Tuesday, December 4, 2012

THE PEANUT GALLERY: If a Tree Falls in the House

Some unexpected traffic on the bus ride home meant I would be a little later than normal. So I texted My Director with some basic instructions on how to get dinner started. This way, I could get a jump start on cooking as soon as I got home:
"Can you put some water on for brown rice and heat the oven to 350 please?"
I was planning to make pan-seared tilapia over brown rice with baked Brussels sprouts and bacon. Yum. Her response was quick, and unexpected:
"Our tree fell over. Have to deal with that right now."
I have to admit, I laughed a little when I read that. Have to deal with that right now? Ya think? A classic line from my straight man. When I got off the bus, a stunned Peanut met me at the corner. "Daddy, you're NOT going to believe this." She escorted me inside. My little girl was beside herself. But not because of this:

Yes. That's My Director working on the tree
while I snap pictures for the blog. Priorities.

Peanut was bordering on manic because of this:

The Elf was IN the tree. Drama.
Luna cowered in fear on the couch as we surveyed the damage. The poor dog. The tree crashing to the ground while we weren't home is probably the puppy-fright-factor equivalent of an indoor thunderstorm. As if the tree wasn't bad enough, the stupid Elf on the Shelf was sitting in it at the time. And of course, Peanut knew it:
"I'm really worried about Googily. What if we pick him up and he loses his magic?"
Imagine you come home from work and your living room is an active crime scene. You immediately become Gil Grissom:

He's a bright guy.
I stripped off my jacket and shoulder bag, and cleared the area. "Everyone remain calm," I announced. The tree would be uprighted and re-rooted with no problem. (Unfortunately, this isn't the first time this has happened to us.) Our priority was keeping Googily's magic alive. Human hands can't touch this sacred Elf.
"No one panic. Peanut, get me the tongs I use for grilling."
But she had her doubts.
"What if his magic transfers to the tongs and THEY fly back to Santa? Then you'll need new ones."
Seriously? No one questions Gil Grissom. How the hell do I respond to THAT? (While I try to conjure up an adequate response, let's pause a moment to soak up Peanut's cuteness here. She is totally sold on the whole Santa thing and I love it. The Elf too, obviously. Ah, the wonder and innocence of childhood. Some might argue we're perpetuating a huge lie. But that's a topic for another blog post.)

Enter My Director, who didn't question my idea. She immediately put the tongs plan into motion:

Every little thing she does is magic.
(Ya see what I did there?)
The tongs plan worked... kind of. It's difficult to effectively move your Elf with grill accessories under the glaring and disapproving eye of your five year-old. Still, My Director, who never uses these utensils to cook, mind you, did not buckle under the pressure:

Perfect placement.
Googily is now safely tucked away on the breakfront in the dining room. (Really? Did I just write "breakfront?" I don't even know what that is.) We finally turned our attention to the seven-foot Balsam laying on our living room rug. As we righted this once-mighty oak, I thought I'd have a little fun with Peanut:
"If we don't get this tree back up, we might just have to cancel Christmas."
Without skipping a beat, she fired back:
"Then I guess we'll just have to do Hannukah."
What makes that line even more hilarious is Peanut's top request from Santa this year: An American Girl doll. (Yes, we've entered THAT realm.) But she wants a specific one. Not the one that looks like her or My Director. No. She wants Rebecca Rubin:

Rebecca is Jewish. We, in case the giant fallen Christmas tree wasn't enough of a giveaway, are not. Oy vey.

As for Googily, he's still as magical as ever. He even managed to fly back and forth from the North Pole with his new accessory:

Somehow I will cook dinner tonight
without some crucial knives.
Happy Hannukah from the DKL family.

A fallen tree is much worse than what happened to our tree last year, as I wrote here.


  1. Love that you're taking photos during a calamity. Yes, priorities.

    1. I'm a journalist. It would be unethical to become part of the story.

  2. Any word on HOW the tree fell? I hope Luna wasn't involved!

    1. Still going over the forensics... Luna was not involved. She's not a mischief maker. In fact, she was upstairs when My director and peanut got home, certainly scared. All signs point to a faulty tree stand, which was newly purchased at Target over the weekend. Should have stuck with the old one.

  3. So wait- are you not supposed to touch the elves? I had no idea, if that's the case.
    Funny stuff, but I did not laugh. It made me smile, but no laughter. How can I trust you ever again?

    1. Sorry to disappoint you. Can't please everyone I guess.

  4. Should have sellotaped it to the wall...

  5. My kids are totally into the elf as well. I like that "human hands" thing - smart. We have a plush one which I bought because I thought he looked less creepy than the original. The problem is that he is a bit bigger than the traditional type, he's harder to pose and hide. We make it work. Today he's sitting up on the bookcase next to Little Bo Peep. Naughty boy!

  6. ELF DOWN, ELF DOWN!!! Way to go with that quick thinking. I'm assuming that's from years in the TV biz and that things happen quickly and you have to be ready.

    American Girl dolls... so glad my daughter is a tomboy. WWE action figures are so much cheaper.

  7. I really chuckled at this story. Our elf fell off his carefully balanced (I told my husband it was a bad idea) location on a picture frame and my five-year-old daughter cried. It wasn't until "Austin" moved again the next day that she believed everything was okay. Nothing we said or did helped put her at ease. Sometimes I wonder if we've taken this elf thing a little too far. I found you through the YKIHAYH blog hop! I'm a fan:)

  8. Whew-near miss dude! Cute story I loved this

  9. As funny as your story is, and it is funny! (And, no elf was hurt in the process of this blog post!) Even funnier may be the comment by "Anonymous"... have you been in the market for a solar Water heater? LMAO

    1. Ha! That's obviously a spam comment that snuck by the old spam filter. (scurries to delete spam.)

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. I hate when that happens! Lol!
    One year my two youngest sons decided it was their mission to climb our Christmas tree. Repeatedly. By the time Christmas rolled around it really had that "Dr. Seuss" look to it, all crooked and pathetic.
    It didn't bother them when they made it crash, but it sure freaked out all of their siblings. There is something about a downed Christmas tree that is just wrong.
    Great post, as always. Glad no one was injured.
    As I am an anti-elfite, let me know if you want to do parallel posts on "perpetuating a huge lie" sometime. Could be fun. ;-)

  12. This just reaffirms my thought that I am not capable of caring for an Elf. Kudos on the quick thinking and exceptional use of tongs by your Director.

  13. Yet one on the many reasons we never did the elf. :)


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