be the purest place to listen to music, but it is oddly intimate, and a great place to see the artists up close. They also program the best local kids performers. Yesterday, we were treated to a great performance from the Biscuit Brothers and the inimitable Sara Hickman. Because their TV show is so adorable and engaging, it’s easy to forget that the Biscuit Bros have serious musical chops. The touch is light and bouncy, but the harmonies and instrumental work is rock solid. And there is to my old friend, Buttermilk Biscuit! She’s the best. Great to re-introduce the kids after the show.
And what to say about Sara Hickman? My first date in Austin with my wife was to watch this rockstar shake the rafters at Liberty Lunch, and she still brings that charisma and joy to every show she plays. It was so cool to bring my kids into that loop. She played some “Sara” songs, some of her kids music, and brought a whole herd of kids onstage for som
Tags: austin, biscuit bros., children's music, christmas, coop, holidays, santa, sara hickman Posted in Eating, Music |
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