Friday, December 4, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

So far, Wiggle's first holidays have been pretty lackluster. On the 4th of July we took him to see fireworks, but he was more mesmerized by the taillights on the cars going by. On Halloween, we didn't end up doing a costume because the only age-appropriate activity available was a costume parade, and it ended up being so cold and rainy that day, that everyone would have been wearing coats, thereby canceling out the costumes anyway. Thanksgiving was wonderful because we got to see Uncle M, but for Wiggle the actual meal turned into a big game of keep-away, as he wanted to grab every dish, wine glass, candle, and flower that was on or anywhere near the table.

Of course Christmas is different. It's bigger, louder, longer, and for most kids scarier. Everyone has heard the tales of waiting in line for hours to sit their cherubic tot on Santa's lap for the first time, only to have it end in a flurry of screaming, hair-pulling (or perhaps beard-pulling), and squirming. Or that any child under the age of one is more interested in the wrapping paper a gift comes in than the gift itself. And then there is the ever-present threat of a kid pulling the tree down on himself and in an instant turning hundreds of well-loved heirloom ornaments into a thousand Chinese throwing stars. Don't let any of these comments make you think that I am not looking forward to Christmas, because I am looking forward to it, immensely. We are visiting both families and I can't wait for Wiggle to share in traditions that both C and I have grown-up with. I guess I just thought that while Christmas was happening for me, for Wiggle it would just be a slightly more colorful Thursday.

On Friday night, we took part in a Chicago tradition which makes it clear that this will indeed be Wiggle's First Christmas. We rode the "Holiday Train." This is a regular CTA train decked out with a gajillion lights on the outside, tinsel, bows, and holiday-fabric seats on the inside, and Santa on a flatbed in place of one of the cars. It was awesome!

First of all, Wiggle always loves public transportation, but I think this was the first time we took the train with him because buses are much more stroller friendly. Just waiting on the platform in the cold, Wiggle had a great time trying out his "wave." He is a big flirt and knows how to achieve maximum cuteness, so that I am sure many a young couple has had an awkward conversation about when they will be starting a family after even a brief encounter with him.

Then the emblazoned train pulled into the station, and he was awe-struck. He smiled and giggled the whole way. At the end of the line, we got out and looked at the train from the outside, took a picture with Santa, and C and I switched baby for camera and vice versa. I had a very hard time trying to get pics of Wiggle with C because he kept turning towards the train to look at the lights. Some people nearby said if we took video of him turning away again and again, we could submit it to America's Funniest Home Videos. He kept the whole platform laughing until we boarded again to go back to the IIT stop where we got on. The trip was so exciting that he started to get sleepy on the way back, a full two hours before his normal bedtime.

I have a whole new level of excitement for the rest of the holiday season. Get ready grandparents, here we come!

Here are some pics from the happy excursion.

Posing for Daddy while waiting.

We can hardly contain our excitement!

The train in all of its glory - outside.

And inside.

Do you see how he can't take his eyes off the lights?

Chillin' with Santa, or at least one of his representatives from the Santa Union's local chapter.

Checking out the inside of the train as the doors open.

Wiggle doesn't look too happy that the ride will be over soon.