Saturday, December 6, 2008

Day 6: Family Advent Calendar Activity

Today had to be one of the most perfect days I have ever spent with my child. Honestly.

We started the day off by driving down to Kansas City to a free showing of "The Polar Express". Now... we have the dvd and watched it AD NAUSEUM last year. It never enthralled me. I usually surfed the net, read a book or did chores while it was playing. I could not have cared less if it was off or on.

And then we saw it in the theater.





If you EVER get a chance to see it in a movie theater DO IT. The fact that it was free made it even better! (well... "free" discounting the purchase of the vat of Diet Coke and potato sack of popcorn, lol) And if you do... try to grab a 4 yr old to see it with you. If you don't have one at home, borrow one from a friend or family member. Trust me. A 4 yr old MAKES the viewing experience! Even the Grinchiest Grinch, Crankiest Scrooge, or Grumpiest Grumplegus would find their heart expanding 8 sizes and the joy and magic of the season being infused into every cell in their body. I spent 1/2 the time watching the screen and the other 1/2 watching James. I purposely haven't put the dvd in this year, so the movie would be fresh for him. His eyes were as big as saucers! He gasped, shrieked, covered his eyes, and made several exclamations through out the movie that had those around us chortling into their popcorn. I found myself experiencing the movie through my child's eyes... all the laughs, thrills and spills... I even teared up a few times!! James, of course, was oblivious to everything except the movie and consuming his weight in popcorn! lol I cannot recall the last time I experienced that pure level of joy at a movie.

From there we walked the shopping center, enjoying the dancing fountain, beautiful Christmas tree and decorations in spite of the blustery wind (and Mommy forgot to grab hats and mittens in the rush out the door this morning, oops!! In my defense, we didn't plan on shopping after the movie). We wandered around, visiting all the shops and sales. James was as well behaved as a child being dragged in and out of stores to look at clothes could be expected to be.

He even made a purchase on his own! In T. J. Maxx, He found a toy that he reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeealy wanted.... and while I usually wouldn't get him a toy this close to Christmas, I decided that since he had been such a good boy, he could buy it with his own money if he wanted (his wonderful Godmother had sent him some money for his birthday). So we sat down with the toy and his money and I helped him figure out how much the toy would cost and how much money he would have left over. We went through check out and he handled the transaction all by himself, handing the toy and money to the clerk at the appropriate times and gathering his bag, receipt and change. We counted his change that he got back and put it in his pocket. He left the store with the bag clutched in his hand and the biggest grin on his little face.

From there, we sauntered to Books-a-Million.... stopping at EVERY map on the way to double check our route and find the "You are here" sticker! lol Once there, we snagged a book for Mommy and then made a beeline for the train table. During the hour we were there, there were some minor disputes over the engines and tenders with other kids, but nothing that couldn't be solved with a gentle reminder on manners.

The trip home was uneventful. We listened to the PE soundtrack and sang along. I was glad we got home before Big G had to go to work. James had fun showing Daddy his toy and recounting our day for him.

I thought about taking James to see the Christmas Parade and tree lighting in town.... but we had such a perfect day that I didn't want to push my luck by taking him to stand still on a sidewalk out in the cold!! lol

It was a good choice.

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