Thanks For: WHAT DID I DO WITH THE DONKEY LAST YEAR? and other Christmas classics

Dearest Mother and Brother,

Confession time – Mom, the Hedgehog and I shared a chuckle when you asked us i”f your big balls were positioned right between the sticks”. You of course meant the red Christmas balls perched in the garland on the fireplace but we went a whole other route. Consider it sibling bonding fun times.

In fact the entire Christmas decorating experience turned into a bizarre list of catchphrases.

As always, setting up the nativity is my job. I finally found out why this year. Apparently it’s not because I’m so skillful at arranging camels but because “you don’t like the feel of Styrofoam”. Basically I’m just there to take things out of boxes for you. The Father escaped to the office. At least I’m not Hedgehog. His new life purpose is to:

1) Lift this heavy thing

2) Reach that tall place

3) Hold this thing right there. No there. A little to the left. Up. No too much. Down a touch. I said a touch. Don’t you know how much a touch is? That’s too much. Put it back. Hold still. Stop moving. What do you think. There? No I think we should put it over there. Hmmmmm. Repeat x10

So while the brother is lifting heavy things I’m busy wrestling with a wooden Mary, Joseph, Jesus and the crew. Mary, Joseph and Jesus are the easy part. Jesus goes in Mary’s arms, Joseph looks down adoringly. Put the whole thing in the middle. Shepherds go around the back and sides. It’s easy

Then there are the animals. Do you know how many animals I’ve got to wrangle on a piece of burlap ARTISTICALLY?! 4 sheep, an oxen, a goat, a GIANT CAMEL and a donkey. Oh the donkey. Just when I’d artistically placed the sheep, bunched the ox and goat together and stuffed the camel in the back corner. BOOM. I missed the donkey. This of course leads me to shout, “What did I do with the donkey last year?”.

Not a phrase I’d normally say.

Even better. When the mother was swapping her fall sticks for winter sticks (just nod at the difference) we got the delightful phrase, “There is a goat stuck to my scarf, someone help!”

Phenomenal. That’s what I’m thankful for. Rouge Christmas Goats.

Aria

Thanks For: The Colonoscopy Diet – Who’s Up for Round 2?

Dear Father Who Tried to Get A Colonoscopy he wasn’t scheduled for,

Just when you think that invasive medical tests couldn’t get more hilarious, they come roaring back with a vengeance. Guess who did all the prep and then found out that he didn’t actually have the test on the day he thought? That would be my Father. Oh Dad. Dad, Dad, Dad. I’m sorry that I laughed when I got home and you told me that actually your colonoscopy was next week. I’m sure that’s sad and unfortunate and you went on that diet and did all that human waste excreting for nothing. It’s possible that I just lost my ‘most supportive daughter of the year’ award.

But only you could do the colonoscopy diet twice for a single test.

I wonder what the nurse thought when you went wandering into the doctor’s office insisting that you had a test that you weren’t booked for? I checked when I got home. That paper clearly said the right date. I guess you were just so eager to get the whole thing over with that you pushed it forward mentally. You’re a big boy. Mom’s too busy keeping track of Hedgehog and finding you edible pre-colonoscopy approved food to worry about your date double checking.

Now you’ve got to do it twice.

This of course, means that I get a second round of eating muffins in front of you and watching you slowly die inside (see The Colonoscopy Diet Part 1). It also means that mother will be putting us all back on the colonoscopy diet. Great. More fish and colourless/spiceless food. Just what every girl wants. On the other hand, I’m thankful that I”m not the one actually getting the test.

So dear Father thank you for the laughs. I’m sorry that your mixed up plight struck me as hilarious.

At least you know what to expect this time,

Aria

Thanks For: My Mother Put the Whole Family on a Colonoscopy Diet

I wish I was kidding; I’m not getting a colonoscopy for another thirty years but I’ve been eating like I get one this morning. Basically when The Father has to get a colonoscopy, we all have to eat colourless food for 3 days. Is that TMI? Too LATE! It’s written now and as per guidelines, no erasing.

Thankfully those of us not getting invasive tests got to skip the medication and its uber unfortunate side effects. There’s one bathroom in the house that I’m staying far far away from. TMI again? Sorry. But anything red, purple or orange has been a no go. Anything with a lot of spice? Nope. Dinner has been interesting. Basically the rule is don’t tempt The Father with things he can’t eat. The Mother seems to think he has no willpower. She’s right.

Besides the vast increase in available jello there is only one real bright spot. The Mother said not to tempt The Father, guess what the Hedgehog and I have been doing all weekend?

“Hey Dad, look. I’ve got a muffin fresh out of the oven. Still warm. Homemade. Slathered in butter. Look at that. Look how it melts. Mmmmm delectable. Oh wait, you can’t eat this. Too much fiber. And the delicious blueberries are one of the forbidden colours. Too bad for you. Guess i’ll have to eat the whole dozen by myself. Why hello little brother, would you like an insanely good muffin?”

“Why yes dear sister. That muffin looks so good and its too bad for anyone who can’t have one. Let’s go eat sausage and chips and chocolate until we burst. Oh hi Dad. What you got there? Plain chicken broth with nothing else in it? Yum. I’ll just have to suffer along with this muffin”

*Dad stares longingly at the muffin from the corner* He has a baked good weakness.

My brother and I have never been so cordial to each other as when we’re teasing the Father. When the Mother is out of the room. If she asks, we’re angels.

Thanks for the chuckles and sibling bonding,

Aria

Thanks For: Mothers Who Passive-Aggressively Drag Daughters to Yoga

Dearest Newly Discovered Yoga Enthusiast Mother,

Your new love of yoga is nothing but befuddling as our family is less flexible than a petrified rock. That’s right, there are rocks that are more flexible than us. I added the word petrified to get across the redundancy. You can’t even cross your legs. So although I’m befuddled I applaud at your desire to increase your flexibility. You do those 3 legged downward dogs of death.

My enthusiasm lessens when you masterfully cajole me into accompanying you.

You’ll be upset that I used the word cajole because you’d like to think that I went willing. And I did go willingly. You didn’t actively force me out the door or threaten to withhold laundry services. I put on my own baggy t-shirt and running pants and waltzed out the door after you.

But you should know mother, that you have a magical secret power. You say things in such a way that I feel like I must do the thing even though I don’t want to do the thing. It’s magical. I think it’s a mom thing.

But I went. The crowd was mostly 40+ so simply by being under 25 I looked really really flexible. So thanks for the ego boost.

Also I discovered that my hips/waist are not flexible. At all. Touch my chest to my thigh? Hahahahaha how about stomach to thigh? I can do that. Stop telling me to be a hinge yoga instructor lady. I have no idea what that means. I AM NOT A HINGE. I DO NOT BEND LIKE THAT.

But I suppose it was good for me. I didn’t hate it either. I would go again. Whether I would pay to go again is a different story. Free, certainly. Pay, I keep weighing the cost against comic books and cosplay supplies. We’ll see.

But thanks for the exercise anyway. Although I’m not sure what she did to my tailbone. It’s twitching.

Love,

Aria